If you’re a parent you’d know how busy we are.
Our brain never stops thinking about what needs to be done next…the dinner that needs to be made, the laundry the needs to be done, our endless to-do list…we are always go go go.
So many times while I’m in a middle of a task, Elle would come running towards me with a smile on her face, ‘mama, come play’.
80% of the time I reply ‘sorry Elle, I have to make dinner/feed your brother/wash the dishes.’
I feel really guilty when I decline her invitation and I justify it by making myself believe that I have to get dinner on the table or that the task really needs to be done right now.
Then I read this.
When we are too busy doing things to accept our child’s invitation to play, to truly listen to our partners or to simply be with our family, we miss out on the beauty and connection that those moments have to offer us. – Sarah Joseph, Prenatal to Parenting
And I am reminded that not only am I missing out on playing with my daughter, I am missing out on connecting and bonding with her, missing out on strengthening my relationship with her, missing out on her childhood and most importantly, I am missing out on my daughter’s life.
Wow, how is that for making one change their behaviour?
And so, this week I’m practicing slowing down and stopping. Here is what happened…
Several times this week, when Elle asked me to play with her while I’m in the middle of a task, I stopped what I was doing and let her hold my hand as she guided me away from my chores to her play area. I was present the whole 3 minutes of us playing together, after which she decided to move onto something else (maybe she got bored with me?) and I was able to return to my task.
One evening while I was cleaning up dinner and wiping the table, I heard laughter coming from Elle’s room. I heard my husband and Elle playing silly games with each other and having a good time together. It immediately reminded me of a quote…
The purpose of a task is to strengthen the relationship. – Davina Fear
I decided in that second that wiping the table by myself is not strengthening any relationship…so I dropped the cloth and joined their silly games. We played, laughed and cuddled…a beautiful moment that would’ve been missed if I didn’t stop.
This practice of slowing down and stopping is teaching me to not get too caught up with the daily grind. There will always be more dishes that needs to be washed, another meal to prepare or another to-do list to tick off. This moment with my family that I’m invited to is a blessing and it’s invitation is time sensitive.
I need to accept these invitations to connect with my children – this is one way they feel loved and know that they matter.
And with that, I’m going to end with this quote. (I know, I’m just full of them)
My life will not be “better” when I’ve crossed something off my to-do list. My life is perfect, right now. – Jesh de Rox
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about Slowing Down. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Practicing Presence.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
Ricky from Daddy Blogger says slowing down doesn’t come naturally.