We are all so busy…..
“Hurry is the enemy of love.” Steve Biddulph
I love this quote by the wonderful parenting expert, Steve Biddulph. It is a reminder to me that we need to slow down, live in the moment, and appreciate the here and now…easier said than done I know.
I notice that more and more people talk about how busy they are. It seems to have become a common response when you ask somebody how they are. Maggie Dent (another parenting guru) said recently that it has become “a socially acceptable response as though being busy shows that we are worthwhile and valuable” and this makes me sad for us as parents and for our children. I feel we can tie our self-worth and self-esteem to keeping busy and doing things that other people can notice.
Social media also plays a negative role in this dilemma. We see other people achieving, doing lots, going places and we can question our motivation, leaving us, at times, feeling like we need to do more to be better parents.
It is the old cliché but so true…. love is spelt as T.I.M.E in child’s speak. They just want you, they don’t need big extravagant outings, fancy cafes and play centres they just want time with you and a picnic in the backyard, a family movie night at home or a simple trip to the park to kick a ball will bring them joy.
Recently our youngest son Sam (nearly 7) started to ask us to write out our plans for the day. We would talk about what we might be doing on a Saturday and he would ask to write it down. I thought this was a fun opportunity to get him writing but I soon realized it was his way of getting us to commit because we can be guilty of making plans and getting caught doing other things. Yes, we will go to the park, yes, we will watch you bike ride and then the day would get away from us and it would not always happen. It was a wonderful reminder that our children will tell us what they need. They are craving connections with us, and I can assure you those connections change as our children get older so try and be in the moment and enjoy them when you can.
Please do not feel guilty when you cannot find hours and hours of time for big adventures and outings, just make the time you can dedicate, really count. Allow your children to have your full attention for that moment, time or experience and you will find that is so valuable to both of you. I am now careful that we “write down” what we really can achieve and what we may need to get done first as Sam will keep us accountable!
Lastly, and most importantly, we are not measured by the pace of our life and I do not believe we are valued by our achievements but by our relationships.
Navigating Parenthood Together