Sometimes I feel like a floodgate.
A floodgate is put in place to control the flow of water. It has to hold back a powerful force, but it must be moveable to allow just the right amount of water to get by.
I am standing in my place as the floodgate in my home. There are powerful forces trying to get by me to flood my home and wash my family away! There are cell phones, with their accompanying texting and games and internet access. There are friends to play with and meetings to go to and sports to practice. Not that any of those things themselves are bad... they are all good things! Just like the water behind the gate is not bad. It just needs to be controlled. Too much can be dangerous.
Yesterday I had kids spending too much time, in my opinion, on their phones. I had kids wanting to hang out with friends on family night, and a meeting on that same night. I had one kid asking for permission to see a movie that I wasn't so sure about, and one wanting more video game time.
And I felt like a floodgate. I felt like had water in my eyes and forcing its way up my nose. It gets exhausting sometimes.
But I am reminded of Julie Beck's General Conference talk "Mothers Who Know."
Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home.
And I am determined to be a good, strong floodgate. One day my family will thank me.
My inspiration for this record of my days:
“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen