There was a favorite book that I’d read to my children, “Love You Forever”, by Robert N. Munsch. In it’s playful story of the lifecycle of mother and son, it is a reminder of the precious gift of the parent and child relationship.
“I love you forever…I love you for always…as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be…”
But, as the book points out, parenthood is stressful. Regardless of age and day activities, the world demands a lot from us.
We can’t eliminate the stress. We can’t hide from the world. The challenge is building a family environment…a family culture…ways and patterns for dealing with stress.
Remember the mantra encouraging “quality over quantity” in time with kids? But, sometimes quality can’t be achieved without quantity. Kids are not light switches, they don’t turn on and off on a schedule. In my endeavor to create “quality time” for my family, I tended to place an unreasonable expectation on all of us.
Then one day, I got over myself.
I knew that I entered every weekend tired and yearning for a little quiet time. My ears were over-stimulated, my mind was over-loaded and my nerves were on edge.
So, why wouldn’t I think my kids weren’t having the same issues entering the weekend?
Once I considered they were just mini-me’s, I focused less on what and more on how with my kids. It didn’t mean we became a picture perfect family, but it meant the bonds of our family strengthened.
The weekend is coming. Assess the calendar. What is the plan? How can you approach the activities with your kids – finding that balance in time and activities, talk more, do healthy and let down the protective force fields.
It’s less about the what and more about the how!