When I’m busy writing for my paying job, I sometimes ask my children to wait. In many cases, I finish typing the sentence or thought that was on my mind, save the document then comply with their request. Other times, I am so absorbed in an interesting assignment or meeting the deadline that I forget what my child wanted. In many cases, they either move on to something else or get whatever they needed themselves. While I try not to make ignoring them a habit, it happens.
My husband totally disagrees with my philosophy to ask the children to wait. If they want something, he thinks they should get it right away. Admittedly, they usually do want something to eat or drink. Other times, one might want to get online while the other asks for help assembling a toy. Their requests are not unreasonable, and I stay home so they can do school and be taken care of…by me. Yet, my work is also a priority.
This week, he and I had a rather heated discussion about this topic. I’m not sure we will ever totally agree, but after our discussion, I found myself worrying that I am being too selfish by asking them to wait. Maybe my husband is right and I should immediately stop whatever I’m doing so I can help them right away.
My more practical side jumped in with arguments of why waiting is good. By asking them to respect my project, they learn to value others. Waiting at home prepares them for the hours they must wait in life…waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting on the telephone for customer service to answer the call, waiting to save money to buy something they want but do not need. With these arguments, I think asking them to wait is actually helpful and a valuable life skill. “Just let me finish typing this thought” is a phrase my students at home will be hearing more often this week!