Kids Grow Up Too Fast...So What?

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If you have kids, you’ve doubtless heard the phrase “Enjoy it – they grow up so fast” countless times.  It’s one of those things we are constantly reminded of by those with grown children.  In fact, I hear it so much I sometimes tune it out.  Luckily, people keep saying it to me, because honestly it helps keep me in check.  My kids ARE growing up too fast.

5 years ago this week, Mason was born…now look at him

5 years old…the end of a major life stage.  In a few months, he’ll be headed off to kindergarten and I know that life will fly by once he gets there.  He’ll have a schedule, homework, and countless other things for us to worry about enjoy.

Having a 5 year old has made me think a lot about my role as a mother, and what I’m doing to make the most of the time I have with my kids.  Here are 5 ideas I came up with to make the most of your kids childhood:

1.  Spend TIME with them:  Really, lots and lots of time.  This is one of the reasons that I chose to be a stay at home Mom.  It gives me a chance to spend lots and lots of time with my kids without always having to worry about another job.  They are my job!  There is no substitute for time.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking that even though you don’t spend a lot of time with your kids, the time you do spend is quality time – kids need both quality and quantity.

2.  Enjoy each phase:  the more kids I have, the more I have learned to appreciate each phase that they’re in.  I know that before long, that phase will be over and in its place a whole new round of excitement and trials await us.  I probably didn’t really understand this until Mason was about 2.  Before that I was always thinking “things will be so much better when he can ___________”.  Before I knew it my baby was a toddler and Chloe was on the way.

3.  View life from their eyes:  Take some time to get down on their level.  It’s amazing how much of the world around us we miss as adults.  Go outside and play with your kids and discover all the ants, worms, and roly-poly bugs all over again.  Not only will your kids love doing it with you, but you will gain a whole new appreciation for the world and your family.

4.  Simplify Life:  Make a conscious choice to live a simpler life.  By simplifying life, you gain more opportunities to really enjoy your kids.  Instead of always running from one thing to another with kids in tow, find ways to let some things go.  Instead, look for opportunities to go for walks, play at the park, or dig in the dirt with your kids.  If this is hard for you, schedule it.  Your kids will never know the difference, but it will help you make time for them and put them first.  It’s unlikely that your kids will ever remember another trip to the grocery store, but the bike ride you take them on may stay with them forever.

5.  Keep it all in perspective:  Remind yourself that they really do grow up so so fast.  The little kids that we have now really will be grown before we know it.  I’m glad to know that they grow up in the blink of an eye, so that I can enjoy each stage they go through, starting all over again with our new baby next month.  Just like we talked about here, having new experiences helps to slow our perception of time down, so take advantage of that and learn with your kids.  Go for a hike, read a book, color a picture…whatever it takes, just make the most of it!

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