Practical Parenting Ideas: How to Have Peace When You're Falling to Pieces

Monday, June 30, 2014

How to Have Peace When You're Falling to Pieces

Mommy at Play

Recently, I visited a dear friend in California. As she busied herself in the kitchen, her seven-year-old son came in from the backyard, looking for someone to play with. Since I was the only one available, he stood squarely in front of me, held up his stick-and-twine bow and arrow, and formally announced, “I would like to hold a shooting contest. Whoever shoots their arrow the furthest wins. Do you accept the challenge?”
      Well, who could say no to that?
      The funny thing is, I think he even beat me. I need to practice my archery skills.
      When I was young, people called me “responsible” and “mature for my age.” Later, after spending my high school years studying and mourning over horrible injustices such as A-minuses, I realized that “responsible” and “mature” meant boring. I wished I could be one of the fun crowd, the party-goer who could leave homework behind for a night and enjoy being with people.
      Now that I am busy raising four little people, it’s hard to balance the well-trained soldier of my childhood with the mother I want to be. I’d like my kids to learn responsibility, but I also want them to have fun! I want them to enjoy their childhood, to live loud and proud, to experience everything! And I want to experience it all with them.
      But sometimes it can be so hard!
      Why is that? We were all children once. Inevitably, though, at some point all of us forget how to play. For some, unwinding goes against everything we think we are. For others, that forgetting occurs just before our kids come along, and then we have to re-learn how to have fun. We stuff our heads so full of checklists and priority-setting that we shove away thoughts of non-accomplishment because we are good, efficient mothers.
                                                                  Purchase the eBook for only $0.99!
      Sure, it’s hard. But man, it can be fun. If my children were teenagers now, they’d be humiliated to be with me. I love catching one of my kids deep in thought and making a silly face at them, which results in a huge grin. My kids love the “kissing monster” game. They sit on my lap and I say in my most intimidating voice, “What does the kissing monster eat?” They tentatively say, “Kisses!” and I attack them with kisses. And yes, we’re the crazy family in the silver minivan that blasts music and rocks out at stoplights. I think my children feel more loved when Mommy is silly than when we have a clean house.
      Good thing, because ours is nothing like a clean house.
      It’s okay to be silly sometimes. Why sit on a bench at the park when you can chase them around, pretending to be a shark? Why grumble about how often your son plays the Wii when you can challenge him to a game? Kids love when we jump in and have fun with them.
      It’s a little unfair that dads have a reputation for being the fun parents, while mothers are considered the disciplinarians and the slave drivers. Why not switch it up a little? When we make the effort to play, it only makes the “serious mom stuff” that much more effective. A popular quote says that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” All the discipline in the world won’t make your child feel truly loved unless you throw in a spoonful of sugar.
      Childhood is so fleeting. We trudge through the muddy years of raising our kids, thinking they’ll never end, and suddenly they’re gone. Author Anna Quindlen said, “The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . I did not live in the moment enough. . . . I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”
      While we teach our children to integrate work into their play, they teach us to integrate play into our work. And sometimes the line between the two can become pretty fuzzy. Those are the best moments, aren’t they? Children and parents working and playing together, building a foundation that will last their entire lives.
      Let’s enjoy those precious moments—and our kids—just a little more. And don’t forget to brush up on those archery skills. You never know when they’ll come in handy.
(By Rebecca Rode, Author of How to Have Peace When You’re Falling to Pieces)

Purchase the eBook for only $0.99 for a limited time!

Learn more about Rebecca's book on Author Rebecca Rode and Rode Way of Life!

No comments:

Post a Comment