Our family schedule doesn’t always allow for us to eat dinner all together. We do our best, but on the nights when the logistics just don’t work out the children eat dinner as soon as we all get home and the grown-ups eat dinner after they go to bed.
On those evenings it’s all too tempting to rush around while they’re eating, doing chores, cleaning up, getting things ready for the next morning. Two nights ago the list of things to be done completely overwhelmed me and instead of getting busy, I grabbed a notebook and sat at the table with the children.
Pen in hand I alternated between creating a to do list and chatting with the girls as they shared the highlights of their days. The laundry didn’t get done. Dinner didn’t get started. When the noodles were all gone the kitchen still looked like it had been visited by a tornado. Instead I heard stories about fun on the Kindergarten playground and snack time at preschool.
Incredibly, instead of being frazzled, the girls were cheerful and helpful during their bedtime routine. As for me, to do list in hand, I got everything critical done in record time and felt more relaxed than I usually do when I finally headed to bed. It was good to have the reminder that spending time with my children is what keeps me feeling grounded — not getting the laundry done or making sure the kitchen is tidy.