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.
This is such a sweet and simple way to connect with her.
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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This is so true! Makes me want to cry. My kids are teens now and for now they still want my husband and I to snuggle up and talk about their day. I hope it never ends, but I know it will one day. But until then, I’m gonna soak it up.
Nicole | The Professional Mom Project says
This is so sweet and true. My 7 year old loves to call for more hugs when it’s bed time. Usually either my husband or I go because I think deep down we know soon enough he’ll be a teenager and we’ll be lucky to give him a fist pump lol.
(Sad mama) Amanda Maranell says
I had my baby girl on May 1st 2019. She is now 4 months old as of Sept 1st. I feel like time is moving way to quickly for me because when she turned 3 months old, I was heading back to work after being off for 15 weeks. I honestly dont know where that last month went too. I feel like when she turned 3 months old I blinked my eye and BAM she turned 4 months and is really making me sad. Don’t get me wrong I love watching her grow and achieve all her milestones but it’s going by so fast I feel like I can’t keep up with everything or feel like I’m unable to cherish all those moments with her even though I’m with my daughter 24/7 and comes to work with me. Now I know exactly what everyone is talking about. I do hope she will continue to want hugs and cuddles throughout her teenage years…hopefully. ❤
Nicole Black says
Congratulations on your baby girl! Yes, time does go by fast. But my tween still loves to hug me. 🙂
Wow! Thank you for this. My bonding time with my just turned 13 son is bedtime. We chat about his day, good and bad and he asks about my day. We have a snuggle and I leave him to sleep knowing we are both ok. It is very special as I know soon enough he wont want this anymore. Thank you because i have been criticised for doing so.
Nicole Black says
Oh I’m so sorry you’ve been criticized for it. That’s ridiculous! It sounds like a really special time for you and your son! Good for you for keeping it up!
I can’t believe someone would criticise you for this. It’s so beautiful! I snuggle with my 7 year old every night to put him to sleep and I hope he will still want to at 13…it’s such a special time together.
I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does what you do. I am a grandma raising my granddaughter from birth. My husband and I adopted her. She is 6 yrs old and still wants me to snuggle with her at bedtime till she falls asleep and we also talk about her day and even our day when spent together. She sometimes talks about when she goes to college…lol. I tell her please be a kid for as long as you can. I know these days won’t last and it bothers me a lot. I think more so now bc I lost my son, her father almost 2 yrs ago. I see a lot of him in her. She’s a spitting image of him. Anyway, I just want her to stay as young as she can bc I know one day she may not want those snuggly times.
That I’d so adorable 😍 I hope my son wants to snuggle with me before bedtime when he’s 13 too! (For now, he’s only 9months so I’m drinking these cuddles in, I cannot get enough!)
Amanda Maranell says
I am a soon to be first time mom. I’m looking at ways on how to soak up every bit of time with my little one when she gets here, and learn how to slow down time because I hear the first year of a child’s life fly by in a blink of an eye. I want to cherish every moment with her before it’s too late. I came across this website and read all your beautiful comments but at same time they made me cry because I’m not ready to have her just yet just so she can grow up just like that in a blink of an eye or feel like she doesn’t need her mama anymore. 😢
Amanda Maranell says
It’s me for the third time…again, haha. My Little girl will be 8 months old on January 1st, 2020 and i still can’t believe it. I feel like I was waiting patiently for her arrival and my work even put me on maternity leave a week before her due date. Now she somehow is going on for 8 months. It’s really crazy how fast it goes by and everyone isn’t lying about this. I get extremely emotional at how much she’s growing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a blessing in my eyes that I get to watch her grow and achieve each milestone. I, however, am starting to really miss the baby stage…like a lot and i cry about it. Would anyone consider this to be postpartum depression or baby Blues because it seems to happen each time a new month rolls around. I would like your input on this so than i can decide on whether i should talk to my doctor about this. Thank you.
Nicole Black says
Hi Amanda- I’m definitely not an expert with postpartum depression… but if you’re concerned at all about your mental health, please speak to someone: a friend, a doctor, a therapist. You can’t be the mama you want to be unless you’re healthy. <3