Do I Spent Time With My Kids or Just Next To Them?

By November 11, 2013General

Note from Kat: This is a guest post from Kayse Pratt.

We baked muffins yesterday.

By “we”, I’m referring to myself and my two-year-old. My very active, not at all patient enough to bake muffins, two-year-old.

And by “baked muffins” I mean we dumped ingredients from a box into a bowl, and got more ingredients on ourselves and the counter than actually in the bowl.

But we baked muffins. Together. And it was fun!

Admittedly, the perfectionist in me struggled the whole time. I could have easily done everything myself, in much less time, and so much cleaner. I could have checked it off my to-do list and moved along to my next task. But if I had chosen to do it myself, I would have missed out.

See, we didn’t just bake.

We talked. We laughed. We learned. We made memories. Over muffins.

I’m trying this thing where I spend more time with my kid. Not just next to her, but with her.

I’m really good at spending time next to her. I’m blessed to stay home, so we’re together all day. But often, she’s playing and I’m on the computer. She’s eating lunch and watching Elmo while I browse Facebook. She wants my attention and I want just five more minutes to finish a blog post.

We’re together, but we’re not. I’ve realized that I’m missing her life, and that terrifies me.


I don’t want to look back on my life in twenty years and realize that I missed the precious time I had with my children by living in a state of perpetual distraction.

I’ll be honest. I think puzzles are fun for about three minutes. Playdough is the bane of my existence. (How does it get everywhere?!?!) And I’m eight months pregnant, so getting down on the floor to have a tea party, and then getting back up again is basically a full-body workout for me.

But I love my daughter. I desperately want to grow her into a woman who knows she is loved and cherished, understand she’s been made for a purpose, and lives with a passion for the One who made her.

I’m learning that I can’t do that distracted. I have to do it in puzzles and playdough and tea parties. That’s our season right now, and those are the moments I’ve been given. Precious moments.

Before I’m a writer, or a blogger, or a community leader, I’m a mom. And I want to mother with a purpose and a passion. Focused and effective, not distracted and scattered.

The realization that this does not come naturally to me? It’s humbling. It drives me to Jesus, because I honest-to-goodness just can’t do it without Him. It takes everything I have, plus His strength, to stay engaged and consistent and undivided.

But I’m trying. I’m putting down the computer, praying through puzzles, and learning how to live out my purpose as a mom.

And she is noticing. The tantrums have lessened. The hugs have increased. We are enjoying each other in a way we’ve never been able to before.

It’s worth it. The sacrifice of giving myself to the work of raising her, it’s paying off already in little moments, big smiles, and muffins that came from a box.

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Be sure to check out Kayse’s new eBook, Undivided Mom! It’s a 14-day devotional for moms who feel distracted, pulled in a million different directions, and really just desperately need Jesus to keep them from losing their ever-loving minds. It’s about mothering with a vision, with a purpose, for His glory, and through His strength.

This is a book for anyone who is longing to find a glimpse of Christ in the chaos of everyday motherhood.

It’s for you. For me. For all of us.

CLICK HERE to check out Undivided Mom and grab your copy now! Use the code UMSPECIAL20 to receive 20% off of ALL of the eBooks in Kayse’s store! (Coupon expires 10/31/13.) You can also find Undivided Mom on Amazon.

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profilepicture2Kayse Pratt is a teacher turned stay-at-home mom, married to her favorite musician. She is passionate about the Truth and has a heart to encourage women who are quietly struggling in their faith. Relatable and witty, Kayse writes in a genuine way that both endears and entertains. Kayse writes about faith, family, and real life on her blog, Additionally, Kayse is the founder of Simply Devoted Ministries, a contributing author for Allume, and serves as a leader for (in)courage Community Groups.

Kayse would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Leave a Comment



  • Really good words here!

  • Chrysti says:

    I needed this today. Thank you!

  • Niki says:

    Coupon has expired 🙁 these will make great Christmas gifts!

    • Kat says:

      I’m so sorry about that. That was my mistake. I moved the date of the post and failed to ask for an updated coupon. I’m in contact with her and I’ll let you know what I can do. Thanks!

  • Kayse, you are just fantastic. Love your heart and this is a great reminder for all us mamas out there!

  • Christy says:

    I needed to hear this, but I’m disappointed this went live with an expired coupon attached.

    • Kat says:

      Yes, that was totally my bad. I changed the date for this post and failed to ask her for an updated coupon. I’ve emailed her and I’ll let you know if I’m able to fix it. Again, my apologies!

  • alyssaz says:

    Fantastic, challenging words. I have no natural ‘play with children’ mode, so too many times I am playing alongside her and not with her. I would like this to change before she gets too much older.
    PS this devotional is FULL of encouraging words for mommies!!!

  • Shari says:

    Excellent post!! I soooo struggle with this!! It seems like all the stay at home mothers I know struggle with the pull of the internet. In years past it was other distractions- TV, chatting on the phone, etc. But these days it is the internet.

    I’m as guilty as anyone. I’m sitting here typing this while my 3 year old is sorting colors and my 7 year old is working on math. I WILL post this comment and then sit down with them.


  • Cate Pane says:


    Thank you for this excellent, thought-provoking post. When my children were young, I wasn’t distracted by a computer or smartphone. Rather, it was the home phone or attending to tasks without having my children involved. I did find that sitting with them and interacting was critical, as well as engaging in activities in their presence (cooking while they played with pots and pans, reading the newspaper while they thumbed through books). We must all keep in mind that “we control technology” rather than technology controlling us!


    Cate Pane

  • Lel says:

    Thank you for your amazing words. You are truly gifted! Your post serves a great reminder for me that while I am with my boys (age 6, 4 and 5 months), I need to be more PRESENT. I must learn how to focus and like you, I cannot do it intentionally without Jesus. God bless!

  • […] featured Kayse Pratt on the blog and the podcast a few weeks ago, and because I had changed the posting dates on those, […]

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