So often, I’m rushing around trying to get things prepped and ready to go. But I distinctly remember a while back, there was an instance when my son started getting sad, looked up at me with his puppy eyes and said, “stop it, mommy! play with me please.” It stopped me in my tracks, and I realized how much I tend to run around doing so much *for* my kids that I miss out on spending time *with* my kids.
While I am more cognizant now of carving out that quality time, it doesn’t change the fact that those tasks do still need to get done. So what we’ve been doing more often is inviting our kids into what we are doing and getting them involved, whether it’s cleaning, cooking, prepping, or whatever the task at hand may be.
Yes, it slows us down – like when my son decides to read every book we’re trying to put back on the shelf, or when my baby girl unfolds all the laundry I just folded, or like today, when she ATE all the strawberries I was trying to cut for the water we were making. It’s tempting to want to just do it myself and get it done more efficiently. But that time spent together yields more than just a finished task that took 3x as long; rather, our kids experience that we’re present, they feel that they matter, and we also get to enjoy some amazing moments that can sometimes turn into highlights and even the sweetest of memories. Plus, they appreciate the end result that much more – we’ve found that they are that much more into eating food they’ve helped prepare, since they’re invested too. 😉