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It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, running from one activity to the next. We are constantly being pulled in a million directions trying to do everything and be everything for everyone, while running the risk of getting lost in it all. We forget that the small moments are the moments that are truly precious: car rides, bath time, sitting on the couch reading, taking walks, or sharing meals together. These seemingly small things that happen between birthday parties and holidays are the everyday moments that really make up a life. When we reach the end of our time on earth, it’s the sum of these small moments that are imprinted on our hearts, leaving the people who spent time with us to stick out in our minds, shaping who we have become.

How much more important is it then that we establish routines where we can invest in our children and just be with them?

Our kids want our undivided attention, to have us talking and playing with them, caring about their thoughts and feelings and who they are as people. When we break away from the grind of everyday life, we realize the joy that comes from our children. They can teach us so much about living in the moment and enjoying the simple things if we let them.

Our children have wisdom, though they are young.

Each day brings new things to learn and new beauty to appreciate. “Each Sunset is special. Each sunrise is new. Each breeze in the trees is a promise come true.” (I’m Thankful Each Day, a board book about being Thankful great for your little ones collection) It seems so elementary to approach life this way, letting the beauty of nature wash over you or getting caught up in your child’s excitement when they learn something new, but as adults we can be so consumed by getting things done that we forget to stop and appreciate what’s right in front of us.  

I love the idea of living with intention. While I’m intent on achieving my goals, I also live with the intention of pausing and taking time to appreciate all that life offers. I appreciate my children. I appreciate the beauty of nature. I appreciate all the blessings in my life.

My challenge to you is to spend at least 30 minutes a day with your child, focusing only on them, following their lead. See how many smiles you miss when you’re too busy to look your child in the face and respond to them.  

If we only live for the big moments, we will be missing the beauty of everyday life happening right now all around us. Caring for our children and playing with them is an amazingly beautiful gift.  It is one of the most important jobs we will ever have: mentoring our children and supporting them as they grow.

We have a great responsibility to teach and to learn with our children. It’s ok that we’re not perfect. We don’t have to be. We can only try our best with what skills and knowledge we have. Having a growth mindset, showing our kids it’s ok to mess up and learn from our mistakes is much more valuable that trying to pretend we’re perfect. Give yourself grace and be an example of how to apologize when you mess up to your kids. Being perfect is a heavy burden to bear, for you or your children.

I hope you find support here with the rest of us imperfect people raising imperfect children. We’re in this together and have to support each other on the good and bad days. You got this!

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