You’re rushing around the house like a bat out of hell trying to get your things together and scoot the kids out the door. It’s like you’re running late for a meeting with your boss when you’re really on your way to the park.
Slow Down and catch your breath.
While driving in the car, your kids are asking for a snack and then water and then a toy and then a cat and then their blankets and then a book and then a movie. The park is 5 minutes away. You start to lose it.
Calm Down and concentrate.
Once you arrive at the park, you sit on a bench and check your phone, texting and uploading pictures to Instagram. Your little girl walks up to you and asks you to play.
Put Down your phone and play.
You blink your eyes and your kid is blowing out three candles on top of a Snoopy birthday cake. You ask him to make a wish, and feel like crying because of the preciousness and innocence of a 3-year old’s only wish.
Look Down and remember his face.
I’ve read about Slow Parenting before. The concept is simple. When your kids ask you to play, and you have a million other things you could be/should be doing…push it all aside and play with your kids. Observe them…even if it’s just for a few minutes. Carve out time for your family. I know it’s easier said than done.
I run my business out of the home. Like many others, I am able to do so because of technology. However, there is a time and a place for it. The mornings are hard on us, it’s my busiest time with work and the time of day when the kids are the neediest. They want breakfast, to play, to cuddle.
Lay Down and hold them.
I hear people say all the time: “I can’t believe Johnny is 5. Time, slow down.” Obviously, we cannot physically slow down time, but we can create little routines to connect with our children. Take time to breathe your child in. Have a conversation with them on the couch. Teach them something new. Teach them about love, acceptance and compassion. Play a game that requires imagination. Soak in the moments. Remind yourself these moments are fleeting.
Write Down memories.
Unplug from technology. Go outside. Play with them. Explore with them. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Take a slow stroll around the block. Let them soak in the neighborhood, find ants, count the mailboxes, play I-Spy.
It’s easy to talk the talk, which is why I’m challenging myself to walk the walk and try Slow Parenting. I’ll start tomorrow (a realistic goal) then push it to a week, maybe a month.
What about you? I know this is something we all struggle with.
While the concept isn’t groundbreaking I’m afraid if I don’t Slow Down now…there won’t be many more of these moments to slow down for.