Today I am a mother of a 6 year old. Tomorrow, I will be the mother of a 7 year old. Yes… tomorrow my son, Levi, turns 7 and I feel like my little baby boy is growing up way too fast!
For last week’s episode of Life Made Simple I shared with you how crazy busy my life has been this summer. And I have to be honest, my son’s birthday tomorrow is becoming a real eye opener for me. I know it’s a cliché, but life is short. And sometimes when life gets crazy busy it’s easy to rush through it all forgetting about the little things in life that make it worth living.
As you know, I’m on a quest to simplify my life. Like I always say, I want to focus on what really matters and somehow let go of the rest. And for my husband and I, our son is what really matters. I want to soak up every little moment of these few precious years of his childhood. Because one day they will be gone and he’ll be an adult… I am so desperate to wrap up every special moment and hang on to them forever!
On this episode of Life Made Simple, I go over a list with you that I stumbled across a few months ago on a blog written by Erica Layne. I love it so much and have read it many times to myself.
“32 Ways To Savor Your Children While You Have Them” (by Erica Layne)
- Watch them when they sleep.
- Inhale them after they bathe.
- Steal some extra time brushing your child’s hair. She says (A wet brush is a must!) Keep on brushing it straight through the teen years.
- Read the heartfelt things your kids write about you and let them sink in. (When our kids give us valentines or birthday cards, are we really taking their words in? It’s time to start.)
- Break a personal parenting rule or two.
- Be silly. Sing at the top of your lungs in the car, dance in the grocery store, pull a harmless prank.
- Let them climb into bed with you (sometimes).
- Don’t round UP on their ages. She says, even if your child turns 7 in two months, keep thinking of him as 6. There’s need to hurry childhood along, right?
- Fill your home with photos of them.
- Practice living simply so your mind is clearer, which—in my case—helps me experience more moments as they come.
- See your children through a camera lens.
- Capture not just their milestones but the scenes you see every single day.
- Choose one thing you can accept, rather than tolerate. Letting go can alleviate so much agitation.
- When they’re hurting, try to place yourself in a similar situation from your past and really remember what it felt like to be where they are.
- Prop your phone camera up and use the time lapse feature to record a family meal or a homework session. Looking at it later will help you appreciate the beautiful chaos of raising children.
- Watch them closely when their minds are fully engaged in something they love.
- Do something for you. Often. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
- Climb under some blankets and read to them. (And for those moments, choose not to let it bother you when you get sat on and accidentally elbowed a dozen times during your reading session.)
- Get rid of guilt. It’s clouding your view.
- Regularly take some time to remember your childhood. It’ll help you better appreciate theirs.
- Claim for yourself and your family a distraction-free block of time. A morning with your laptop closed, an afternoon away from your phone… you get the idea.
- Figure out and focus on what and who really matters to you.
- Make it your goal for a day to double the amount of eye contact you have with your children.
- When you pack away a size of clothing your child has outgrown, make a little ritual of remembering this last stage and how quickly it passed.
- Take more video footage!
- Build yourself a supportive village. Not a lot of “savoring” goes on when you’re parenting on an island (because Too much energy is going to survival).
- Organize some one-on-one dates with your children.
- If your child is old enough to text, take screen shots of cute text conversations you exchange.
- If hurrying makes you agitated, try building more free space into your schedule so you don’t have to rush so much between activities.
- Snuggle up with them for movie time. We do that a lot in our house.
- Experience something new with them—something they’ve never seen.
Links Mentioned in this Show:
Episode #63: You Need More Margin Time (CarlaRae Confesses)
Share this Episode: CarlaRaeArneson.com/episode95
Share this Podcast: LifeMadeSimplePodcast.com
Simplicity University: SimplicityU.com
Free Guide: “9 Ways to Simplify Your Life”
Or send a text to 44222 with the word 9SIMPLIFY
Free Download: “5 Steps to Organizing Your Home”
Or send a text to 44222 with the word ORGANIZE
Submit Questions: CarlaRaeArneson.com/AskCarlaRae