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.