“Mommy, you look not very good today. You need more make up.” says my five year old to me the other morning. I didn’t look good?
This coming from the little princess who was, I am embarrassed to admit, still wearing the previous nights spaghetti sauce dried on her cheeks. I glanced in the mirror and shared her sentiments—after all, I was still in my pj’s, too busy getting the kidlets ready to impress the world with their cute pink tights, matching shirts and uneven ponytails. After waking up three times during the night for potty breaks and miscellaneous reassurance I did need something….oh that’s right…it’s called SLEEP!
Parenthood is tiring, relentless, incredibly challenging and of course AMAZING. Three girls later I often wonder what I did with all my free time before they took over our world. I am so amused when parents-to-be state that THEIR children will follow THEIR schedule. Sure. Have fun with that!
The reality is that there’s simply not enough time in a day for all that needs to be done. Our INBOX will never be empty.
Do you ever COLLAPSE in bed at night and, upon reflection of your day, feel overwhelmed and tired for…yourself?
We are spending so much time, money and energy providing for our children we are too often missing out on the most influential and character building opportunity of BEING with our kids. Not driving around from one activity to another. Not reading the paper or catching up on emails while they hang in their room (this is a tough one for me). Being there means being a part of their world in a PURPOSEFUL and PARTICIPATORY manner.
After all, we had kids to ENJOY them right?
Here’s a few ideas for you (from toddlers to tweens):
- colour or draw together, while reminiscing about the many colouring contests you won during your glory kid days
- bake your favorite treat TOGETHER and have an inside or outside picnic for the whole family to enjoy them
- take a walk together
- work on family scrapbook photo albums (tweens/teens LOVE to do one celebrating all their BFF’s too).
- plan an at home sit down dinner at LEAST once a week (try weekend brunches too!). Remember, no cell phones, TV or video games at the dinner table.
Our kids, from babes to late teens, NEED US. They truly do. Don’t let a pair of rolling eyes and incessant “whatevers” convince you otherwise! It is our responsibility, as caregivers, to maintain and continually invest the most necessary time, patience and love into the relationships we have with our children.
TRY THIS: SURPRISE your child with a date night (something they would like to do). Get excited. Let loose and have FUN!
We live in a challenging time for parenthood. Perhaps we should just take a BIG breath. Laundry can wait. Dishes will NOT spontaneously combust. Let’s not get too attached to expectations that seem to drive our daily routines. With family relationships, just like romantic ones, staying connected is much more difficult from afar. We need to BE together to STAY together. Opportunities for AUTHENTIC CONNECTION don’t always just happen: as parents we need to set the stage for such interpersonal magic!
Enjoy the JOURNEY.
Trisha Miltimore is a National Inspirational Speaker, radio broadcaster and mompreneur and her website is found at contagious.ca Growing up a part of the family business, she knows first hand the hardships and privileges of entrepreneurialism—and what it takes to ignite and maintain an attitude of success. Trisha is also very passionate about health and nutrition. As a certified Dr.Sears L.E.A.N Coach, she speaks to organizations, community groups and Parent Advisory Councils teaching practical nutritional ideas based on the L.E.A.N (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, Nutrition) program. Her greatest challenge? Motherhood. Three girls later, Trisha need not look far for new material! Find Trisha on Facebook and Twitter.