Moms of 4 Play Zone Defense

I was at a pool last weekend and I was observing another mother. She was literally hovering, like a helicopter, over her toddler. I kid you not, Little Johnny was never more than 6 inches from her hand at all times. Mind you… We were in the kiddy pool area where the water is only 1 foot deep.

As I watched her I started to feel inadequate and lazy. I was merely watching from the side. But I wasn’t being lazy, I wasn’t relaxing, or reading a book, or working on my tan (haha, it was an indoor pool, we live in Denver and it is January!). I realized that as a mom of four I have to play zone defense. If I play man-to-man defense it is likely that someone will drown.

In case you are not familiar with my athletic vocabulary… Google can help you out:
Zone Defense — a system of defensive play in which each player guards an allotted area of the field of play and guards an opponent only when the opponent is in his area.
Man-to-man Defense – a system of defensive play, in which each player is assigned to defend and follow the movements of a single player on offense.

I have to make sure I am close enough to assist an emergency but not so close that I can’t see the rest of the kids. God showed me what this means for my life and my particular story… I know there are times when I focus too much on one particular child. Each child seems to work their way in and out of the lime light for good, bad and indifferent reasons.

Meanwhile, if I am not careful, the rest of my kids are going to go under. I have to remind myself to play zone defense, keep my eyes up, and everyone afloat. I would never consciously favor one child over another, but if I’m not careful that is what I am doing.

Each one of them is capable of being my center focus; Payton is the oldest and always doing exciting new things for the first time for our family, Brady requires a lot of my time and attention, James is sweet and easy to love, MaryGrace is the only girl and my last baby.

If I am going to be really real with myself, I have to take a step back, scan the pool, evaluate each child’s breathing, and overall safety. There is nothing wrong with a little one on one. In fact it is something I strive for with each kid, each day. But outside of those shared moments, I have to be on my game.

The same applies to every day life. If I am overly focused on the behavior problems of one child or the wardrobe of another (seriously… dressing a little girl after having 3 boys is way too exciting/time consuming every morning!) I will lose sight of the rest and someone will slip through the zone. There is constant motion in this family; it is fun, and it is never dull, but it is a force to be reckoned with.

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Through God’s good grace I will keep my head in the game and dominate on D. We have an ominous God who plays zone and man-to-man all at the same time. I am so grateful I never have to worry about Him letting the water take me under. I am so grateful He is always there, watching, encouraging, protecting, and guiding. He is so good and the ultimate picture of a parent. Only through Him will I be able to do this mothering thing.

I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

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0 thoughts on “Moms of 4 Play Zone Defense

  1. Great decription of how us mom’s of 4 get thru the every day…and days at the pool which always made me nervous! In fact, public places still make me nervous. My oldest is 14, and can pretty much take care of herself (minus the emotional demands of high school…), but if we are in public and I can’t “see” her, I get nervous real quick! I guess it’s just left over from my hovering years as a new mom 🙂