Amidst all of the clutter and useless info I’ve found on the internet, there are a few articles and essays that I remember as gut punches - eye-opening revelations, many of them somehow popping up just when I need them. You may have read Hands Free Mama’s popular post, “The Day I Stopped Saying Hurry Up” when it came out a few years ago (if you haven’t - dare I say - hurry up and get over there). It’s a heartfelt article about a busy, distracted mom learning valuable lessons from her imaginative, stop-and-smell-the-roses kiddo. I read Rachel Macy Stafford’s words a while ago, but I think of them often. Her message was a heart-wrencher that has stayed with me.
“My carefree child was a gift to my Type A, task-driven nature—but I didn’t see it. Oh no, when you live life distracted, you have tunnel vision—only looking ahead to what’s next on the agenda.”
She goes on to describe how this revelation reminded her that her child was teaching her about the important things in life. Slow down and notice the world, take time to enjoy the things you’re doing. Live life. I’m thankful to Hands Free Mama for this reminder, and thankful for all of the beautiful “noticers” of the world. I have two of my own, and I try daily to accept their lessons and soak up the magic way they view the world. (Disclaimer! I should note that I often feel much more qualified to read this blog than write it. Slowing down is an on-going battle, and more successful some days than others. Raising little people is HARD. At my best, though, I can’t think of anything more important than being with these awesome kids. )
So take a moment to slow down and start noticing. It can be a huge mind-shift but something that gets easier with practice.
- Take a walk around the neighborhood and point out things you see.
- Go out for ice cream and take time to savor each bite.
- Put away your phone and make dinner with your child.
- Stop for a yoga break with your kiddos in the middle of a busy day.
- Diffuse a stressful evening with an impromptu dance party.
Do what you can, and see what happens. Things might soften up a little, get a bit more fun. And I promise - your kids will notice you noticing them.
Wishing you play,