At first glance, our life may look simple…plain…boring. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard we are a “boring” family and it probably won’t be the last.
But, you know, when someone says we are boring, I take that as a compliment.
“What the what???” I hear you saying.
Let me explain.
During the 14 years that I was married, my ex-husband dragged us all over the USA. We had moved over 30 times by time he left. The kids never knew stability. You wonder why I’m so good at putting up an entire house in two days…because I had to. The next week, we’d be moving again. It wasn’t the kind of life I would have chosen. It wasn’t the kind of life a kid should live. And yet, for the sake of keeping our family together, me and the kids dealt with a LOT of drama over the years.
So, to say my life is boring now, is an honor. Thank GOD it’s boring. Because I have lived in such chaos for SO very long that I’m BEYOND ready to be boring. I look forward to what others call boring. Hey, let’s try boring out for a while!!!
Yet, I’m always told how my kids need more toys. I get criticized for throwing away and donating perfectly good toys. “They need more,” they say. “They are not getting enough creativity. Why when I was a kid…”
Have you seen my son’s room? He don’t need no more toys!
I get it. Everyone raises their children differently. I’m not saying toys are bad. I’m not saying having a mountain of toys isn’t okay to have. Do whatever you like…but for me, in my family, my kids don’t need fancy toys, they need me.
My husband abandoned us. He left. He moved 16 hours away, had a couple other kids, several more affairs and has nothing to do with his kids here. Doesn’t call, doesn’t write, doesn’t visit. They are not a priority to him.
In the times that he HAS come to visit on his way to another stop that is more important to him, he gets them these expensive toys. I guess he thinks that a toy can replace him? It can’t.
Yes, it’s true that a child may seem to want a particular toy more than you, but rest assured, when that child gets hurt, scrapes their knee, falls down, or hits their head, what is the first thing they run to? A toy? “Oh, please toy. Kiss my boo-boo and make it better toy.” Is that what a child does???
NO! They run to YOU.
I’m convinced that kids don’t need fancy toys, they need you!
I know that a lot of parents have their kids in a lot of activities. That’s great. But, I have seen some parents go way overboard. Having their kids scheduled in so many activities that the kids are bouncing around from place to place all the time. They are constantly on the move.
While I agree, that I could be a little less “boring,” I also think there’s a negative side to being too caught up in activities. When is enough, enough? When can the child rest?
Kids don’t HAVE TO BE entertained every second of every day.
Some of my fondest memories of when I was a child was playing in my backyard alone (only child) eating raspberries and blackberries off the vine. Eating plums off the tree. Catching lizards in the field across the street. Playing baseball.
None of those are toys. We’ve become a consumed nation. Every toy these days has a battery. Then there are video games, television, the list goes on and on.
In a truly busy world, how often do we, as parents, stop and say NO!
NO, I can’t go to that get together, even though I really want to. NO, I can’t bake 500 cupcakes by Thursday. We’re so afraid we are going to let someone down…and we do, but it’s not who we think. It’s not our friends, our neighbors, our church, the people we let down are our kids.
Listen, they NEED us. For a very short time, they need us. If you blink and turn around, your child will be 19 and moving out. It happens SO fast. We can’t let that precious time slip us by.
We have to make time to say NO! No to all the time-stealers wanting our attention away from our families. The commitments that keep us away from home far too late at night.
We must say, YES, to our kids.
This is what we did last night. There were no toys with batteries. There were no video games. There were no activities that prevented us from looking at each other, eyeball to eyeball time, we call it. My son calls it “filling his bucket time.”
We did watch TV though. Right now, the kids are into the old episodes of the Suite Life on the Disney Channel. While we watch the show, I hold my daughter on my right leg, my son on my left and we just hold each other and spend time.
We made cookies….
While at Fred Meyers this week, I spotted cookie dough on sale, so I grabbed a couple to freeze.
I cut them into rounds, as I don’t let my kids use knives just yet. My daughter is 9 and my son is 7. I know they are old enough with supervision, I just personally don’t feel comfortable yet.
My daughter, the photogenic one of the family, puts them on a cookie sheet.
My son puts them into the oven (while it’s not on, don’t worry.) 🙂
Then we bake them.
We played a game. This is my kids favorite.
Friends, THESE are the moments we live for. THESE are the moments to be treasured. The problem is that if we allow ourselves to get too busy, we miss them. Myself included. It’s something I always struggle with — balancing the time. It’s hard, especially as a single mom, but it’s not impossible!
What do you think? Do you think your kids need a toy? Or do they need YOU? Do you struggle with balancing your time between getting things done and your kids like I do?