At my house, the time between 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. is crunch time.
My kids get home from school. We catch up and talk about their day. They do homework then go off to play. I make dinner. We eat dinner. They do chores. I clean up. They get ready for bed and I get ready for bed.
There’s no time for anything else, especially DOWN time. It’s a finely tuned machine and if anything else gets thrown into the mix, the wheels come off and I’m in bed late. (Normal for me is 9ish.) That may not sound like a big deal, but when you have to get up at 3:40 a.m., it is.
The other night, I threw a wrench in the machine. It was a little after 7 p.m. and my kids started watching a movie. My son says, “mom, will you sit down and watch the movie with me?”
My answer is always the same and maybe it sounds familiar to you too: “I can’t honey. I have a million things to do. I have to clean, do some work and get ready for tomorrow.” I think I can count on one hand the number of times my butt has hit the sofa on a week night in the last year! I just don’t sit down! Too many things to do! You know how it is, there’s ALWAYS something that needs to be done!
This night was gonna be different though. I stopped in my tracks and said, “you know what Caiden, I AM going to sit down with you!” I don’t know what came over me! Could it be the spirit of “Enjoy the Moment?"
I walked over to the sofa, surprisingly I didn’t need a GPS to find it, and nestled in among my kids. It’s amazing how something so simple can feel so good. Before I knew it, it was 8 p.m., bedtime. I ignored it. 8:30 came. I ignored that too. It was one of those moments I didn’t want to end. It’s awful to say, but I spend so much time doing “stuff” with the kids that I don’t spend time doing “nothing” with them!
Then 8:45 rolled around. I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I got the kids to bed at 9 p.m., an hour late. I didn’t get the dinner mess cleaned up. I didn’t get my work email sent. And I didn’t shower. (Thanks goodness I’m not a sweater.)
But I WAS bathed in kid love for an extended period of time.