Inside: Parents often wish we could slow down time to make our kid’s childhoods last a little longer and make our kids grow up a little slower. No one can actually pause time, but there is a trick to make it feel like you’ve done it. And it all starts with saying ‘yes’ to this one request…
Last night, I got home late and went to check on my kids.
Of course, two of them were still awake.
I was exhausted, but I kicked off my shoes and crawled into bed with my daughter for a few minutes. We chatted about her day and talked about tomorrow. We giggled and made plans and talked about her new friends.
I kissed her and hugged her one last time and headed into my son.
He whispered, “tell me something special too, Mama.”
So I crawled into bed with him and we talked and whispered and giggled.
I gave him another hug and kiss and wished him sweet dreams.
I was halfway down the stairs, heading to my pajamas and some much needed “me” time when I heard it.
“Mama? Can I have one more hug and kiss?”
“Me too?” cried the other little voice from his bed.
My initial thought was I just gave you one more kiss. I just gave you one more hug. I’m tired. I’m already halfway down the stairs. The day is done. Good night.
What changed my mind:
All those thoughts went through my mind before I answered the request.
But I paused.
Because a friend of mine just told me a few days ago that her teenage daughter doesn’t hug her anymore. Ever.
I’ve always known that when our kids hit a “last milestone“- the last time they breastfeed, the last time you carry them to bed, the last time they ask you for one more hug and kiss- it might not get noticed.
I don’t carry my eldest to bed anymore. But when was the last time I did it? I have no clue because I didn’t know to pay attention to it.
That last milestone moment didn’t get noticed because we rarely know it’s happening for the last time.
As a mom, I know my kids are going to grow up and not need me and my hugs and kisses as much as they do now.
And even though I will have done my job right if they don’t need me and they are independent, it will still sting. It’s motherhood’s deepest irony…
So while I know there may come a time when my kids stop asking me for more snuggles and more hugs and more kisses, it feels so far off for me.
It feels like I have plenty more nights to give extra kisses and hugs so it’s okay to pass on this.
But remembering what my friend told me hit a little too close to home.
It was a little too real.
How to pause my kids’ childhoods and make my kids grow up a little slower:
My kids are growing up fast and I often wish I could slow it all down. I reminisce about the toddler days and the preschool days and even the up all night, hold them swaddled in my arm days.
But since there’s no magic way to literally slow down time, I had to find another way.
Staying in the moment, purposefully enjoying each tiny parenting moment is the secret.
It’s the one thing that slows down time for me.
I pause time when I take a second to focus on what’s right in front of me, rather than thinking forward to my looming to-do list or the loads of laundry waiting, or mentally figuring out tomorrow’s carpool schedule.
So as tired as I was, and as halfway down the stairs as I was, I walked back up and gave them each one more kiss and one more hug.
I paused time. And in that moment I helped my kids grow up a little slower.
Kissing each one of them again slowed down their childhoods, just for a moment. And it reminded me what’s really important.
Because I know they’ll still ask me tomorrow for the love. And probably the day after that too.
But one day, I might not get the request.
And it’ll break my heart.
But when they’re teenagers and no longer requesting one more hug and kiss to prolong their bedtimes, I’ll have the memory that when they asked, at least for that night, I had the wherewithal and patience to pause time and climb the stairs, to give out one more hug and one more kiss.
What important things do you do to pause and slow down time? Click below and let me know!
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