Contributed by Alicia La Hoz, PsyD
Have you noticed how conscious we are of how we use our time? A whole industry of watches exists to meet our scheduling demands. When we sleep, work, eat and play is determined by defined time frames we’ve adopted.
We anticipate the change of seasons and take delight as we witness the vibrancy of the Spring that has now come alive and resurrected us from our winter slumber. Spring brings us hope of a warm summer filled with fun. Our children’s activities for the summer months have nothing to do with sledding and ice-skating and everything to do with swimming, riding bikes and going on summer vacation.
Not only are day-to-day needs determined by time, but also by our planning styles. Some of us have a built in future mindset that helps guide current day-to-day decisions so that the future is safe and predictable. Some of us, on the other hand, have a present mindset that plans and makes decisions based on the day-to-day realities, not taking into consideration what the future has in store. And yet some of us are bound by past experiences, which seem to determine how our current decisions are made.
Listening to our loved ones is one of those challenges that requires us to live outside of our timing boundaries. Children, spouses and co-workers come to us with their own agendas interrupting our carefully scripted schedules. They have a knack for choosing the worst times to speak to us about their needs: right when we come home from work, are in the midst of a project, during our favorite reality TV show or sports game, while paying bills, etc.
Some of us have a real hard time dealing with these interruptions that threaten to throw off our perfectly scheduled lives. Some of us are pretty flexible and can manage and problem-solve while being attentive to those demanding our attention. But face it, most of us are terrible at stopping in our tracks, taking off the ticking watch, and listening. Most of us, except moms that is.
Just observe a playground with a couple of mothers who appear to be absorbed in conversation. Then watch what happens and children come running over tattle telling or arguing over whose turn it is to go down the slide or play with a toy. The whole time that group of moms has been paying attention to their kids and know exactly the situation and are able to be the most adept mediators. There are so many good, caring and attentive mothers out there who live outside of the demands of time to meet the ongoing and incessant needs of their children.
This week as you celebrate Mother’s Day, break away from your time constraints and for once listen to your mother. Really listen to her concerns, about her dreams and about what she would like. Instead of making demands, be the one that gives. Give her the gift of listening.
Did you know that 41% of children born today are born in single parent homes? Most of these homes have mothers who are strong, everyday heroes in their families. These mothers need ongoing support so that they can successfully raise their children and not fall into toxic relationship pitfalls that spiral them into more distressed lifestyles. This mothers day, considering supporting a single mother by providing her a scholarship to participate in our comprehensive programs that will equip her towards achieving self-sufficiency and provide her that necessary skills to maneuver the most challenging relationships in her life. Click here to donate.