A few days ago I had just finished switching a load of laundry and I was listening to a voice mail from my dad and kind of ignoring Jane. She pulled on my leg and said, "Don't talk on the phone. Just be a mom!"
The phrase, "Just be a mom" has been ringing through my mind since then. In one simple phrase she captured my most important role in time or eternity. And yet, how often I allow other things distract me from truly being a mom.
Last weekend this powerful reminder came from a prophet of God as he spoke of the importance of marriage and family, "many things are good, many are important, but only a few are essential."
Being present with my children, teaching them the gospel of Jesus Christ, and loving and serving my husband are essential. Clean laundry is important, ironed laundry is good, but only a few things are essential.
It's okay, and even necessary, to have other interests, hobbies and activities outside of motherhood. But, those things should never detract from what is essential.
Last night Jane put me to the test.
I was making dinner in the kitchen and she was playing with a stuffed animal on the couch in the living room when this conversation began.
Jane: "So Mom, what are you up to?"
Me: "I'm making dinner."
Jane: "Oh. Then what will your second job be?"
Me: "I'll probably wash the dishes."
Jane: "Oh, okay. Then can your next job be to laugh with me on the couch?"
How could I pass up such an offer?!
The dishes are still in the sink, but they don't mind being neglected. I'll get to them and nothing was lost.
But had I chosen the dishes instead, as I too often do, Jane would mind being neglected and the moment would gone forever.
Only a few things are essential.