Remember what life was like when you were a kid? Remember how long summer seemed to last and how it seemed like an eternity till Christmas? As time passes, we gradually change from trusting children to adults with all of our baggage. Time seems to fly by, and the stresses of life our carried on our shoulders. Sometimes life can seem dreary, or monotonous, or too hard to handle. As a mother, just getting through the day sometimes can be a struggle and raising children can feel like Groundhog Day. The dishes never stop piling up, there is ALWAYS laundry to be done, and newly mopped floors are immediately dirtied with crumbs, smears, and spills. Just when I think I can’t take it anymore, another day begins and it all starts over again.
Thank goodness children have a different perspective on life than we do. They can be our greatest teachers if we let them. The same children that can create utter chaos in our home and bring me to my boiling point, can also bring tears of joy to my eyes and laughter to my heart. If you’re finding life a little too hard, try looking at it through the eyes of a child.
Slow down. Kids are more concerned with how much fun they are going to have than their responsibilities for the day. (We mothers wish it was reversed). Make sure to schedule some down time each day, time to unwind and relax. Juggling too many plates eventually ends in nothing but a big mess. I usually end up screaming at my family or getting sick or both. Eventually our bodies will make us slow down if we don’t do it voluntarily.
Laugh and Cry. Kids love to laugh at…EVERYTHING! A good laugh can ease burdens and relieve stress. So can crying. When my kids get their feelings hurt or get injured they have no problems crying. As adults we tend to stuff our emotions or “tuff it out.” This only adds to whatever burdens we are already carrying. Do yourself a favor and let it all out. It feels wonderful and it’s free!
Keep it simple. Ever notice how you can buy your kids the coolest toys and then they end up playing with boxes, lids, and countless other things you think are junk? They don’t need expensive stuff, they don’t need a full schedule of karate, dance, piano, etc. We sometimes over complicate our lives in order to be “successful” or “happy”. My kids are happy if I just stop my craziness for 2 seconds and spend time with them. Nothing can replace that. I remember as a kid always wanting my mom to stop cleaning and play a game or watch a movie with us. I find myself doing the same thing with my own kids. It’s not that hard and means the world to a child.
Forgive. Thank goodness my kids are so quick to forgive because I am FAR from perfect. When do we become so quick to hold grudges? In my experience, children just don’t hang on to stuff like grown ups do. I can scream and holler and get after my 4 yr old and then turn around to see her holding her arms out and begging for me to hug her. She is my example of forgiveness. My greatest teachers are not even half my size!
LOVE! Oh how kids love to snuggle and hug and just ooze love from every pore. Even my child who tends to not like people at first and gives major crusties, begs to snuggle with me in bed every morning when I first wake up. Everyone needs to feel loved. It’s healing. It’s vital to our lives. So show someone you love them in whatever way that works for you. Even if you’ve been hurt in the past, don’t let that keep you from filling your heart again.
Have fun!! My 6 yr old son is constantly asking me, “What can I do for fun today?” It can get annoying to hear over and over and I have been known to say, “If you’re bored, you can help me do all of my stuff because I’m not having any fun!” While it’s true that my kids need to learn the value of hard work and avoid laziness, I could learn a lesson from them too. If I’m not having any fun in my life, it’s my own darn fault. Find something you enjoy doing and that you can look forward to each day. Life is short and meant to be enjoyed. It’s not just about work every day. Take a vacation even for a day, or an hour.
I know the day will come when my children are off on their own. I will miss these days. Hopefully I can absorb as much of their childlike attributes while they are still young. May we always find time to connect with a child and in turn connect with our own inner child. The world will be a better place if we do.