Monday, November 21, 2011

Stepping Back and Enjoying

Sophia and me walking up to the elementary school on our last day without any snow in the ground. We decided to walk because the car was getting snow-tired just in time for the real storms to fly. We now have a good 8 inches or so on the ground and won't see grass till May.

The whole reason I started this Project Walking into a Hug thing in the first place was so that I could really learn to enjoy my children. Not that I don't enjoy them, but I know that I let life and chores and responsibilities and exhaustion and dishes and vacuuming and the internet and church callings and everything else just get in the way of enjoying them to the fullest. When I said that I have a difficult time just sitting down and playing with them, it's because all of the above stuff is on my mind and it's hard for me to focus on Barbies or Monopoly or just listening to my child.

And when I write all of that out, it makes me feel terribly guilty, but I am smart enough to realize that I am not the only mother in the world that feels this way.

While real, bonafide playing can be difficult for me, I did make a concerted effort to be more present for my children this week than usual. Instead of just being the mom who barks orders, I tried really hard to be the mom who spent time. And I have to say, I enjoyed my girls so much more this week. We had some wonderful conversations and cuddles and just enjoyed being together.

On the afternoon that I realized I'd have to either cancel helping in Chloe's classroom or walk the 15 minutes to the school, I chose to walk. Mostly because I didn't want to disappoint Chloe, but I thought it would be a nice way to slow down and have some quality time with Sophia. She was all about walking (she is my active child, after all), and we had such fun together. We talked about all sorts of things from Kindergarten to nature to Santa Claus. We stopped and listened to some squirrels arguing with each other, watched two cats playing in the window of a house, and counted over 20 bird's nests amongst the bare branches.

I had similar experiences with Bria and Chloe and I hope to remember this week. My house may look like an episode of Hoarders some days, and I am so not cool with that, but a house can always be cleaned up eventually. Grabbing the opportunities to slow down and enjoy my children during our busy days is priceless.

And I want to grab those moments as often as I possibly can.


So I know that we haven't quite finished with Thanksgiving, but Christmas is quickly approaching, and I have lots of things lined up to tell you about over on my Review blog. Please visit often for various coupon codes and giveaways.

The first giveaway of the season is an adorable Christmas candle warmer and scent from Scentsy. Go here to enter.
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. I've been trying to do the same thing of late--and for the same reasons. Feels good.

  2. when it comes down to it, we can't do it all, and in the effort of spending (real) time with our children, something inevitably gets left by the wayside. (In my house, it's usually the mopping...) I think that getting to a place where we don't mind if some things are left undone for the sake of being more present with our kids is one of the best things we can do for them. (And no, I'm not there yet, but I am trying.)

  3. What a great post! I think we all go through cycles like this for sure. It's hard to really focus on it all the time, but I think good moms realize when a week is needed!!

  4. I loved this post! Thanks for sharing this, Lara. I have a hard time sitting down and really "playing" with my kids -- it's good for me to go on a walk or get outside with them so I can get away from the responsibilities in my home. I always tell Zeke I have a hard time because I can never leave work at work like he can.

    Anyway, I'm so behind on blog reading, but I've been trying to catch up this week and yours was at the TOP of my list! I hope you're doing well and I hope you have a Happy holiday season :)

  5. You are a wise woman to see this now. I didn't until my boys were grown and I started to enjoy Cmy granddaughter. Then the regret of not enjoying MY OWN kids more hit.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  6. The kids really remember those times when Mom has fun with them and forgets about chores and practicing and what "has" to get done. Good for you!

  7. The meal has been eaten.
    The kitchen is clean.
    The leftovers are stashed.
    The walk has been taken.
    Everyone is happy and fed and blessed.
    Now I have the time to stop by.
    On this Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to tell you that I am thankful for you; for this blog; for our friendship. Sending you much love, Relyn