My Books

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mommy, Phone Home

From everything you hear in the media, you'd think dads are the only parents who go AWOL. Articles abound about absent dads, deadbeat dads, and kids who don't even know who their dads are. It's a prevalent problem.

But there's a flipside. There are also MIA moms. Their kids are longing for an emotional connection that only comes from that special mommy-child relationship. I saw it firsthand recently when a six-year-old asked me to pray for her mom to "get better so she can call me." This little girl lives with her daddy, who is a very good parent, and her grandparents, who dote on her. But that doesn't fill the gap left by an absent mommy.

What to do? No one can soothe that lack in a child's life. No one, that is, but God. Our job as adults in their lives is to point these children to Him. Love on them like He would. Let them know how special they are. Take time to listen, encourage and laugh with them. Help their dads when they need a hand. Give them emotional and prayer support.

Do you know a child who is missing his or her mom? Whatever the reason for mom's absence, let's try to lighten these kids'  loads. What will you do?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Simple Help

One of my favorite sights every morning as I drive my daughter to school is a dad who lives on the corner of my street. I don't know him or his family. But before I'd even seen them, I saw their license plate "MA2TWNS" and I knew something about them. They had twins.

Later, I'd see them loading matching infant car seats into their SUV, so I knew they were tiny twins. Now the sight I enjoy so much every day is the dad caring for his babies. I think they're both girls. One morning I saw him looking oh, so tired. A baby probably about 2-3 months old was draped over his arm. He bounced softly as he walked. I guessed she'd been awake most the night and they were still trying to get her to sleep. I admired his gentleness in spite of his fatigue. I respected that he was giving the mom a break of sorts, even though she still had one baby at home. He looked like he'd been drug through baby hell.

Lately, Twin Daddy pushes a double stroller in the mornings while it's still cool. We live in Arizona and though the calendar says "fall," our thermometers still read triple digits by afternoon. But the mornings are nice, in the 70s. What a blessing to see a dad so involved in the care of his children. And I'm sure the mom appreciates a few minutes of peace and quiet, too. His simple, loving act of getting the kids out of the house must speak volumes to her each day.

I'm blessed with a husband like that, even though our kids are almost all grown. He understood that I needed time alone, caring for no one but myself from time to time. He'd take the kids out for ice cream or some event and give me guilt-free "permission" to stay home instead of making me feel I had to go along to everything. He still does this for me!

When I was a single mom, my dad would come over on Sunday mornings (which were always chaotic!) and simply put the kids' shoes on them for me while I touched up my makeup, or gathered our Bibles. Such a simple act made a huge difference in my morning.

How about you? Is there one simple act someone does for you that eases your parenting load? Is there something you do to help someone else? Let's share how we can help parents in simple, practical ways.