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There is Always a But

July 14, 2011

      Today my 10 year old daughters Anna and Emily have a message to share.  Almost daily they point this out to me.  I’m getting better but I to still need to get rid of the “but.”

     When we ask our Mom to do something, she always says, “I’d love to but…”  She always says she’ll do it tomorrow, but tomorrow there is always a “but” too.    We know that Moms have things to do, but are those things really worth your girls not having memories or time with you?  I think that “but” really buts into everything.

     If you do not have so many activities in your life, then you don’t have so many things to do.  You won’t have to run to the store to get that “one last thing,” if there is no activity to get it for.  Everything does not have to be perfect.  What matters is being together. 

     Out of the mouths of babes.  Our children may ask for a lot.  They may seem like what they really want is to go here and go there.  Their actions may seem like they want their space so they can play electronic games.  I am here to challenge all of these.  I believe their greatest desire, maybe even unknown to them, is to be with you.  They want your time and they want your attention.  Is that what we are giving them?  Or do we give them the “but.”

     “But” is a three letter word, one letter short of the bad list.  I am here to tell you that I think that this three letter word may be worse than all the fours.  “But” means, not now and maybe not even later.  It means please don’t bug me, I have my own agenda.  It also screams, I have more important things right now.  Do we really?  Is that activity REALLY more important than your child?  Logically, Monopoly may not seem that important right now, but it is not about the game.  It is about saying with our actions, “you ARE important.” 

     It is past time to get rid of the “buts.”  It takes laying down our lives and our own desires.  It may mean leaving some things undone.  It will require your time.  I will require a new way of thinking, acting and approaching your life.  But our children are asking for US.  Time will not stand still why you check things off your To-Do list.  Time marches on and it will march right past you.

     So face today with a new resolve.  “Mommy will you play a game with us?”  “Mommy will you go swimming with us?”  “Mommy will you read us a story?”  The answer to all of these is, YES, with no “buts” allowed.


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4 Comments leave one →
  1. scott kaufmann permalink
    July 14, 2011 12:43 am

    This is a very powerful message and should be part of parenting handbook….thanks Anna and Emily

    • July 14, 2011 8:32 am

      You said it! Kids always cut to the chase and tell you like it is. I am so thankful for that.

  2. July 16, 2011 1:36 pm

    I sure am glad to read what the girl’s had to say. I am sure children hear way to many times ” but.” They also hear” Not Now”. We need to train our replys with Yes, I will be ready to go with you and do that in 30 minutes; and do it. You have taught me so much Debbie over the years. Jody

    • July 17, 2011 11:27 pm

      What wonderful advice. I love the idea of training our replys. I am going to do this and replace all my “buts.”

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