Time. Think about a typical weekday evening at your house. Are you on the phone? Are the kids watching tv? Maybe you’re running errands and dropping people off at different events. For us, a typical evening is frantic, with Pman doing homework and Little Bud wanting to play. Mind you, they are also gobbling down snacks like they haven’t eaten in a week. Once homework is complete, the focus shifts to dinner, which they aren’t very interested in after having consumed three days’ worth of calories in 30 minutes. (Also, there’s the challenge that I’m a terrible cook and have to find something that I can “make” amidst the demands for “More food, mom!”) Once we are convinced that we’ve given a healthy meal our best effort, we begin the bath time adventure. Finally, after several rounds of snuggling and checking in, the boys settle down before they have to get up again fresh the next day.
It is in these moments between school and bedtime that I lose focus on enjoying the moments and appreciating time. It’s funny how the only time we seem to think about time is when we’re pressed for it. It seems it takes a holiday or vacation to realize the importance of this precious resource. The recent Thanksgiving break is a perfect example.
At Thanksgiving this year, my uncle said it best–you can make all the money you want, but you only get so much time. That’s so true! Before Thanksgiving break, the stress in our household was at a fever pitch. The boys were tired–for children their age, they do have long days–and we were at our wits end. A break from the alarm clock and time to slow down did us all a world of good. The boys got along. They willingly shared–as in, it was their idea to share without fussing and fighting. We put the screens down and played outside. We enjoyed our time together.
Now, as we stare down the barrel of gift buying, wrapping and giving, I desperately want to embrace these moments. I’m not talking about Hallmark movie quality moments, but little moments like taking one more trip outside before bed to look at our Christmas lights or pausing to take a breath when I’m feeling overwhelmed with the grind of homework, dinner and bath time. Spending 40 hours a week at work while balancing the needs of family is hard. Why do we make it worse by overscheduling, ignoring the fact that we’re tired or missing the joy in daily life?
I know it will be hard to stop and smell the roses with everything that December brings, but at least for now, feeling recharged by the break, I’m willing to try.
My goal this Christmas is not to get caught up in having the perfect holiday. Instead, I want to slow down and appreciate time, whether it’s flustered or fantastic. With two young boys, I’m sure we will have our fair share of both. However, there’s no one else I’d rather spend my time with–most days anyway! My goal is to stay focused on that for as long as I can. After all, there’s only so much time, and our children are only little for a short part of it. Happy December!