Things can be quite overwhelming at the best of times as a parent. There’s always so much to do, and it can often feel like there aren’t nearly enough hours in the day.
We need to keep up with the children’s routines, house duties, life admin, and then there is kinder, childcare, school, your own work, and the rest. It can be easy to get caught up in the busyness, especially at this time of year, and when we do, we miss out on some precious opportunities – not only for our children, but for our own benefit too. We also forget to present in the moment, and instead remain present in our own heads and on that neverending list of things to do.
I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to being distracted by ‘getting things done’, and trying to keep up with everything. But more and more, I’m reminding myself of how important it is to stop what I’m doing, and engage with my children – especially when it comes to just letting go and being silly. Not only does it allow my children the benefit of engaging in play with me, but it’s a wonderful way to recharge my batteries and remind myself to keep in touch with my own inner child.
The benefits of play for children are of course, paramount for their development and wellbeing, but they are just as important for us as adults. It’s not that we’ve forgotten how to play; it’s more often than not the fact that we don’t make it a priority in our lives nearly as much as we should. We make excuses as to why we’re too busy, tired, and so forth (naturally, because as parents, we usually are) but we forget how much a little play would help to relieve those feelings.
Whether it’s putting the music up loud in the car and having a karaoke session, doing a silly dance while we’re out shopping, getting dirty making mud cakes out in the garden, or dressing up and pretending to be the customer while your child is the shop attendant, the list is endless. Each and every one of the experiences our children engage in give us an opportunity to remember just how incredibly meaningful play is – not only for the beautiful connections and memories made with our children, but for our own wellbeing.
So, next time you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, stressed, rushed, or just flat in general, jump in and play! Be as silly as you can, and bring out that inner child. Not only will your children love it, but you will too.