After having kids you think to yourself where did all my time go before I had them. Yes, we are all busy, but after having kids it is just different – you get busy taking care of other people. As a mother your mind is filled with a long ‘TO DO’ list: clean, cook, laundry, take care of the kids, help the kids with homework, shop for groceries, shop for clothes, as well as every other supply your family may need, and of course your outside job.
Sometimes we get frustrated with how much we have let go of ourselves and how much we have to do. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day. The only solution sometimes seems to be to have a coffee or two and stay up to get everything done.
This is exactly how I use to feel: lost, disorganized and stretched for time. I felt I could never get the things I planned to get done, actually done. Let’s face it days with kids are unpredictable. Things are always changing or something comes up. But maybe that is the beauty of having kids; it seems that as adults we forget to laugh and go with the flow. Maybe our children are here to teach us something too, not just us teaching them all the time.
Not too long ago I met a mother at one of my daughters’ playgroups who made me look at things in a different way. Kelly has two older children, 17 and 15, and four years ago she decided to have another child. Kelly mentioned that with her two older children she missed everything. She had a demanding job and worked long hours. Which yes, allowed them to have a nanny, a big house and expensive cars, but she said it would break her heart if the kids woke up in the middle of the night asking for the nanny and not her when they were younger. She felt she missed out big time and wanted to actually raise a child and not miss out this time.
This made me think; my daughter is almost 4 and will be going to kindergarten full time this year…where did the time go? Am I missing out on my kids? Meeting Kelly and looking at my children really made me realize that I don’t want to miss out. I want to enjoy and build that bond that is ever so important. Playing at the park, reading a story, or colouring with my daughter are the times that she and I cherish the most.
What can we do as mothers to treasure the moments? Yes, home cooked meals, clean laundry, a clean house and working is important. But maybe we need to sit back just a little and not stress as much. If clean laundry sits in the basket one more day it’s not a big deal. It can get folded the next day or the day after. Once we learn to let go a little we need to start living in the moment. Just take the time to be with your kids; playing, talking and just enjoying the moment they are in.
Here are some ways you can enjoy more time with your kids:
- When your child asks to play and you are doing something that is not a real priority put what you are doing aside and play with them. You can get back to it when they have gone to bed.
- Take pictures whenever you can. Capture the fun moments you have together.
- Plan short adventures, a trip to the park, playing hide and seek in the backyard, going to the library together, having a picnic…there are so many little things you can do.
- Create a ritual with them; it could be as simple as reading a story every night before bed.
- If you have a lot to do then involve them in your work, kids love to learn. Yes, it will take you longer to do something but they will love that they helped you out. Things like folding laundry (it doesn’t have to be perfect), unloading the dishwasher, baking something, helping you at the grocery store, putting groceries away and cleaning the house.
When I have had a busy day at work, I go home exhausted and my kids come running to me smiling with their little arms wide open to give me a big hug. This gives me all the energy and happiness I need. There is nothing like the true love that comes from their hearts. I know if I don’t take the time to enjoy them now I will regret it when they are all grown up and living their own life. As mothers we have to be more relaxed, patient and take the time to enjoy life with our kids. This is what our kids teach us!