Last week, I attended my daughter’s Mother’s Day celebration at her school. It was beautiful, fun and the gifts I received were so very thoughtful. One of my gifts, which I love, was a worksheet that she filled out about me, her Momma.
Whenever my kids’ preschool had (they still have my son do) that sort of stuff where they ask your child questions about you and provide you with the hilariously honest answers straight from their mouths…I just love it.
With her now in Kindergarten, two of my daughter’s answers stood out to me. The question prompts I am referring to were “she hates to…” and “she is always saying…”.
Here are her answers:
She hates to: “yell at me.”
She is always saying: “hurry up”.
I am ashamed to say that she is so right on both of these.
I feel so guilty that I do yell at my children when I am frustrated, stressed, tired, etc. There are times when I am able to step outside of myself and hear myself and I’ll tell you — I don’t like what I hear in those moments when I am shouting at them. It is definitely something that I have been working on and plan to continue working on. A quote from Robert Fulghum, author of the book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, states that “yelling at living things does tend to kill the spirit in them”. Ugh. How sad that makes me. To think that I, my children’s loving and doting parent who cares about them more than myself, is killing my children’s spirit because I cannot control my yelling — simply unacceptable.
The second prompt’s answer was that “she (I) is always saying ‘hurry up'”. Again, its like a dagger right to my heart. I am very well cognizant of the fact that I am always rushing my kids, typically towards some fictitious deadline. Why am I rushing myself and my children on a daily basis? Usually because the days are hard and long, at times, and most days I am quite ready for the kids’ bedtime, so that I can have some much needed and desired downtime to relax.
But, you know what I am not ready for? I am not ready for my child to grow up. I am not ready for her to no longer want to give me hugs or kiss me goodbye. I am not ready for the day she pulls her hand away and no longer wants to walk alongside me with her fingers locked in mine. I am not ready for her to treat me as though I am a stranger or her enemy. I am not ready for her to no longer call me her “best friend”. I am not ready for her to bring home a boy to meet us because she thinks that he is “the one”. I am not ready for her to realize all of the mistakes that her mother made when raising her. I am not ready for her to grow up, so I need to stop telling her to “hurry up”. I AM GOING TO STOP.
I am going to stop rushing my children through their lives. I am going to stop clocking the time in our day and alternatively, try to make the most of each minute. I am going to move forward by approaching motherhood and parenting with a new outlook which involves me trying to slow down and preceding through my and their day with a calm spirit.
Here is a poem, you may or may not be familiar with, that hits right at the heart for me. It is entitled Slow Down Mummy and was written by Rebekah Knight:
Slow down mummy, there is no need to rush,
slow down mummy, what is all the fuss?
Slow down mummy, make yourself a cup of tea.
Slow down mummy, come and spend some time with me.
Slow down mummy, let’s put our boots on and go out for a walk,
let’s kick at piles of leaves, and smile and laugh and talk.
Slow down mummy, you look ever so tired,
come sit and snuggle under the duvet and rest with me a while.
Slow down mummy, those dirty dishes can wait,
slow down mummy, lets have some fun, lets bake a cake!
Slow down mummy I know you work a lot,
but sometimes mummy, its nice when you just stop.
Sit with us a minute,
& listen to our day,
spend a cherished moment,
because our childhood is not here to stay!
For me to slow down, it is really going to have to be a conscious decision and will involve work on my part, as it goes against my nature. But…I am willing to put the effort in and that is have the battle. I am willing to work on myself, so that I can ensure that the next time my daughter fills out a questionnaire about me, she won’t say that I am always telling her to pick up the pace, as my new way to travel, will be at her pace.
On a sidenote…who else got a kick out of the fact that my daughter thinks that I am apparently “not very good at remembering to close my car door”. So true. Darn my van’s power sliding doors…