Thursday, April 11th, 2013
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I was doing the usual “running” that I do yesterday—and by running I don’t mean putting on my Lululemons and jogging around the park! I mean running around like a wild thing to get everyone ready in the morning. Running to work, running to the subway, running to pick the kids up, running to make dinner. And then some more running until I finally collapse, flip open my laptop, and start tackling my inbox once the kids are tucked into bed.
As I was on my daily “run,” I suddenly noticed that instead of seeing the kids all huddled up in their stroller sleeping bags under a thousand layers of clothing (I tend to overdress them) and me wishing I had remembered my gloves, they had stripped down to their T-shirts during the school day, I had slipped on a pair of sunglasses, and there were even a few hours of daylight left to be enjoyed! Somehow spring had sprung upon us, and, in all the rushing around I had been doing lately, I hadn’t really noticed yet. It made me think: While having a schedule is important, would it really matter in the long run if today we didn’t rush home for dinner, baths, and stories? What if we skipped the normal routine and instead went on a park adventure, ate jumbo pretzels and ice cream for dinner, and then collapsed into bed together once the sun finally sets?
I believe in structure, and I often find myself obeying a rigid schedule with the kids. Many children find comfort and consistency in such things, as do we. But just as much as we need to change it up every now and then, so do our children. And the look of surprise and excitement on their faces when I tell them we can do something totally out of the ordinary warms the cockles of my heart. So when you find yourself enjoying the moment and appreciating the slightly warmer and longer days, really soak it up and make it last. Abandon the schedule, and make room for the moment. After all, we do want to teach our children about balance. Just because our lives sometimes seem all about the “running,” it doesn’t mean theirs have to be, too.
Whether it is playing in the rain instead of taking a bath, going on a park scavenger hunt during your usual story time, or deciding to have a picnic dinner on the carpet to shake things up, just do it! It’s these mini-rebellions to your carefully planned schedule and everyday routines that help teach our little ones (and us) about finding that delicate work-life balance for which we all so longingly strive.Add a Comment