I don’t have time to hold your guinea pig. Are you ever in the middle of a text, a deadline, the end of a compelling movie or on the back deck eating the last chocolate cookie and here they come: “Hey mom, what are you doing?”
“Check out my new skateboard trick outside.”
“Can you really dig to China from the back yard?”
“Can we buy a dog?”
“I didn’t want a brother, can we send baby Liam back?”
On average, moms are asked approximately 300 questions a day by their young children. It’s madness.
Our brains are like rogue GPS systems that are constantly recalculating.
Instead of trucking down the highway to our destination, our GPS (kid’s questions) are recalculating us down bumpy dirt roads, weird side streets and behind an iffy 711. All these questions are enough to make a grown man cry, and yet here we are, standing in front of humans under 3′ 2″ with endless energy and questions for days.
We can choose to swoosh them away, while reading a compelling news story, as they offer you the first guinea pig hug of the day. Instead, you never look up, just mumbling: uh huh, ok, see you later and then, just like that, they’re gone.
You just turned down the first guinea pig hug of the day. What’s wrong with you?
I get it. You need to work, cook dinner, do laundry, meet deadlines. Your list is long, as you try to out race the clock.
But what are your actions telling the kids? What or who is more important? The end of a movie, a funny meme to a friend?
That’s what the pause button on the remote is for. The social media story is not going anywhere and like death and taxes, dishes will be with you always. The kids will not. Let that sink in. The jelly print on the window will fade away, the need for Cheerios that seemed to fill every crevice in the mini van, gone. You won’t always be their go-to person, so embrace the moments.
3 Ways to Treasure the Now
1. Write it Down
Document moments on the computer or in a journal. Record their little voices. Savor all the curious questions, the funny way they said certain words. Keep their hand written notes or at least scan them digitally for posterity’s sake. It’s said that we remember 20% of our stories. Memories create legacy. Write it down, mama.
2. Unplug the Gadgets
Look into their little eyeballs and be attentive. Listen to their little voice. Embrace the inquisitiveness. Give Oreo, the Guinea Pig, your attention. In doing so, you’re telling little Jack and Isabell they matter, they’re important, they’re a priority.
3. Get Your Hands Dirty
Do all the things. Kids want to go biking, hiking, swinging, swimming, eating, talking. Jump in there and do the things. Be active! These are the moments, the ooey gooey goodness of life. They’ll remember the time you spent with them. So get in there and get those hands dirty and make those memories.
Seize the moments, make the memories and do all the things. Life is fleeting. What examples can you share with us, that made an impact on how you treasure the now?