When you are a parent there are many moments you wish you could fast-forward to the end.
Maybe you pray for the sleepless nights to end, can’t wait for toilet-training to be mastered, get sick over the endless vomiting or think if you have to face another temper tantrum you will pull out your OWN hair.
You wait and wish for the amazing miracle of a moment of peace, a day which typically arrives when you send your kids to school. Finally you have scored it – a much-needed break!
Then these breaks get longer. Your kids slowly detach from their safety blanket. They don’t need you anymore. They go to bed without requesting a goodnight kiss. Or maybe they go to bed long after you do and you don’t even notice the unsuspecting feeling of dread until it washes over you. They have exited the door to live their own life, without you by their side.
This is the goal of raising children: we ultimately want to teach our kids to become independent, strong and loving young adults and provide them with the skills to live their own life because they will not be attached to your side forever.
Your children won’t always need you to pick out their clothes, cut their food, pack their schoolbag, take them to playdates and generally organise their life like a shepherd overseeing his or her flock of sheep.
One day your children will grow up and they will leave you behind. This is why it is so paramount that we enjoy every waking minute with our children while we still have the chance.
If they want to play a game with you, play the game! If they want a cuddle, give them the cuddle! If they need a listening ear, stop what you are doing right now and listen.
Because the day will come when you wish for these interruptions again…
It’s hard to believe this could possibly be true, that you could miss the scattered toys lying all over the playroom or the school drop offs or listening to the stories of what happened in the classroom today.
One day your children will no longer live under your roof and even when they are fully grown, you will still think of them as your baby. They will be someone you wish you could still embrace in your arms, to give them one more kiss and cuddle, but they will no longer there to accept it.
So take the time to do it now, while you can. Children do not stay young forever and time has a way of running faster than we can ever keep up with it.
This is the second chapter of my book LIGHTBULB MOMENTS. Information on this book can be found here and you are welcome to purchase it via our website bookstore or for $2.99 from Amazon, iBooks or other leading online bookstores if you would like to read it in full, digital book form.
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