Today my to-list is to that unruly length again, the lenght that I already know it’s not getting done any time soon. Which is no different than yesterday, really. I mean, who am I kidding? Life as a working mom, right? But if there is one thing I’ve learned about motherhood, is that our children mimic our most hidden internal feelings. Stressed? I’m not stressed:) But then I hear it when I catch myself saying, “Hurry, get in the car!” or “Get your shoes on right now!” Or, I see it when they start bickering or getting frustrated with their own situations. That’s my signal that we are disconnected and I need to slow down.
I may not be able to "slow down" to the point of taking everything off my list (that would be a dream!). But what I can do, is preserve my children’s childhood that I feel is becoming endangered by the modern stressful world we find ourselves in. They feel stressed when we feel stressed, and these feelings are foreign invaders to them and give the message that they aren’t being seen and heard. More on this later, but it comes down to mindfulness and perspective shifting on our part. They will feel what we feel and how we interact with them is part of that communication.
One simple antidote for a busy day, is to just get on the floor and play. Five minutes (even less!) of getting on the floor and being silly with your child will bring instant connection to you both. When the to-do lists get really long, the first thing we forget about is FUN. Not just for the children, we know they need it! It's easy enough to take them to the park and sit on the sidelines on our phones. What I mean is the kind of play you do TOGETHER. When we stop everything and connect with them in their world, it sends the message that we SEE them. We CARE about their brilliant ideas and creations. Being the ringleader in their circus, building a house with blocks next to their magical castle, or letting them put dressups all over you and being the extra animal on their safari.
For me, it also shifts my mindset into the purpose behind this all. Are we “getting things done” to get things done and have a tidy end to our day? Or are we getting things done so we can provide the happiest environment for our kids? I’m thinking it’s the latter, in which case, making time for PLAY becomes essential.
So today, I'm reminding myself to take several small little chunks of time to truly be present and let my kids know that Mom is fun too, and knows how to be part of their world.
It's these simple motherhood moments that truly make childhood magical.