You work hard, don’t forget to PLAY hard

“Mommy, will you play Monster Trucks with me?” A question often heard in the Hooks house with Henry’s newfound obsession with these big wheeled trucks that he likes to line up in a neat row and name each one proudly from memory. “In a minute,” I reply, but I already know that I don’t have time for that. I know as I give him a false hope that I am too busy this morning to sit and play.

Maybe later. Maybe after your nap. Maybe tomorrow.

Sometimes there really is too much that needs to be done before we need to rush out the door to the next activity. Lunches to be made, breakfast to be cleaned up after, make myself look human enough to go into public….

But what if I made play time more of a priority? What if I got started a little earlier every morning so that I could sit down and enjoy some time with my child before the day starts? Self-sabotage creates a situation where I am flustered and yelling to “find your other shoe!” because I didn’t allow enough time for all of the hustle and bustle, let alone time to actually enjoy the morning.

Kids are a good reminder to just slow down. To play hide and seek and pretend that you’re surprised every time that they hide in the exact same spot. Dance parties in the kitchen and pretending the dolls are having a talent show that always turns into the kids singing on the “fireplace stage”. Why do I have such a hard time relaxing or having a race at the park with my long-legged 8 year old?

A goal for me this year is to try to see the world as my children see it – a constant opportunity to have fun. Even mundane tasks could be fun if I just changed my attitude about them. I’m looking at towel folding, dish washing and making dinner in a whole new light. I’m going to play the new Hogwarts game and I’m not going to feel guilty that I not getting something accomplished – because I AM accomplishing something. I am focusing on my happiness and having fun. And that should be just as important to me as the tasks on my to-do list.

There will always be work to be done, but we need to remember to stop and enjoy this life that we are working so hard for.