It is really hard to enjoy life sometimes. We get too busy with the the little things that we forget to enjoy the big things – which are sometimes so simple.
I don’t remember the last time I just played with my kids. I am usually just trying to entertain them while I try to get other things done, or have one hand on my phone replying to emails or making lists while the other hand half heartedly holds a toy for one of the kids. I try so hard to be present for my kids – that was the whole purpose of staying home. But I realize I am usually just bogged down in the “work” of being a mom (and business owner).
But yesterday was hard. A lot of juggling, mini-fires and a few terse conversations and I was just spent. Life had just seemed so overwhelming. Then my daughter asked me to play with her on her little fold out couch. For the first time in a long time, I put down my phone and sat down with my kids.
We played some silly game of “drop the block.” If my daughter missed the block I dropped through her hands, she was penalized with tickling. My son was happy to try to intercept and distract her by crawling on her and pulling her hair. There were even moments where he pulled himself to standing and tried to clap.
Every time my daughter was tickled, giggling ensued, my son laughing hysterically, just as loud as my daughter. For a solid half-hour, we sat on this impossibly small couch and just played. The pure delight on both my kids’ eyes fortified me. It made the day perfect. Laughing with my two kids was the most relaxation I had in a week, and the best possible use of my time.
As a kid, my most favorite memory was playing in our extra bedroom with a green and white checked sheet. I was still a baby, I remember being in diapers and just the fun I had that day with my parents. It was such a sunny and perfect memory. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of good memories growing up, but that one always stuck with me.
I want those types of memories for my kids. I want thousands of those memories. And I know they are spontaneous, but spontaneity is not easy with busy schedules and time commitments.
Everyone talks about time-blocking. Emailing only at certain times, blocking off chunks of time to work on specific tasks and pre-planning your day. I think you need to block off a chunk of time to just do nothing with your kids. No playdates, no activities, no interruptions, just you and your kids, one on one. I am committing to making appointments with my kids. They should be my most important client, and the appointment you never cancel.
I have decided to make the first thing on my list of to-do’s per day making my kids laugh. A good, hearty, eye watering laugh. My day is not done until this happens more than once. This is a recurring appointment, no end date, repeat daily, no specific time or time limit.
What special appointments do you have with your kids?