I’m sure you’ve all read those stories about how to set up the perfect movie night, or how to start having a family game night in your home. If you’re like me, you’ve filed those ideas away for later – when the kids are older. Those ideas sit in your little folder in the “picture perfect middle school family” file cabinet that your brain refuses to realize may never happen, because the “picture perfect middle school family” might just be a pipe dream.
But what are you doing now? RIGHT NOW with your baby bees? I know how hectic the evenings are. Daddy heads home from work, Mommy starts dinner, sometimes family mealtime happens, or maybe you’re frantically finishing feeding the kids when Daddy walks in the door. Or maybe you are a single Mommy who works and when you all finally pile into the house in the evening after a long day of work and day care, the last thing you want to think about is anything other than bath-bottle-bed kinda stuff as you long for a few minutes of “me” time.
Might I just challenge you with this post to set aside 30 minutes. Just 3o. Goal would be every evening, but goals aren’t always attainable. So shoot for every other evening to begin with. And have a family play time. Not only is this good for your older kiddos, it’s VITAL for your Baby Bee. Baby Bees learn best through observation. They’re learning how to move, how to laugh, how to speak, from YOU. So in amongst all the crazy evening schedules, we have worked to build in 30 minutes with our kids. We put our phones away (although Mommy often snaps pictures!), the four of us go into Grayson’s room, we close the doors to contain the savage beast (ha!), and all four of us play on the floor together.
We get to monitor Big Butterfly as she learns to carefully play with Baby Bee, and we also get to interact all four of us together – whether it’s playing with his big Fisher Price train, or reading books, or working puzzles, or building with his tool set, we are in the room with HIS toys that are all safe for him, and we are just hanging out. Both of our kids have benefited from this time all together so much. They often end up snuggling up to us, and wanting to be close. Becca loves to get to play with Grayson’s toys, and to show him how they work. It is a time of the evening that I have come to cherish – when time almost stands still. When the stress and worry of the day gets left at the door, and we just go and laugh with our kids. I hope and pray that you will take time to stop, and start smelling the roses. Don’t miss the opportunity to spend time with your kiddos.
Just keep in mind that your Baby Bees are watching. And learning. Fill up their little love tanks while they’ll let you… and maybe, just maybe they’ll continue to want that play time with you so that you really can become that “picture perfect middle school family.” Because before you know it, it’ll be time to start planning those perfect movie nights, and family game nights will no longer be Memory and Candy Land, but Monopoly and Life and Ticket to Ride.