I had a realisation today that hit me like a tonne of bricks.
I will know my children for far more years as adults, than I will know them as kids.
I don't know why I've only just realised this, nor why it hit me so hard. It's had a profound effect on my thinking and on my actions too. I'm slowing down. Not just in what I do, but in how I speak and in my interactions with my kids. I need to listen to them more. I need to be with them more. And I need to expect less.
You always hear people say, 'they are kids for such a short time', but have you ever really just stopped and thought about what that means? These experiences we have with them are but fleeting. The way they look, the way they react, their emotional vulnerabilities now, will be gone in a few short years. They will grow up, and find their own lives. It is our responsibility as parents to nurture them now. Love them now and be with them now. Giving them material things, or overloading their days with structured activities, is not, in my humble opinion, the best type of parenting. It feels good to give them what they think they need, but what will they remember about you when they grow up? How many toys you gave them, or how much time you spent playing with them, and enjoying them?