I've gotten into a bad habit. Almost every time Noah asks me to play with him my first response is, "Just a second" or the also popular "In a minute." I didn't realize how often I did it until I noticed N was using it on me! How dare he steal my line! Since he was doing it too I became aware that I say it a lot. So, I started yesterday with my goal to quit that habit. I was better at it yesterday than I was today. Whenever he'd ask me to play with him, I'd stop myself from that easy response of "just a second" and instead would say "okay" or "I'd love to." Do you know what happened? We had so many more moments of playtime, he was happier, and guess what- so was I! And I still got things done around the house.
I noticed the "I'd love to" response didn't just make him feel good, but it made me feel good too. It changed my attitude, and I actually did love playing with him. I think my attitude was the underlying problem. I didn't want to be bothered by him because I had so many things on my to do list, squeezing in a few minutes of play time was becoming a burden rather than a blessing. Saying "just a second" wasn't just a response, it was a way to delay for as long as possible the annoying responsibility looming before me day after day of playing with my kids. You may think my wording a little too candid, but, honestly, that's how I feel some days. I know it's terrible, and I feel awful for it. I get so caught up in the monotony of the day after day after day after day... that I forget to appreciate what I've been given. When did playing with my kids become a burden?
Whenever I get like this I try to remind myself that when my kids are older their most important memories will be of their mother playing with them, not the memories of how clean the house was. I can't just dump the responsibilities of keeping house, but I do have to keep my priorities in the right order. Saying "just a second" to N all the time was sending him the message that he wasn't my first priority, and that's not a message I want to send. "I'd love to" sends a much better message.
It's so hard to keep those priorities lined up where they should be. I know I won't ever be perfect at it, so I can't beat myself up for messing up now and then. I guess the important thing is recognizing a need for a change and being willing to work at it. Soon "just a second" will all but disappear from my lips. And I'm willing to bet that we all will benefit from it.