Endless causes to fight for, jobs to do well, homes to run, careers to maintain, dinners to make, errands to complete fill, if not overwhelm, our lives. Noble, wonderful, and responsible activities distract us constantly. Often these distractions feel delightful. They are productive after all.
Sometimes though, we need shift focus to the unproductive. Perhaps, in our haste to complete our to-do list, we overlook our most important responsibility. Our most important responsibility can often be found by looking down. Those fingers still caked with paint tugging on your shirt must be your priority.
Stating children should be a priority sounds controversial in my head. As I type, I feel the need to leave you with a list of caveats; they are not the only priority, don’t make children an idol, don’t find your identity in your child, making a career or cause a high priority does not mean you are not prioritizing your children, etc. It saddens me I feel the need to defend the valuing of young lives.
“Valuing young lives,” has a noble ring to it, I suppose. These young lives are our future. These young lives will shape the world long after we pass. These young lives need love and education. These young lives will be world-changers.
“Mothering” on the other hand, seems to have lost some value. The thought of reading stories, playing kitchen, or admiring dandelions seems a privilege responsible adults cannot afford. Spending time and energy on our own children can get lost in the shuffle of other important and good things. Yet, we only have a season in which we can spend such time with them.
Sometimes, we must turn down the photoshoot, let the dishes wait, and skip an evening out to look our child in the eye. A loving parent is irreplacable and a lack of one resonates into adulthood. We shape whole persons with our parenting. We hold a role of utmost importance, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
Today, do the unproductive thing. Surely you have values you want to pass on to your children, memories you want them make, and relationships with them you want to strengthen. Your children are worth every ounce of effort. This week’s unproductive thing in our home: baking cookies. What will yours be?
PS. Baking cookies really cannot be beat on the unproductive scale. It takes one million seconds for a child to measure each ingredient, dirties large dishes, requires much patience, and your end result is a sugary treat you you have to limit via threats. I’m just saying - moms and dads deserve an award for such activities.
Minnesota Lifestyle Photography
Danielle Geri Long
Selected top Minneapolis newborn photographers, Danielle provides award-winning lifestyle photography, photographing stories throughout Minnesota. Danielle often longs for the loveliness of the Twin Cities, while savoring country life just outside Buffalo, MN. Specializing in newborn and family photography, she adores watching families grow. Danielle and her husband are raising two delightful kids and attempting to reign in frequent over-committing, so they can do important things (like see each other and watch Netflix). Danielle travels to Annandale, Minneapolis, St. Cloud, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Andover, Buffalo, Monticello, and more. Contact her today at 763-670-7657.