“In the end, kids won’t remember that fancy toy or game you bought them, they will remember the time you spent with them.”
It’s the hustle and bustle of the holidays and sometimes I wish I could freeze time. If I could freeze time, I think I would take that long awaited nap I’ve been fantasizing about. When I woke up, I’d tackle the spring cleaning that is way overdue. After that I would feel like I’d be in the mood to focus on what’s most important, and that is my family. The truth is, no one’s invented or will ever invent a way to freeze time. This means it’s up to us as parents to not allow the beauty in life to pass us by.
I don’t want to wake up one day and realize my little princess is not putting on her latest dress up clothes, but instead trying on wedding dresses. I don’t want life to go by so fast that my 9-year-old is suddenly in college and I am left with regret over not spending enough time with her. With work, school, housework, and appointments, how do we fit in quality time with our kids? I have been thinking about this all year and realized that there are certain rituals that my kids and I need to start doing so that we can have that special time together even in the midst of life’s chaos.
One thing we’ve started to do consistently is go to the library. We check out a giant bag full of books, and every night before bed each of them get to pick a few. We lay down on the bed and have story time as a family. I always use different voices for different characters and we talk about the story as we go along. This has created not only a bedtime routine, but quality family moments together.
Another thing I tried this year was being spontaneous. After church one Sunday, I picked up some snacks and told them we were going on a field trip. I drove them up to the mountains and let them get out and explore. This was awesome because it was unexpected, it was out in nature, and we took lots of pictures for us to remember what it was like to be “on top of the world”.
Something I need to work on is playing with my children. Often times, I feel that I’ve neglected this aspect because they have each other to play with and this gives me time to get things done around the house when they are upstairs involved in make-believe scenarios with their dolls. Instead of using this time to do more housework, I really want to make an effort to join in on their playtime. It doesn’t have to cost a ton of money to spend quality time with your kids.
Finally, I want to try something new. I would like all of us to go do something we’ve never done before. This could mean another spontaneous adventure, or it could simply mean baking something as a family that we’ve never tried.
The bottom line is that I have the desire to spend more time with my children. I’ve made a point to rearrange my January schedule at school to eliminate a class that will free up more time with them, and this New Year is my year to begin to invest time in my children. They won’t be little forever, and I want to cherish all the moments we have before they slip away.