Let’s face it. As parents, we are BUSY. We go to work, work our tails off, and then get home…and continue to work our tails off. Let’s not forget about the SAHMs (stay at home moms)! They work all day at home wiping noses, finding creative ways to keep the kiddos entertained (and alive), and then everyone comes home from work and school and the cooking of dinner and more cleaning up begins.
It’s because we are so busy as parents that we are prone to tell our kids “no” by the time evening rolls around. When we pick our kids up from daycare or school, we have to get home. We have to cook dinner. We have to do the dishes. We have to throw the laundry in. We have to fold the laundry that has inevitably been in the dryer for days. We have to set out our clothes for the next day (well, I do…I don’t trust my sleepy fashion judgement when my alarm goes off at 2:15am). We have to bathe our kids, get them into jammies, read them books, sing them songs, get them some water, get them some more water, ignore their next plea for water, shout for them to stop their full (and impressive) Broadway level performance of the song “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat” from Disney’s The Aristocats as they lie in bed trying to figure out ways to stay awake.
Well, the other day I picked up my 3-year-old from his daycare. In that daycare there is a ball pit (I can already picture germaphobes freaking out. The balls are cleaned regularly. It’s fun for the kids. Let’s all take a collective breath and focus on the message here). The ball pit is awesome and the kids love it.
My little guy asked, “Mama! Can I play in the ball pit for a sec before we go home?”
Of course, I thought of the dinner I had to cook and everything I needed to do before bed, but I told him to go for it! Then he asked me, “Mama? Will you come in with me and play?”
Eeeehhhhhhhh. That sounded like we’d be looking at spending a lot more time in the ball pit (and not going home) than I anticipated.
After his teacher reassured me the ball pit would not break if I got in it, I decided, “Hey! Why not?!”
So, while the schedule I had in my mind was screaming “NOOOO!!!” I decided to overrule the schedule and say, “Yes!”
The look on my little fella’s face proved that I made the right decision. He BEAMED…and then took a death-defying leap into the pit.
We pretended the balls were dragon eggs. We played hide and seek. We played catch. My son told me multiple times, “I love you, Mama.”
…and you know what? Dinner got cooked. The laundry got done. Clothes for the next day were still set out. The schedule shifted a touch and things were done a little later than usual, but it was worth it.
We will forever have to cook, clean, and get ready for the next day, but our kids won’t be little forever. Why not try out saying “Yes” a little more…just a little…I PROMISE you won’t regret it!