Benefits of 'daughter time'

Julie Filby

As I prepare for the coming of the Son this season, one thing that has helped me hang on my (constantly challenged) Advent spirit has been reflecting on the importance of Daughter Time.

Two weeks ago, our daughter Vaughn celebrated her fourth birthday. I left work early to take cupcakes to preschool (where she spends Monday through Thursday learning and playing while I’m at work). She was happy to share sugar with her friends—and was pleased with the enthusiastic rendition of “Happy Birthday” in her honor.

After the celebration, I suggested we go to Starbuck’s to hang out and have hot chocolate before picking her second-grade brother up from school.

Vaughn: Yet’s just go home and pway for a while.
Mom: Are you sure you don’t want to go for hot chocolate?
Vaughn: Mom, yet’s go home.
Mom: Do you want to go to Target and pick out a princess for your new princess bed?
Vaughn: No. (getting mildly annoyed) Can we just go home and pway?

She wasn’t concerned about treats or toys, she simply wanted to go home and have me all to herself. So that’s what we did. She needed some Daughter Time.

A child experiencing a parent’s undivided time and attention feels loved, secure and at peace. Perhaps this is something we never outgrow. Even when we’re the ones providing it, we need to seek it out for ourselves as well … with our heavenly Father.

I was reminded of this at confession a few weeks ago. The penance Father assigned me was to spend five minutes of dedicated Daughter Time with God. He advised me to let go of any worries associated with being a wife, mother, employee, parishioner, housekeeper, grocery shopper, party planner, family calendar coordinator – and simply surround myself with the Father’s warmth and unconditional love.

In a woman’s many given roles, it can be pretty common to feel overwhelmed with responsibilities, particularly as Christmas draws near. Daughter Time can help provide the comfort, security and serenity needed to continue to glorify God in those roles—and hang on to that Advent spirit—which is not always easy to do in a season where over-spending, over-committing and otherwise over-indulging often prevail.

Just as my earthly parents have done for me so many times, God will “provide cupcakes” and otherwise rejoice in special occasions with me, he’ll carry me through challenges, he’ll encourage me to slow down, and he’ll generously provide his undivided attention … any time it’s requested.

A meditation to kick off Daughter Time:

“The Lord is my peace. He puts me under his wing of comfort and calms my spirit within me. He takes all my anxieties on Himself and helps me focus on Him.”
    —“Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow

Topics: Faith , Family , Motherhood

Julie Filby, wife and mother of two (ages 8 and 5), is a reporter for the Denver Catholic Register newspaper. She also enjoys blogging at Mother’s Musings about the simple ways Christ is unmistakably present in every-day family and work life. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter. She also contributes to CatholicMom.com and Catholic Lane.

View all articles by Julie Filby

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April 23, 2014

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