When most people think of skills required in parenting, being quick is often one of them. Quick to notice, quick to assume, quick to catch ‘em before they fall. Quick to find out that they’re lying, hiding secrets, or off causing mischief. Quick to rush them straight to the doctor for every sniffle & sneeze. Quick to chastise & look down upon other parents. Even quick to dole out punishments for & quick to label a kid who must not be developing right because they didn’t hit milestones the exact day they turned a specific age.
Everything is quick, quick, quick, go, go, go, never slowing down to see what happens on it’s own or sitting back to enjoy the ride.
Something in me changed when I had my fourth baby. Maybe it’s because of all the personal changes & growth I had been through the year before conceiving her that carried over into my pregnancy with her before it all settled down. Those moments where I thought I wouldn’t even be able to mother the three kids I already had, plus all the crap I had piled onto my plate, must’ve awoken something I didn’t know I had inside me when I found out I was having another baby. That change in perspective grew along as that unexpected child began to grow inside my tummy. I fought my way back from the brink of giving up to a renewed love of life & desire to be the best parent to my children I could possibly be in whatever circumstances my journey would put me through. In these defining moments of my life, I found an urgency to slow down & let whatever be, be.
Instead of being quick to everything with my children, I am slow like a sloth. I wait to see about everything. I hear them fighting in their bedroom, I don’t go rushing in to settle the score for them. I wait to see if they can work it out themselves first, & only when I hear the tears of someone getting hurt, do I intervene. The kids are screaming in the other room for me, probably just to show me some cool trick they learned or the billionth Lego tower they’ve built? Why teach them that I’m a slave to their beckon call & go running immediately to see? I sit back & wait for them to come to me & ask nicely for me to get up to go look before I respond. The boys are climbing onto the roof again, the littlest is climbing on top of the bookshelf, Bean is using a rolling chair to get onto the counter? Instead of being quick to correct them before the inevitable fall happens, I let them fall & learn from their mistakes as long as theirs nothing sharp waiting below.
Not that I don’t ever say NO, or correct them if it’s extremely dangerous or life-threatening, but I’m not going to be so quick that a lesson is never learned on their terms because, we all know anyways, kids don’t like listening to their parents.
Kids come out wearing unmatched clothes that are on inside out & backwards, I’ll be quick to compliment their efforts before I’m quick to point out their failures & send them to go change as long as all their appropriate parts are covered. They cannot be free-thinkers if I am always quick to think for them. When we are quick to tell them what to do in certain situations, how to fix their own problems, warn of all the potential consequences without letting them discover for themselves, what will they actually learn? To become dependent on someone else’s mind to do the thinking for them. That’s not going to help them be responsible adults out in the world without me one day. I don’t want them living in my basement at 35, overweight, unmotivated, & totally raining on my freedom to walk around nude again parade.
We get so caught up being perfect parents, striving for perfection in every aspect of their lives, that we rush quickly through the motions without being present in reality most of the time.
It’s always time to move on too the next activity, next appointment, next scheduled event. We are so quick to shush our kids when they try to express their own thoughts, quick to push them farther to excel at everything beyond their own passions, quick to compare what we have with everyone else’s & make decisions based upon what other’s allow or disprove of despite our own beliefs. We reward too quickly for fear of hurt feelings instead of teaching our kids to cope with hurt feelings. We are quick to give to provide more opportunities for our kids to grow into the perfect model of an adult & failing to teach that hard work & dedication are actual requirements for successful opportunities, in the real adult world. Are we really doing our kids any favors always being so quick with everything?
It’s just like rushing off to sit in an over-crowded, stinky, hot waiting room for over an hour, watching other people pick their orifices, scratch their places, & make nerve-wracking groans & grunts as they breath heavily from their mouths, only to sit in an itty-bitty, teeny-tiny exam room for another hour just to see the doctor because your kid was just coughing & sniffling a little. Then when it’s finally your turn, it takes less than three minutes to look over the kid, look at you with pity for the fool, then tell you to go home & ride it out, because, it’s just a minor cold that will run it’s course with no medical intervention necessary beyond providing comfort measures. You knew in your reasonable, rational heart that your kid wasn’t dying of Ebola before your neurotic, over-worrying, quick to panic anxiety took over, pushing you to waste half your afternoon just to be told what you already knew to be true.
I’m NOT that kind of mom anymore, I grew into one that goes at a much slower, relaxed pace. I won’t waste time worrying needlessly to be triple sure of something I already know in my gut, when I could spend those precious few hours cuddling up with my sicky-poo’s under a blanket fort, watching a movie while sucking on popsicles to ease the sore throat, with our box of Kleenex nearby.
Slowing down & letting life just flow by at it’s own pace has been more rewarding for me as a parent than being so quick to jump on every bandwagon that parades past us on a daily basis. It hasn’t always been easy, learning to slow down. Sometimes it’s hard in the daily hustle & bustle to sit back & enjoy the smell of roses & coffee (well, Coca-Cola if you wanna get all technical on me), especially since I’m the Queen of Procrastination, but it’s so worth it in the end. Everywhere around me, I see society quick to throw out the old, quick to follow the new. We are wasteful, unappreciative, & quick to move on to the next best thing. What lessons does this teach our children when we want them to grow up appreciative, grateful, loyal, & faithful? Nothing but the opposite. Since I’ve slowed down, nipped the over-anxious, quicksilver lifestyle in the ass, I’ve been able to focus more on encompassing the morals I want to instill in my children by examples they not only see, but experience for themselves on their own terms.
We all should slow down, drink in these years with our children as much as we can before they’re grown & it’s too late to teach them the true value of life. It’s not all about being quick to follow the leader, quick to follow suit, or quick to be like everyone else. It’s about doing what’s right by you, by those you love, by everyone that you meet. It’s about loving hard, living in the moment, & embracing the family that you have right in front of you. Why be so quick to raise our children set at full speed, max power, when slow & steady always wins the race?
Kristina is a sahm of four hoodlums that drive her to the brink of insanity almost as much as her husband of seven years. Kristina’s new to this whole bogging thing, technology & her are long time enemies, so bear with her as she figures all this stuff out. Writing is how she has always coped with life & all of it’s blessings & curses.
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