My husband, S, came home one day after a busy day working and started a conversation with my daughter C.
S (in a whiny voice): Atsi, papa has a headache.
C: Why do you have a headache papa?
S: I have a lot of things on my mind.
C: Because you’re doing so much work.
S: I have to because I have to feed you and Aidan.
C (indignant): We don’t eat THAT much.
My husband started laughing so hard at the statement that was so simple but contained a heck of a lot of truth in it. It was a statement that struck him, because it was both funny and it struck a chord with him.
Why do we work so hard?
Parents usually work hard to make sure their children have wonderful lives. We want our children to go to the best schools. Not content with that, we want them to have access to pricey extra-curricular classes. We want to be able to give enjoy their childhood by bringing them to fun and interesting places to visit and explore. We want to give them all we can and more.
C was right though, they don’t need THAT much.
All they need is to feel secure with their parents and enjoy bonding time… family time.
S and I decided early on to bring them out to travel a lot because it’s a great chance to enjoy time with them without the distraction of day-to-day. At home, it’s all too easy to say we’ll spend family time with them but slip out for an hour or so to attend meetings or make phone calls. It’s all too easy to leave them with yayas while we are distracted with other things.
Vacations are extra-special to kids because it’s a time for their parents’ full attention to be focused on them alone… without the rivals of daily distractions. For a few days, it’s all about them: no TV, no iPad, no work, no computers, no cellphones (especially if out of town). For a few days it’s all about them and new places to explore…. and they love it.
When you think about it, you don’t really need vacations to do that. Sometimes, all they want is to spend quiet time at home playing board games with their parents. All they want is their parents to snuggle with them in bed before they go to sleep at night.
The simple conversation between C & S, triggered something in S….
He was reminded that the kids don’t eat THAT much.
It does good for all of us to remember that when work starts getting in the way of life.