I KNOW that I have to take the time to stop and do stuff with my kids...like the little stuff. I know this, but I really need to get better at doing it.
Just last night, my 5 year old said something to me that reminded me of this.
I had seriously walked in the door from work and started making dinner immediately. My 8 year old had to be somewhere at 6:30, so I knew I had limited time. It's a whirlwind on most week days after work, but especially if there is something to do in the evening.
So after dinner was over and my husband had left with both my oldest and youngest daughters, I was cleaning up. My mind was going a mile a minute. First I was going to get the dinner dishes cleaned up, then I was going to throw in a load of laundry, and THEN make lunches for the next day. And I was so tired for some reason so I wanted to get it all done and go to bed relatively early. For once, I didn't want to have a million things to do after the kids were in bed.
Then...my 5 year old asked me to read a book to her. Her favorite book. A book that we have read a bajillion times. (What, spellcheck? BAJILLION is a word and I swear we have read the book that many times!)
I gave her the usual line, "Okay, I'll read it to you as soon as I'm done". But she saw right through it and I think she knew I would never get around to it...because soon enough it would be time for a bath.
So she pulled out the big guns. She said, "I'll never get better at reading if you don't take the time to read to me."
Ouch. Damn, that girl is good.
But she was right. As a teacher, I know that. I should be happy that she is begging to read with me. Plus, it's not as if I'm the picture perfect housekeeper either.
So I let the dishes sit on the counter. And we read her book. We read it 3 times. The last time she "read" it...and even though she was winging it, she basically did read the whole book to me.
Listen, I am not the mom that is going to say never spend time away from your kids, always give them 100% of your attention, and cherish even blessed moment (even the hard core tantrums in the Target toy department...because they grow up so fast). That's not me.
But my daughter was right. I need to take the time. It doesn't mean every waking moment...but the little moments here and there. When other things can wait, let them wait.
I've got to get better at it...starting right now. Especially since I have been hearing doors slams and kids running around upstairs the entire time that I've been typing this.