STOP! Take a moment, what do you hear? The sound of little footsteps running around manically, the sounds of destruction as every toy is pulled from its box, the sounds of little voices around your ankles “mummy come and play”, “daddy help me” or the whines of despair as your child desperately wants you to stop what you are doing to pick them up, hold them, play with them, sit with them.
It’s manic being a parent, there’s so much to juggle, there are not enough hours in the day and not enough sleep at night. Trying to complete anything with children around is a mission in itself, the house never stays clean, as if by magic all the hard work scrubbing and cleaning has disappeared instantaneously, the laundry pile is never done. You may get it washed, even dried and well done if it’s folded but how long before it makes it way into the wardrobe before it has been worn and needs washing AGAIN.
But those sounds won’t always be there, it won’t always be this mad and chaotic – “I can’t wait” I hear you cry through exhausted eyes, I get it, I really do, but when that moment comes, stop, take a moment and what do you hear? silence, silence because they are in their rooms playing by themselves or with friends and siblings, silence because they are old enough to venture out on their own, silence because they don’t ask for you any more.
I’m not trying to guilt you, you see I’m a mum myself with two small boys, I’m forever being pulled in different directions but what I do notice is that right now I am needed, right now I am wanted. “mummy put your phone in your pocket” I get from my eldest one, the youngest swings around my ankles and literally pushes me away from the kitchen side so he nestle in and beg to be picked up, “mummy play with me, just for one minute please mummy”.
How easy is it to say “just give me five minutes”, “let me finish this and I’ll be right there”, “just play with ____ whilst I do this”. It so easy to think I’ll just do this then I will play and hope that they will distract themselves long enough that they’ve forgotten about you, how many things do you try and get through before you really do go and play, how long do you “play” for before you think you’ve done your bit and now you ‘need’ to go and hoover, clean, fold laundry, answer a few emails etc.
There are moments of clarity in life when you see things for what they really are, the haze of the hustle and bustle of life is momentarily lifted and you see what you have in front of you. For me I see my boys, I see that I am a mum, I see that my time with them is quickly disappearing, they are growing too fast, time is whizzing by and I am wishing it to slow down, yes I clamour for a hot brew and moment alone to just reset myself before wading through the toddling tornadoes and their chaos once again but I have realised that no amount of putting them off makes my life any easier, in fact it’s harder. It is easier to go and play, to join in with the mess, to just be with them.
So Stop! Take a moment, take a moment to sit and play a little longer, take a moment to have an extra cuddle, to read another story, to just watch your babies, because before too long they wont be babies anymore. Life will always be there, there will always be washing to do, carpets to hoover and bathrooms to clean. But one day the chaos will become calm, the noise will become silent, and the need and want for you to play will no longer be as strong as it was.
Don’t lose those moments, don’t waste your time, make the most of it all because once it has gone, there is no turning back, the only time you can guarantee your children is the moment in which you are with them right now.
Stop! Take a moment, what do you hear?