I am going to get straight to the point in this post. I have read several blogs lately about cherishing time while the kids are young. I absolutely agree that time is passing by entirely too quickly. But one of the sentiments that easily sets my guacamole on fire is that we are to completely drop everything and essentially be slaves to our children’s every second requests.
I, along with every other parent ever to exist, get demanded no less than 6 billion times a day for things. The push and pull of “I want, I want, I want” is a heavy cloud that hangs above our household. And our car. And anywhere we go. Many times it is when I am attempting to get something done. Shower, brush my teeth, finally drink a glass of water after having mine spilled, drank for me, or suddenly disappear at 3PM. Things I need to do to continue being a human.
I get easily frustrated then am reminded by a post that I should “listen and cater to everything out of their sweet mouths as they need you and you will miss the days they do this when you’re older and they’re gone”. I completely agree. BUT as a parent I have decided to let go of the guilt when I don’t acknowledge (maybe due to selective hearing), or meet every single demand my toddlers make. It is ok NOT to drop everything I am doing and tell them “babe, I’ll get you a drink in just a minute after I finish washing the soap out of my hair”. Or even “mommy is finishing her lunch and then I will sprint back there and grab the ball you threw into the ceiling fan light. I cross my heart a tiger won’t get it before I make it make there”. (Yesterday’s true story.)
I am 4 years into this parenting thing. I’ve been with my kids most hours of their lives. So I am fully competent enough to know when a demand is a necessity, or something that can wait. And I don’t owe them or anyone else an explanation for why I choose to finish a task, and then assist my kids. It doesn’t make them second best. And it doesn’t make me selfish.
Sure, when they want to show me a rock they found, or a cool dance move, or even the insanely tiny little mark they acquired on their foot that has changed their lives forever – those are moments to drop the world for. Other than that, let’s let go of the guilt that we don’t give them 100% undivided attention all day every day, and hydrate ourselves so we don’t shrivel up and die. It would be hard to show appreciation for their beautiful rock collection from 6 foot under.