This post was originally published over at MomParadigm.com.
Yesterday, I attended Leading Moms, hosted by Christine Pilkington of Crisp Media and Vancouver Mom.ca. The day was rich with inspiring speakers such as opening Keynote Speaker, Christine McGee of Sleep Country, Anne Rice, 2-time Olympic Champion, Dr. Deborah MacNamara of the Neufeld Institute and Kelsey Ramsden, Canada’s top female entrepreneur, cancer survivor and owner of SparkPlay. Every woman had unique and fascinating stories with a common theme of PLAY woven through.
Each speaker talked about the importance of play and what it meant for them and their children. They shared personal triumphs, successes in business, education and lessons learned from sport. We even had a mom rapper take the stage to bring the fun factor up.
I was riveted to my seat, eager to soak in every word, (aside from when I was fixing website issues for clients on my smart phone which thankfully didn’t take too long, love my HTC1!). And as always, when you are looking for inspiration to make a change in your life it finds you. This day was that for me.
I’ve realized over the past couple of years that this experience, this unleashing of myself as a writer has come with a price. My son has just turned three. The time is flying by and it scares me to think that I would busy myself writing, networking and connecting with other people at the expense of spending time just being with him.
I know that achieving balance, if it is even possible, requires me to nurture my own relationships and to foster new connections with the fabulous people I’ve met along the way. I think I am doing this pretty well. But I know in my heart I have sacrificed developing a well-rounded playful relationship with my son.
When I focus on being in the moment with him he is happy and more peaceful. But when I am distracted, like last night when I pulled out my laptop to do a couple of things, he lashed out, kicking my screen and breaking my heart. I knew then that he felt pushed aside, forgotten. He looked hurt and I was devastated. It is a moment I will never forget.
I think as parents to small children we often get caught up in the day-to-day and the exhaustion that overwhelms us (me) sometimes. It is getting better though. I’m sleeping through the night, mostly, and my outlook isn’t as foggy which allows me to focus on doing this thing that I love. I suppose I needed to get to this point to see what I’ve been missing. I suppose I needed to see him feel that rejection that I know too well in myself.
I am done. I am not going to miss out on my son’s younger years. I don’t want to look back and regret the time I didn’t spend with him.
This unforgettable day of inspiration that was Leading Moms reminded me that a playful attitude and time spent playing is the biggest gift we can give to our children.
How do you play with your children? What holds you back?
Thank you for reading.