I am sitting on the couch watching my girls play. The TV is on, but I am watching them interact with each other. Oh how my youngest idolizes her big sis. She wants to do everything she does.
Her sister leaves the room and comes back with a piece of paper, it has a list of all the reasons why she loves me. I give her a hug and she heads back into the play room.
My youngest comes in with a piece of paper with scribbles of different colors. She begins to "tell" me what her paper says. Of course she doesn't have a very big vocabulary. It is more "wa blah si ma you".
If I had been watching TV, on the computer or playing a game on my tablet, I would have missed this. I would have missed the beautiful exchange playing out before my eyes. I think back to all the times I would tell them I was busy, "just give me a minute", and even the dreaded "I don't have time right now".
I am all for kids learning to play by themselves. Entertaining themselves is a must have skill. But what I want to eliminate is the constant drain that electronics have on our lives.
While I have been trying to make a conscious effort to reduce electronic distractions, I have been trying to also get Hubby to join in. He is still in the place I was a month ago. He is working long hours and when he comes home all he wants to do is decompress. Part of that decompressing is surfing the net or playing games on his phone.
What I try to get him to see is that, while he is tired, it is important for him to spend some time with the girls. To spend time with ME. To talk to us. To interact with us in a meaningful way. It is hard to do, when you feel that you have nothing left to give.
But what I have learned is that electronics drain more from you than help you. Getting hugs from the girls. Learning about their day. Teaching them something. Those are the things that refill your soul.
Is it exhausting rolling around on the floor with them? Going to the pool and catching them while they jump in a hundred times? Chasing them while playing ball outside? Yes. You will be sore. You will be tired. But after spending the whole day behind a desk, you need some activity. You are feeding your soul as well as your body.
Take some time with your kids. Play a game together. Have a meal at the dinner table (ditch eating in front of the TV). Go for a walk. Do something together. You will not regret it.