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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Making The Effort

I know children grow up fast and that parents should try to savor and enjoy every moment of their childrens' childhood. Nevertheless, when you take a lack of sleep, lack of personal time, and join it with that the numerous responsibilities that accompany family life, enjoying your children can become challenging. I know I find myself thinking "I have so much to do today, what can the girls do to keep busy and preoccupied, so I can get things done?" Sure, we have devotion, read books, and eat our meals together, but I usually find myself using those times to impart wisdom and to teach new things that are "serious" to me. But, what about time for just plain ole' fun?

In his article, "Do You Enjoy Your Kids?" family therapist, Jeffrey D. Murrah explains, "The word 'enjoy' literally means to enter into a joyous state. To enjoy children involves reaching out and joining them in having fun. As parents join their children, a new reciprocity often develops. Children then start showing an interest in the parents' hobbies or activities. Another benefit is that parents and children know who each other helps to strengthen bonds. Knowing and enjoying who your child is as a person is preferred to what your child does. Enjoying your children also builds their self-confidence and sense of security. Enjoying children requires effort."

I thought, prayed, and read about this alot yesterday and afterward decided to make some real "effort" to play and have fun with my children. At first, I was actually nervous because I couldn't think of alot of things to do. However, I found that when I just sat down and made myself available to them, they had plenty for me to do. Not only did the day just seem to fly by, it was much more enjoyable as well! 

I could tell they appreciated my taking time to play with them. My youngest daughter kept giving me big hugs and kisses and saying, "I love you mommy." My oldest daughter kept thanking me for helping her with her computer game. I wondered, "Was she playing with this before and wishing that someone would help her with it?" I realized the girl's love pretend more than anything else. They pretended they were cooking, that they were running late for work, that they were snoring in their sleep and they needed me to wake them up. I just jumped right into whatever they did and "ate" the pretend food, commenting on how good it was. I asked them how their day was when they returned from "work." We played hide and go seek and other things as well and we all enjoyed each other and had alot of fun!

Of course, some housework had to be put off in order for this to happen.  But, I think that if I make sure I schedule some time for this kind of play in my day, I can get the important things done. As a mom, I give to my children in many of different ways. However, if I don't purpose to give them "me" then I've missed the point of parenting. After all, when this season of parenting has passed, the relationship that I have with them is going to mean more that how clean I kept the living room.


  1. You're a wise woman. There were many days that I would stop everything and "play" with my kids. Now that they are older they still want to "play" with me by confiding in me, showing me how to do stuff on the computer and listening to their iPods together. I text like crazy now because my kids like sending me the same text at the same time.
    I enjoyed playing with my kids then and I still enjoy playing....

  2. What a timely post. I've been going to the park everyday for the past few days and playing with my son on the playground, and I have had the best time.

    Initially going to the park was to let him run around and enjoy himself, but I have ended up enjoying it just as much by playing with him. There's a lot of fun to be had when you just stop and enjoy playing with your kids.

  3. It's interesting, because I have recently been trying to make a better effort in this area; in part because I'm potty training Elias and he needs more attention (so he doesn't have accidents), but also because I just realized how important it was. Yesterday, after the boys were down for a nap, Jenny and I did each other's hair. It was so much fun! Mine ended up all over the place and in my face, but we had a blast. Someday if we have been fretting too much about our homes or other material things, our kids will have grown up and moved on, probably to make the same mistakes with their kids - I hope to never see that happen!
    Still loving your blog!!

  4. Blessings to you!
    How's about taking a deep breath and saying out loud, "This is all I have to do for right now, the rest can wait and that's alright."

    A arm wrapped around a child and a gentle hug while saying "I love you so much and I'm so proud of you." goes a very long ways with children and husbands.
    I wish I had done this more often when my family was young. So I'm doing this now.

    As for the house work, yep it needs to be done, but I really wish I had played on the floor more with my children than I did.

    Have fun with all your children. It will make the chores so much more enjoyable for you and the children and not seem so burdensome. I have to do this even as an old lady. Ha Ha

    God bless you real good! And don't forget that you just had a baby and it's alright to not get all done that there's to do. More than likely you'll get another opportunity to do the chores. They seem to just hang around waiting for us to tackle them. Grins.

  5. they grow up wayyy to fast, we really do need to "enjoy" our children!

    i find myself saying "hold on" or "i'm busy" wayyy too often. i really do try to catch myself and just stop what i'm doing and do whatever it is B wants to do w/ momma! i really want to spend these times with him while he still thinks momma is cool! haha

  6. You should really think about writing a book. I am going to need to be able to refer to all of these pieces of wisdom when I have my own kids.


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