My husband could clearly see I needed a break. He began to gather the kids to take them out, so that I could have some time alone. “Where are you going?” “What will I do while you’re gone?” “Are you gonna do something fun without me?”
Why is it that when I am with the children all day, I sometimes fail to consider how to spend that time enjoying them? And, when they leave my presence, I feel like I’m missing out on something?
Because of the fact that they are with me most of my waking hours, I can sometimes take for granted that small window of time (yes, it is a small window even though it feels like forever) that I have with them. Can you relate?
Here are 3 things that we can allow to get in the way of enjoying our children.
PBSkids got me through some rough adjustment periods of being a mom of three children under 4 years old. But just as it can get quite addicting to watch TV, it can be equally addicting to continually turn it on for your kids just to get some peace and quiet.
Perhaps during those few hours they are glued to the tube, you can clean your whole house, make a fancy dinner, pay the bills, and return some phone calls. You may even feel quite productive, but the time you could have spent playing with the little ones or listening to all their funny talk has been replaced by Elmo and Mickey Mouse.
When we have a chance to splurge a bit and go out to eat, it’s not uncommon for us to notice scenes like the one above. Unless they all happen to be texting each other, I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to assume they’re not really having too much bonding time.
Though my kids don’t have their own devices, I’ve been guilty of allowing my own access to technology to get in the way of noticing my children.
“Mommy, did you see me go across the monkey bars?”
Or, did we find our Facebook newsfeed more interesting than our child’s latest playground accomplishment?
Surely, Facebook can wait. Set the phone aside. And, try to have fun with your kids sometimes without thinking about sharing that moment with the whole social media world.
To Do Lists
This is probably my biggest obstacle. I’m so task-oriented that I run into the danger of seeing time spent with the kids as another duty to check off my list. Or worse, I see it as something that hinders me from completing that checklist.
If, at the end of the day, you failed to cross off even one thing on your agenda, but you read to your toddler, made some rainbow loom bracelets with your daughter, and taught your boy how to dribble a ball, then you accomplished way more than can be quantified by a written set of goals.
Let’s identify those distractions, steer clear of them, and start savoring the simple joys of parenthood!
What keeps you from enjoying your children?