What is Holding Us Back from Playing with Our Kids?
Do you want to make special memories with you kids? To have those stories you talk about as they get older where the laughing makes it difficult to breathe or maybe makes you tinkle just a little? We have to get out of our ordinary daily routine, step off the path of work, school, dinner, bed and get out and explore with our kids.
While many of us may take our kids to the park or the beach or on other outings, I have a confession to make. Very often I find that my kids are playing in the water or boogie boarding while I sit in my chair watching them. I say I am relaxing. But why am I sitting in my chair? Why am I sitting on the park bench? Instead why aren’t I interacting with my kids? I am really good at taking my kids places and at preparing everything for the adventure (packing the snacks, and lunches, water, towels, goggles, etc) but what is holding me back from playing with my kids. From making the kinds of memories we knowingly smile at each other the moment we bring up, “remember that one time at the beach when” And we both giggle and talk about the double wipe out we had. Those are the memories I want for my kids and myself because sometime soon they aren’t going to want to boogie board in the waves with me or swing as high as we can go.
So I have to make a real effort to change my ways and get off my chair, get off my phone, stop talking to my girlfriend and start playing with my kids more.
My challenge for you is- are you playing with your kids? Do you get your hands dirty, or let your hair get wet?
Put on your bathing suit, or snow pants,leave your primping for your night out with you husband and just show up with the intentions of diving into the water and remember what it feels like to just live. Or play a game of tag at the park or go sledding with your kids.
You see the best stories start by sharing moments together when unexpected things happen, such as getting lost on the trail, finding a cool item, or wiping out. And I promise you will find that you are never too old to have fun like you did when you were kids. Really. Check out my photo of me below- I went sledding with my kids and we had made a little jump in the snow. I got serious air and landed on my tailbone. Fortunately, while I was sore for a week, I was not hurt. But seriously how fun will it be to pull out photos from this day and see this photo of mom flying through the air. How can we not laugh?
So my challenge to myself and to all the others moms out there is this. What is holding you back from having pure, belly giggles, grin from ear to ear fun with your kids. Why don’t you ride your bike and feel the wind in your hair? Or are you avoiding swimming at the beach or the pool because you don’t like how you look in your bathing suit? I understand I don’t love how I look in my suit, but I know that is not what is important, I need to let how I look go and jump in with both feet.
And don’t forget to go live and have fun with your friends. When I was camping on the Eastern Shore last Summer I walked with a few friends to check on our kids on the jumping pillow. We decide to live a little and go jump on the jumping pillow. My first thought was no I’m not going to do that. But since I had backup, or friend confidence I went for it. So we jumped, and laughed and jumped some more. Well lets just say some of our mom bodies just aren’t the same after having kids, and yep a few of the mamas tinkled just a bit. But I think it was worth it because we won’t forget jumping and laughing on that pillow for a long time.
We go camping every Father’s Day weekend and there are lots of opportunities for us parents to play with our kids. My brother Chris, is having a water balloon war with his daughter. What a great time and memories they are making together. They also have a peddle boat parent-child competition each year. One year all three of my boys wanted to enter the competition with my husband, so race after race, even as his legs burned and ached he kept going because each of our boys wanted a go at it. Turns out my husband made it to the final race and after his fourth or fifth race won the competition with our oldest son. Whew- but talk about the memories and fun they had. You can’t buy that sort of happiness- you just have to get out there and play like your a kid again.
I love this quote and I think its one to remember for all us mom who can let the doing and making come before the bonding sometimes because we are the care givers, the lunch makers, the drivers, the bakers, the boo-boo kissers, the shoppers, the cleaners and so much more. Put everything else on hold and GO HAVE FUN with your family. By the way, this applies to the dads too- it applies to anyone who is not getting up and going to play with their kids or with their friends.
You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again.
Involve Your Kids
Ask your kids what they want to do with you.
And then go and do it.