Taking Time

• 22 March 2010























Last night we put the kids down nice and early, after a very, very long Sunday. Taking advantage of the quiet, I sat down at the computer to hoping to find a specific photo--something popped into my mind earlier that day and I wanted to be sure to make note. What ended up happening I did not predict.

As I went through every.single.photo. on my computer I became emotional as I took in how many pictures I used to take (especially of my first child), and all the fun places and activities we've done together as a little family over the years. I realized that as the size of our family increased, the "fun factor" in our family decreased. You know what else decreased? The amount of pictures and video I record. I contemplated this situation for a couple of hours and came up with a few thoughts:

1. There are some days when I just screw up my priorities--i.e. putting more emphasis on my "to-do" list when I should be stopping. recording. playing. talking. and enjoying my children.

2. Being happy is a choice...and how I react to situations is also a choice. Fun Mommy needs to show her face more often.

3. Focusing more on the experience is more important than perfecting logistics.

4. Memories are an important part of a child's self-worth and as a parent I need to do more to create more and record more.

I know Mondays are full of long lists of things to get done. It's a busy day for many of us..but maybe today we should all take the time to create a fun memory and ignore that "to-do" list for a bit. Take a silly picture. Interview your child for 5 minutes on the video recorder. Follow him/her around the yard for 10 minutes looking for signs of Spring together. Because life passes by far too quickly and soon that little person won't be so little anymore.

Just a thought :)

xo

33 comments:

Hannah said...

Wonderful thoughts.

Sarah said...

I agree! I have often thought about how blogs often take us away from our families and I want to be more present than sitting at my computer. That's why I limit how many blogs I look at, yours has remained on the reader through many decluttering delets! It' s important to live life with your children. Not separate lives. Wonderful blog post.

Meghan said...
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Starr said...

I started reading this post about 2 hours ago. I'd gotten through the first two points when the oven timer beeped: brownies were ready. Rather than getting one for the munchkin & running off to do something else, I got a brownie for myself & sat down with her. Only five minutes of her-&-me time, watching her swing her baby legs & listening to her chatter in toddler-speak, but it's special to me. It's a moment I wouldn't have taken without your thoughts in my head. Thanks.

Jill said...

well said. i couldn't agree more!

lynne said...

so well said. we used to call my mom mrs. work and my dad mr. fun man - not fair at all, because he could come home from work and just play with us, while my mom had to make sure we did our homework and learn life skills, etc. It's a hard balance! i don't want my kids to think of me as just a slave driver. :)

Thanks for the reminder.

Kim said...

Thanks for the reminder. ;)

Lisa said...

very well put, and so true! As my older kids are getting bigger and my younger ones take much more time, I've noticed less and less pictures, videos as well. My three year old told me yesterday that she wanted Snow White to be her mom. She hasn't even seen the movie, but has a valentine her cousin gave her, and I just can't help wonder what's running through her head when she pictures Snow White as mommy. Probably a beautiful dress and a princess mom, but it has made me stop and think. thanks for the important reminder!

LobotoME said...

lovely post!!

Girlfrog said...

What a great reminder! I'm really good at making and doing "big memory" type of stuff such as birthdays or projects but I've realized that just as important- or perhaps more so- are the day to day moments of sitting down with your child and "playing."

Mary said...

Posts like these are why I love your blog. Thanks!

Joslyn said...

good words of wisdom friend...and a great reminder!

thank you!

Marilyn said...

I say this quote by Anna Quindlen:
"I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less".

Elsa May said...

What a great post & lovely ideas. As mothers I think we all struggle between getting through our to do lists & being fun - you're post is a lovely reminder that when all is said and done having fun is what's important, and what will be remembered. Hope you have a lovely day!

Andrea said...

I've been thinking a lot about the same thing this weekend--the need to simply enjoy my kids more. They are growing up so, so quickly.

I love your insights here. And thanks for the reminder about capturing the moments. I think I'll pull out the video camera today.

The Ruckers said...

This hit home hard today..this same subject has been weighing on my heart for weeks (I hate being busy with errands and to do lists anyways! )...thanks...being a mom is hardest job in the world! But the most rewarding!

Becky said...

good post. thanks for the reminder.

michelle said...

Amen. What a great post. I love your suggestion about interviewing your child, I plan on doing this as soon as she wakes up from her nap.

Kris said...

:)

Anonymous said...

I have a question I ask myself at different times during the day. What are the kids going to remember? I'll ask myself, "Are the kids going to remember how fast the laundry was folded and put away or that you took the time to read them a book?" When so many things things need to be checked off the never ending list, it's easy to forget about what's really important.
Thanks for having the guts to say it out loud!

{april kennedy} said...

Oh I needed to read this post. I have been meaning, for three weeks now, to climb into bed one evening with my precious almost 13 year old girl, who has an attitude that is driving both her daddy and me crazy, and remind her how much I love her...and list for her all the reasons I love her. Thanks the reminder that I need to do that TONIGHT!

Engracia said...

You are so right, thanks for the reminder.

Today Hilary... said...

So true...I'm constantly picking up all my girls toys instead of playing with them.....Tomorrow's another day!

Trish said...

definitely. it's easy to get pre-occupied and loose track of what is important. kids grow so fast these days, we need to cherish every last bit of it.

AmyF Hackworth said...

Such a great reminder, Stephanie. I also find myself taking fewer pictures lately, and it's so sad. Already our six year old seems so big, and so skinny! Thanks for sharing this insight!

heather said...

you don't know me, but i love to stalk your blog and have been for a long time. as an avid "list-maker," i want to thank you for reminding us what's really important.

littlemissairgap said...
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littlemissairgap said...

When child #1 was small, I made her a flip photo album with shots, just of her, with every extended family member so she would get to know them. A few photos of child #2 snuck in there just to help fill some of the album. Child #3 was looking through the album recently and asked "Why aren't there any photos of me, Mummy?" Things have become so busy that I haven't printed any out of her ... not one, and she's 3 years old!
Is it because we now have the ability to take so many photos we don't value them for the moments they reflect? Do we now not value the photos we take because it's so easy to take many mediocre ones rather than make the effort to take one or two really good ones because there are only 24 shots on the film? I think it's a reflection of our consumer/throw away society.

Cher said...

I think this should be a daily reminder...I might even print it out and put it on my bulletin board. Things are crazy around here but it doesn't mean I can't enjoy it! Someday the house will be quiet, maybe even too quiet. It is important to me to feel like I really enjoyed the short time I have with each of my children. Love you sis!

Allison said...

These things have been on my mind a lot lately as my oldest is heading to full-day kindergarten in the fall. I totally hear you on the fun factor issue. I am trying to make some changes and say YES a lot more. It's hard. Great post.

carolina postcard said...

So sweet & such a good reminder to really stop and notice the the little things around you. It's easy to get wrapped up in the day and lose sight of what's really important. Thanks for sharing.

KateB said...

Love this. We are on school holidays now (in Australia) and I am trying my darndest to ignore the laundry (that can wait), the siren song of the computer, and ambitious menus to just chill out, enjoy the company of my guys, and recharge -which is what holidays are supposed to be about. the to-do list can wait, but childhood cannot. Thanks for the reminder!

p.s. I am SO making that chocolate pudding!

N. Tipps said...

Thank you. I needed that.

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