As the mother of three I know how easy it is to get caught up in the work and responsibilities parenting, and find that the time available to enjoy your kids is whittled down to next to nothing. This is especially true as they get older and have their own social and academic obligations. Time flies. That’s not just a saying, time really has wings, and it flies far away. You can’t stop it, but you can slow it down, one moment at a time, if you just think outside of the clock.
Hang Upside Down
Sometimes we get so locked into our patterns that it feels like it is impossible to change course. Kids don’t have this problem because they are willing to hang from monkey bars, do a cartwheel or two, in other words change their perspective. Don’t be afraid to mix it up, shake it up, throw it up, (your plans that is not your lunch). Walk to the store instead of driving. Have dinner for breakfast or breakfast for lunch. Life won’t break if you change your routine, but you might if you don’t.
See The Invisible
Share with your child something special. Something no one else has a design on, literally. Build a World together within your imagination. Go hunting for fairies. Follow a leprechaun’s path. Have conversations through bedtime notes with the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. Suspend your disbelief and embrace the magic that is inherent in childhood. Then maybe, just maybe those special, bonded days between you and your child will last a little bit longer.
Stop, Drop and Go
Be spontaneous. If there is an opportunity for you to just stop, drop what you are doing, and go somewhere unexpected with your kids, DO IT! Kids love surprises. They don’t even have to be huge, just unexpected, like a last minute movie, a quick trip to the swimming pool, a bike ride in the park at sunset or buy a giant blow up slide for your front yard. This could be just what you need to stave off a parenting emergency. Don’t let the precious time of childhood go up in smoke. Reignite the fun.
You Don’t Need No Stinking Bathing Suit
When you are a kid you don’t think twice about jumping in a puddle with your shoes on, or running through a fountain spray with your clothes on. Why? Because when you are a kid you allow yourself to live in the moment. But living in the moment is not just for kids. Yes, I know as a parent it is your job to plan for, and often times worry about the future. How can you possibly take the time to live in this moment? Well, you’d better because in the future your kids won’t be the age that they are now, and all of your hard work and preparation won’t be able to give you their age back, or yours for that matter. So don’t waste time looking for your bathing suit, jump in now. Yeah, your clothes will be wet for a little while, but those memories, they will last a lifetime.
You’re Never Too Old To Cuddle
Cuddling can be a state of mind. It’s about intimacy. My youngest wants to curl up as close as possible to me and have tickle fights. My middle child wants bear hugs, the tighter the better. And my eldest wants access to my TV, my iPad and my popcorn. (He can only have the first two.) The key idea is that they each have something special with me to meet their individual needs. It’s not prescribed cuddling it’s personalized, which makes it all the better. You just have to remain open to the exploration necessary to find that fit. And don’t dismiss those chance moments, like when you find your son in your room playing Wii. Instead of shooing him away, join him. Or at least occupy the space with him. Well, okay, maybe it’s a stretch to think my burly teen-ager is going to want to cuddle like he did when he wasn’t taller than me., but he is willing to share a couch and a movie. And he doesn’t even mind if I have to answer an email here or there. Well, mind may not be the word, more like notice. He doesn’t notice because he’s busy texting. So in a way we are cuddling, or at least our electronics are. It’s all relative, and it’s all progress.
Do you have any other suggestions. Well, speak up. Help a mama out! We’ve only got one lifetime with these kids. Lei’s make the most of it.
Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV , Wearetherealdeal.com , YoungChicagonista ,ChicagoMomsBlog , and ChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter , TOUT and LinkedIn.