As a mom to 3 young kids (two preschoolers and one in 4th grade this year!) I totally get that. Getting everyone ready for school in the mornings feels like a constant battle with very opinionated, independent individuals, from tying up my girls’ hair to trying to pack reasonably healthy lunches that they’ll actually eat to getting everyone into the car without tears (mine… or theirs). Every day can be a rush, rush, rush.
My friend told me about a line she read recently in a book on the creative process. “Impatience is an argument with reality”.
That struck home - because when I get impatient (and it is so hard not to when you are trying to get everyone on time at different drop-offs, but this morning, ‘Elsa’ won’t budge until she has found her crown). It was a reminder to try and go with the flow and work with our kids while moving forward.
And while our morning routines are still chaotic, here are my tried-and-true tips for savoring the moment with your kiddos… even if life throws you a late slip from the Principal’s office.
Let it go
No, not the Frozen song on repeat. But the realization that a bit of mess and chaos is ok, and so is the occasional ice cream after 8 p.m. I used to get stressed out about getting things in order, which would stress everyone out. Finally, the realization hit that our kids don’t care if the house is in order if the laundry is folded, or if the toast is burnt. What your kids want is YOU. You just being there and being present for them is already the biggest win. And you are doing great.
Game, Set, Match
Set aside a ‘date night’ with your kids. Locking down a regular time with your kids to play and engage, even 30 mins on a Sunday afternoon or evening to play Candyland or do a jigsaw, helps you set a flow for hanging out together. Let them pick the game (and don’t expect to finish… or even play according to the rules LOL). With three kids of different ages, I’ve found building games (Magnatiles, blocks, dominoes, etc.) to be great for including everyone.
Choose Your Own Adventure
Have your kids plan an adventure one weekend. Give them a choice of 3 parent-approved excursions and let them take turns being the ‘planner’.
A piece of paper to mark down whose turn it is to pick next is really helpful, too. The ones who didn’t choose this time can choose where to stop for a snack or a small activity during the outing. Some of our top ‘adventures’ include watercolor rock painting at Stinson Beach, a kid-friendly hike at Ring Mountain, or an afternoon at Town Park (yep, that is an adventure, too!).
Some of you have told me how wonderful it is to take a moment to capture the here and now with your kids. Just know that it brings me so much joy, too.
If you want to capture those memories this month when the light is gorgeous, a few sessions are left. Book now to get your favorite spot.
In the next two weeks, I’ll share my fave local family-friendly activities for all (Kid-approved hikes! Best photo spots, etc.), and my go-to, tried-and-true tips to help busy parents like you savor the moment.
Stay tuned so you don't miss out!