Seriously, I'm beginning to think they should write that on my headstone some day. Having kids makes this phrase a bit of a staple if you ask me. Do you have kids? Do you say that all the time? No really, like all the time and with almost every task your child takes on. Because I'm starting to think that maybe I do and I didn't even realize it. "Hurry up and brush your teeth!" ... "Get your shoes on, hurry up!" ... "We're gonna be late, please hurry!" ... "Dinner's getting cold, hurry up and eat!" ... "Hurry up and get to bed, Mama has things to do!" See, the list could go on forever! When you lay it all out like that its a bit sad, don't you think? I mean, do I let my kids actually try anything without rushing them through it?? Maybe I'm overreacting but I can't help but feel a bit guilty after thinking it through. And what's all the rush about anyways? What ever happened to 'stop and smell the roses'? Apparently I don't have time for roses because in case you didn't notice, I'm in a hurry.
Last week I read a great post about the truth written in the article, 'The Day I Stopped Saying Hurry Up'. I could definitely relate to her story of rushing her kids around, but I didn't quite realize how much it would resonate with me until today. I had just finished tucking my two smaller guys down for a nap when my three year old decided he needed to get up a handful of times for the sole purpose of driving me crazy. Or because he needed to get a pirate ship to sleep with, his extra blankie and one more kiss. With each appearance from my munchkin I brushed him off and hurried him back to nap. The last time he stopped what he was doing and looked over at me with his sleepy big blue eyes and asked, "Mama, why I gotta hurry?" ... "Because it's nap time now hurry up and go!" And off he went and didn't get up again. Now here I sit flooded with thoughts of guilt and disappointment as I recall those words I had read in that article. Would it have killed me to take two minutes to grab a pirate ship and tuck my guy in with that extra kiss? Not at all. But I wasn't thinking about that moment in the least bit. It wasn't even about the time or the fact that he should be asleep. All I was focused on was getting to the next thing I had to do. Lunch, dishes, laundry, food network...don't judge. But really, it's true. I am too worried about what else is going on or has to be done to pay attention to what's happening right now. Can you relate?
Now my problems don't all lie in that I rush my kids to sleep because let's be honest, I'll probably always try my hardest to get them to nap as soon as possible. But it was however, an awakening to the fact that I need to focus more on living in the moment with my children instead of rushing them through life and then complaining that it goes too quickly. The article began with some lines that reeled me in from the start, "When you’re living a distracted life, every minute must be accounted for. You feel like you must be checking something off the list, staring at a screen, or rushing off to the next destination. And no matter how many ways you divide your time and attention, no matter how many duties you try and multi-task, there’s never enough time in a day to ever catch up." A distracted life, she writes. And that's exactly what it is. I don't know about you but I'm pretty sure most people I know, with kids or without, can probably relate to the point here. Why are we so distracted? Maybe we'd all be a little bit happier if we learned to appreciate the moment, to enjoy life instead of rushing through it, to stop and smell the roses. Maybe if we realized how great those little moments could be then we wouldn't be in such a hurry after all.
...except for when it's nap time.