My typical early morning routine is snuggling with the little man after he transplants himself from his bed to ours. His little mouth parted in deep sleep and sharing my pillow. It is a great way to spend the last hour in bed.
But now things are changing. He is less concerned with sleeping in (till 6 am) and more on playing with his toys. This morning, he left my bed to go play “conductor” with their remote control train. Apparently, I am making the trip down his priority list.
Each new day brings so many changes. The last time he received a vaccination he told me “that was awful – shots hurt.” (What he sounded like was “thaaaaa awfoo -sho hurr – sho hurr – sho hurr”), but I got his message loud and clear. He has opinions. He has feelings. And most of all, he is ready to embrace more of the world as his own. My daughter has her own set of advancements. She shocks me everyday with her brilliance. My kids are growing up right before my eyes and it is awe-inspiring.
I think every mom can agree time goes by so quickly. But I am not prepared for this warp speed. Every day feels like the last day of vacation where you look back and think, how did we spend all that time? Is it already over? 24 hours does not feel the same as it did in my 20’s. In an attempt to slow things down, I must change something.
My usual fall back is to revert to my business experience . And I know some great time management techniques. Without dragging you through a long, yet productive process(my original plan), I will just cut to the ending.
I have to live more time as a human “Being”, as opposed to a human “Doing”. What makes time fly, is we are constantly doing stuff and wishing we could go back and be in the moment again. Instead of wishing for a Mulligan, I can practice and perfect – “being there”. Staying in tune with what they need and where their hearts are. I must be present for our kids 100% of the time during our interactions. They get that from their teachers and other caregivers. It is my responsibility as well.
The flip side of that is I know I will never have enough time. Ever again. Because, I will never have enough time with my kids. There are too many towers to build, too many stories to read, and too many soccer balls to chase. But I still have to get stuff done, like cleaning, preparing meals, helping others, and that little thing called work. All those things cut into the precious little time I have with my kids. (No wonder parents are under so much stress. Just reading this last paragraph stresses me.)
This thought had me thinking. I still relate more to my way of thinking before having kids. Where I completed my to do list and then spent time on the extra stuff I enjoyed. There was balance because I had more “time”. I have to change my thinking. I don’t need more time right now, I just need to “be there” when it counts. I need to change my to do list from business and family management – to making more memories with the kids. I think if we focus on the memories and not the management there will be more fun in the day-to-day of it. I cannot make time stand still but I can fill what we have with what matters.
So here is what I endeavor to do more of in the future:
- Live more outwardly and less inwardly. To share more of what I see as things of beauty in the world. Happiness is only real if it is shared, so I want to share more of it with my kids.
- Be less of a heavy thinker and more of an easy smiler. (I look angry when I think, but I am not. I am just in my own state of contemplation and confusion) Instead of remembering my face of befuddlement, I want my kids to remember me smiling and that we smiled often.
- Find more ways to incorporate the kids into day-to-day living requirements. They love to contribute. They will one day have something of their own to manage, so we can learn to do it together.
- The hardest one: Turn off the outside world and not allow the unnecessary to distract. This way we can live a life of creation not reaction.
- But most of all – Live real life 100% of the time with my kids and not worry about creating a fantasy land. They really just want to be with their family anyway. Childhood is about filling expanding hearts and minds. I choose to fill both with real life joy not fairy tales.
So what are you focusing on? How do you maximize the time with the little people you love?