It’s easy to be heavily in demand in our days and age.
There’s everything we need to do to get through the week. Going to work for those who do, preparing decent meals, keeping the home an inspiring environment, defeating the clean clothes pile, going out to get stuff done, and chauffeuring our children to their favorite activities.
And, depending on the part of the world where we have the chance to live, we can have occupations that are added, such as frequently going out to get water, or shoveling snow more than we’d like to.
To add to these activities we have to find time for ourselves, as of course we also need.
But do you keep a meaningful chunk of time to “just” be a parent?
Time to love being with your child. To get close, to do activities together, to laugh until tears come out of your eyes?
Time to take care of him. To make sure he has everything he needs, physically, mentally, spiritually, because perhaps he’s not mature enough to ask for it?
Time to educate him. Time to introduce him to our world, to marvel at its beauties, to answer his questions without rejecting him?
I think that with modernity we must be even more careful not to neglect what is central to parenthood. We need to be more disciplined. Because otherwise we get dragged into the unbridled pace of life, into what society has planned for us, into what advertising wants us to think.
And for that, I think that as moms and dads we need an action plan to go beyond our good intentions.
It can mean time to be “just a parent”. A few hours a day, and even more time on the weekend, to be present for requests and inspiring activities together.
It could mean not going online and “wasting time”. Being a disconnected parent most of the time, shutting down our computer or putting our smart phone far away more often than not.
It’s also deliberate actions such as breastfeeding longer, until the baby decides when a feeding ends or to make sure that an older kid has more feedings during the day.
It may also be to carry our child instead of using a stroller. Our child will surely be delighted and it will keep us healthy.
Or to make a change in the layout of our schedule or our home. Like creating a family bed for a few years.
Because by taking the time to just be a parent, the joys add up and make the chores of parenthood feel lighter.
It really feels like enjoying life with our little one. We honor him, we cherish him, and by that we pay the same homage to our parenthood.
And these are the moments that will also warm our hearts later on and that our child will keep for life with him, too.
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