I took the day off work today as the kids are on Spring Break this week, and we went out to lunch and the park. It was great to breathe in the 56 degree fresh air and play – really play – with them for a few hours in the sunshine.
When did we stop doing that as adults? Simply playing.
My oldest asked me last week, “Hey mom, how come you never play with us?”
My heart melted a little with guilt. “What do you mean, bud? I always play with you guys.”
“Not really, mom. You read to us and you watch movies with us. But you don’t really play with us. You’re always tired after work.”
He is right. I don’t. Kids have a funny way of speaking the truth, whether you want to hear it or not.
Having recently taken a more demanding, challenging position at work, I have been completely focused on that over the past few weeks. I certainly do not feel guilty about wanting to both raise/enjoy my children but also commit a large part of my day to work that challenges and energizes me. However, you simply cannot give 100 percent of your time to work, family, spouse, children, hobbies, etc. at the same time. Something has to give a little. Recently for me, that has been my amazingly supportive family.
In a new position, it is easy to get lost in the sea of all that needs to be accomplished and learned. Since I am enjoying the work, it is easier to get lost. Today, I chose my kiddos. I took the day off of work even though we did not have anything planned.
We chatted about the future, about Pokemon, and about school. We giggled and shared jokes. We played hide and seek, and I pushed them for so long on the swings that my biceps pleaded for rest. Driving home from our simple day of hanging out, I felt complete and at peace. It was just what we needed. It reminded me that even if I am doing what I love at work, I need to take the occasional break and just play with my littles. They will not be little forever, and in the daily grind of adult life, we so often forget to pause and just play.
Sure enough, at bedtime a few minutes ago Ryan hugged my neck and whispered, “You’re the prettiest, most bestest mom ever. Can we play together again tomorrow since there is no school?”
Thinking about my likely 12 hour day ahead, my first thought was ‘That’s not likely, kid!” Then I intentionally paused. I work from home. I can choose to create moments in between the busy. Surely I can create a few moments of play time tomorrow to cement the memory that mom DOES play with them, most days.
“You got it, dude. Of course we can play tomorrow. I love you.”
“I love you, too mom…. We can play Uno and I am gonna kick your butt!”
In addition to creating memories, I have created a competitive monster. Just like his momma. I am so proud. Take some time to play today, guys. It might just surprise you with how much it does for you… and the most important people in your life.