Recently I watched a video on Facebook where children around the ages of 5 to maybe 10 years old were asked questions pertaining to what they like to do after school, and what they like to play with as their Parents watched and listened from behind the scenes. They went on to ask them about play-time with their Parents and their responses were a bit heart wrenching and made their Parents get emotional. The small children talked about how they would ask their Parents to play with them but they were “too busy” or they responded by saying “we’ll play later” but that time never came. One child described how Mom was too busy with her phone “taking selfies.” The video struck something in me because I know that if my daughter were one of the kids being interviewed her responses would be no different and it immediately broke my heart. Click here to watch video. The video ended very well with the Parents eventually surprising and greeting their babies and they were given several games to play with their Parents and they played right then and there. You could see the excitement and happiness in the children’s faces by the simple act of taking time to sit and play with no distractions. It was an eye-opening video for me, it was targeting younger Parents because we often times move through life so fast that we forget to take time for the things that matter the most. It doesn’t mean we love our children any less or do it intentionally, but we do need to be more conscious of our children and remember that quality time is the greatest gift we can give them.
As you probably have figured out by now the dreaded “Mommy guilt” set in as I reflected on this video after watching it. I thought about the video even days after watching because it meant so much to me. It’s not easy balancing being a single Mom, working full-time, school part-time, your child’s activities, and other obligations, on top of attempting to making time for yourself. So I understand and identify with my fellow parents of young children, it is a daily effort! I can only speak for myself and I have got to do better! I don’t want my daughter to ever EVER feel as though I am too busy for her. I don’t want to get too wrapped up into making a living for us that I forget to actual live and enjoy our lives together, these days are already passing by so quickly. This tender age is so magical and meaningful. I don’t want her to ever think that anyone or anything is more important than her, and misinterpret that with me being “too busy,” so I should display this through my actions. It’s OK to get “checked” as I like to call it, because that shows that we’re aware that improvements need to be made. Life is all about learning from mistakes and actually exchanging those habits for better ones. So with that I have made some changes to make sure I am more present in our time together and carve out time in our day to do things she chooses without phones or tablets present. If you are like me feel free to join me and making sure we give our children the best and most of us that we possibly can! Here are 4 habits I have began to implement:
- Eating dinner together (without our phone or ipads) spending this time talking about our day.
- Making sure I take time to play with her during the week. (Board game, playing with her dolls, drawing/painting, etc.)
- Designate a day on the weekend to plan something fun for her to do.
- Read her choice of books together each day.
These are a starting point for me and I’m sure this list will grow as I notice more changes that need to be made. I know that these little changes will make a big difference!
“Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on the earth, for what they believe is what they become.” -Unknown