I think we all have heard those words yelled at some point in our childhood.
Our poor mothers, tired and at their wit’s end, because let’s be real, we didn’t always make it easy for them.
“For the love of god, just go outside and play!”
She would yell from the kitchen while cooking dinner and tripping over the dogs. Literally, the dogs were always under her feet. So off I would go, into the wild and untamed jungle that was our backyard. That .9 of an acre was my playground as a child. Where I found slugs, bugs, climbed trees, built forts, and had more bumps and scrapes than I could count.
I relate to this on so many levels now. Being a mom, I can’t tell you how many evenings I have felt my poor mother’s pain. At my absolute wits end, home after a long day of work, yelling from the kitchen while cooking dinner and tripping over my cats. Literally guys, the cats might be worse than my childhood dogs. But unlike my mother, I caught myself yelling something very different. “For the love of god, just go watch tv until dinner is ready!” Wait, what? Yep, in the day and age of technology, where us parents are supposed to be limiting our child’s screen time, I actually told my daughter to go watch TV so that I could finish cooking dinner in peace. I know what you’re thinking, bad mom move, and you’re right!
Hearing these words come out of my mouth was a real eye-opener for me. Now don’t get me wrong, I still have plenty of evenings where the house is in shambles and I would do anything for a few seconds of peace. Now that Aubrey is in grade school, it is so easy to get caught up in the stress and chaos of everyday life and lose sight of the little things. It is so easy to worry too much about getting through life that we forget to live it. In the recent years I have been working on trying to slow things down a bit. Now believe me, I still have plenty of work to do, but it’s a work in progress just like any other lifestyle change. Where I used to rush to the bus stop, we now take the time to look at that cool cicada shell on the tree, or admire the leaves changing color with the cool fall air. We are working on getting back to scraping knees, falling in the mud, and being the imaginary queen of the backyard kingdom.
This does not just go for kids, but for us parents too! Too often do I tell myself things like, “I can relax as soon as these dishes are done” and “just one more load of laundry and then I can have some time to myself”. Guys, I cannot tell you how many times that relaxing moment never comes, and the only time I have to unwind is when I go to bed at night.
let’s pause to pat ourselves on the back because damn, being a parent is hard!
I think as adults it is important to tell ourselves every once in a while to just “go outside for the love of god!” Take some time with our little ones to slow down and appreciate the small things in life that we typically rush by. Look at life through a child’s eye and rule your backyard kingdom again!
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu