Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

Week 6- Being “Mom”

Alone Time for Mom
by Crystal Kirgiss

All I needed this morning was a half hour alone, thirty minutes of peace and quiet to help preserve my sanity. No mom-do-this, mom-I-need-that, mom-he-hit-me, mom-I-spilled-juice-on-the-couch.

Just me, a hot Calgon bath, and solitude.

I shouldn’t dream so big.

After getting the two oldest off to school, I settled the youngest in front of Barney and said, “Honey, listen closely. Your mommy is going to crack. She’s losing her marbles. She’s teetering on the edge of permanent personality damage. This is happening because she has children. Are you following me so far?”

He nodded absently while singing, “Barney is a dinosaur in our imagination…”

“Good. Now, if you want to be a good little boy, you’ll sit right here and watch Barney while Mommy takes a nice, hot, quiet, peaceful, take-me-away bath. I don’t want you to bother me. I want you to leave me alone. For thirty minutes, I don’t want to see you or hear you. Got it?”


“Good morning, boys and girls…” I heard the purple wonder say.

I headed to the bathroom with my fingers crossed.

I watched the tub fill with water. I watched the mirror and window steam up. I watched the water turn blue from my bath beads. I got in.

I heard a knock on the door.

“Mom? Mom? Are you in there, Mom?”

I learned long ago that ignoring my children does not make them go away.

“Yes, I’m in here. What do you want?”

There was a long pause while the child tried to decide what he wanted.

“Um…can I have a snack?”

“You just had breakfast. Can’t you wait a few minutes?”

“No, I’m dying. I need a snack right now.”

“Fine. You can have a box of raisins.”

I heard him pad off to the kitchen, listened as he pushed chairs and stools around trying to reach the raisin shelf, felt the floor vibrate when he jumped off the counter, and heard him run back to the TV room.

I sank back into the water.

Knock, knock, knock.

“Mom? Mom? Are you in there, Mom?”

Sigh. “Yes, I’m still in here. What do you need now?”

Pause. “Um…I need to take a bath, too.”


“Honey, can’t you wait until I’m done?”

The door opened just a crack.

“No, I really need to take one now. I’m dirty.”

“You’re always dirty. Since when do you care?”

The door opened all the way.

“I really need to take a bath, Mom.”

“No, you don’t. Go away.”

He stood in the middle of the bathroom and started taking off his pajamas.

“I’ll just get in with you and take a bath, too.”

“No! You will not get in with me and take a bath! I want to take my own bath! I want you to go away and leave me alone!” I began to sound like the three-year-old with whom I was arguing.

He climbed onto the edge of the tub, balancing carefully, and said, “I’ll just get in with you, okay, Mom?”

I started to shriek, “No! That is not okay! I want my own bath, all by myself! I don’t want to share! I want to be alone!”

He thought for a moment and said, “Okay. I’ll just sit here and you can read me a book. I won’t get in, Mom, until you’re done.” He flashed me a knockdown charming smile.

So I spent my morning alone time reading One Fish, Two Fish to a naked three-year-old who sat on the edge of the tub with his chin resting on his knees, arms wrapped around his bent legs, slight smile on his face.

Why fight it? It won’t be long before I have all the alone time I want. And then I’ll probably wish I had a lot more together time.

Looking ahead…

The job of mom isn’t easy, is it? A mother must be a resident psychologist, physician, theologian, educator, nurse, chef, taxi driver, fire marshal, and occasional police officer. And if she succeeds in each of these responsibilities, she gets to do it all over again the next day. It’s no wonder that mothers like the one in the story above so desperately need—and so rarely find—a few minutes to themselves.

Most mothers I know deserve a medal (mine certainly did!) for the passion they have for their children and for what they endure while raising them. These mothers would literally lay down their lives to protect the youngsters entrusted to their care.

We’re dedicating this week to you, Mom. Cherish your together time with your kids, and always remember that you hold a special place in God’s heart.
-James C. Dobson

“Alone Time for Mom” by Crystal Kirgiss. From More Stories for the Heart, compiled by Alice Gray (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 1997). Crystal Kirgiss, an author and musician, lives in northern Minnesota with her husband and three sons. Used by permission of the author.

Listen to today's broadcast of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk at  For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at

This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.

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About Dr. James Dobson

About the Hosts:
Dr. James Dobson:

James Dobson is the host of Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk. He is also the founder of Focus on the Family, where he served for more than 30 years.

A licensed psychologist and marriage, family, and child counselor, he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California for 14 years. He invested 17 years on the attending staff of Children's Hospital Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics.

Earning a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, he's authored more than 30 books, including his most recent bestseller, Bringing Up Girls. Dr. Dobson has also been heavily involved in governmental activities related to the family. He was elected in 2008 to the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley, the father of two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and the grandfather of Lincoln and Luci.


Dr. Meg Meeker:
Dr. Meg is a pediatrician, who has practiced pediatric and adolescent medicine for 25 years. She is the author of six books including the best-selling Strong Fathers/Strong Daughters: Ten Secrets Every Father Should Know, and its companions Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: The 30 Day Challenge and Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, 8 part DVD Small Group Study and WorkbookBoys Should Be BoysYour Kids At Risk, and The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose and Sanity. She is a popular speaker on pediatric health issues and child-parent relationships. Dr. Meeker has the heart of a mother and the wisdom of a pediatrician. 
Meg is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and currently teaches medical students and physicians in residency training. She has been married to her husband, Walter for 31 years. They have shared a medical practice for 20 years. They have three daughters ages 29, 27 and 25 and a son who is 21. She lives in northern Michigan.


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