The Interruptions Are My Job

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Lately, I have had many opportunities to talk to my kids about big concepts, like racial reconciliation, the reality of evil in the world, and the hope we have in God. They ask a question without understanding the complexities and nuances hidden in the answers. I immediately seize the opportunity to talk to them about something really important. Sometimes they ask really good questions and it becomes a fruitful discussion. But there are always a few tangents … because 5 and 6-year-olds are not great at staying on topic. But they inevitably will at some point roll their eyes, because I almost always cry.

These moments are rarely scheduled or rehearsed, instead, they are almost always interruptions. Inconvenient little interruptions that are usually more instructive and enjoyable than anything I had on my agenda for the day. And, honestly, I don’t always seize them as opportunities. I have to shift my perspective to the reality that, interruptions are my job.

Inconvenient Little Interruptions

I’ll never forget when I first heard that statement. It came from a professor lamenting about students coming in and out of his office with questions and requests. He must have been having a hard time meeting a deadline, but I don’t remember the details.

But he was furious that he couldn’t get to his actual work because of all the one-on-one time his students demanded. And then something changed his mind. In the midst of his irritation with the constant interruptions, he realized that the interruptions were in fact his actual job. That time with his students was the reason he wanted to teach in the first place.

A New Perspective

In this time of extra togetherness, I feel like there have been more days than not where I can slip into a state of irritation from the interruptions of my children. But I remember what he said, “the interruptions are my job.” These little moments with my kids are why I wanted to be a mother in the first place. And it’s the greatest job ever.

opportunities

Don’t get me wrong I often feel like I exist in a battle between cherishing the time with my kids, but also desperately needing a break. I am a better mother when I have things to do besides parent my children.

Having regular rhythms in my day has helped so much in finding balance, a time for productivity, work, or hobbies, and as well as undistracted time with my kids. Plus instead of resenting it, I’ve embraced the reality that parenting never really takes a break, it was never designed to. And when I look for a silver lining, I would have never had so many of these opportunities had things stayed “normal.” A grateful perspective allows me to look forward to the interruptions instead of getting irritated by them.

The unscheduled, unrehearsed conversations and experiences I have with my kids are usually the most memorable and enjoyable. But it requires an openness and willingness from me to turn what would be irritating interruptions into sacred opportunities. So here’s to making more memories and teachable moments by embracing the many interruptions throughout our days.

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