Yesterday morning we were all running behind. I still needed to get myself dressed for work, and both kids still had not gotten dressed or brushed their teeth. It was 8:00 a.m. we leave around 8:20 a.m. My 5 year old daughter walked in asking to please be snuggled. She has been struggling with me being gone more for work. Honestly I think we are all still adjusting, including me. So here I was in the midst of our crazy morning routine when my sweet 5 year old reached out and was vocalizing what she needed, her mom’s undivided attention. She had tears in her eyes and said “Mom I really miss you and I really need a snuggle.”
Thankfully in that moment I clearly heard “everything else can wait.” And so we snuggled for 5 minutes and talked about school, and her doodle drawings, and why bees are so beautiful to her. I could feel her sadness lift. Something as simple as 5 minutes with me could erase her bad morning. The weight of that hit me hard. How powerful something as simple as my undivided attention and time is. That what I say and do is important in my children’s lives. That being on my phone instead of engaging with them is sending a message she’s not as important. Or having to have the kitchen just so before I can snuggle in the chair at night. My 8 year old son (who is wise beyond his years) has asked that we have phone free hours in the evenings. He said it makes kids feel like a shadow when adults are glued to their phones. Reread that….he feels like a shadow. A person who’s invisible. That was profound. I find when I really listen to my kids, I end up learning a big lesson.
We have an important job as parents. It’s a hard job, and impossible to get it right all the time. I know I don’t. I have times I’m not getting it right, and that’s ok! I’m human, you’re human. Each day brings a new challange, and each kid is as different as each parent is. There is no one way to do any of this parenting thing. I’m not writing this to judge anyone or make it seem like I’m making great choices all the time. I’ve had many days I wish I could do over. This day though, I got it right. I paused.
A years ago I would’ve been annoyed and probably told my daughter I didn’t have time. I would’ve shrugged it off and kept rushing around as if the world would end if we weren’t out the door by 8:20. I’m trying to listen more. I find it’s a never ending battle of giving them what they need and navigating how to teach them hard life lessons in the midst of that. All the while I work on learning the things I need to be better at. I constantly need to remind myself I’m learning right along side them. Different lessons both important.
We get so few moments like these. The days of them wanting to curl up against me are limited. Them wanting to tell me every detail of their day is fleeting. I often think of my best friend who has passed away. How she has missed out on so many of these moments I somedays take for granted.
This is a reminder that everything else can wait. Let those kiddos see you seeing them. I get it, we can’t always enjoy every moment. Let’s be honest with each other, somedays in parenthood just plain suck! It’s ok to feel that way. We can also try to pause more and take in the not so sucky moments more often and with better focus. Find the goodness in the chaos. If we take time to pause, it’s easier to remind ourselves that this is the good stuff. These children only want one thing…us! Who else on this planet loves you for everything you are without any expectations? Dogs and kids, that’s it folks. They simply love you because you are you. So Pause, be you, and watch their faces light up. ❤️