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Learning to slow down

Marisca tries to stop and smell the flowers

I have been trying to involve my children when I do more household chores lately, although I am failing terribly at that.

I know it is beneficial to have your children in the kitchen with you while cooking. You are teaching them and you are bonding. However, I feel like I am always in a rush and explaining things or cleaning up extra messes takes so long.

In the morning, I quickly make my kids breakfast while they are waking up and groggy. While they are eating that breakfast, I make their school lunches and empty the dishwasher. If one of those dominoes falls, everything gets backed up. If the dish washer isn’t emptied, then I can’t fill it back up with breakfast dishes and lunch making things. Then I have to come home to a dirty kitchen after work and no one wants that. Then we all rush out the door. We have a system and it works. When we get home, I usually prep or make supper quickly because then we have to go to after school activities. It seems like I am always in a rush.

Then my almost nine year old daughter asked me how to boil water for tea. I stopped dead in my tracks. My initial thought, was how do you not know?!? Then I remembered that I am supposed to be teaching her these things. I am failing my children. I am trying to do everything for them, but that isn’t really helping them. Maybe being efficient isn’t all that efficient in the long run.

I saw a quote shortly after this that said, “Children slow you down, but maybe that is the point.”

That struck me hard. I almost started crying. I am always so busy, rushing around and I often thought including my kids in things made those things drawn out, especially mundane tasks, things I want to get over and done with. But my kids remind me to find the joy in small things. I need to learn to slow down. I need to teach them important things like how to clean a toilet but also how to breathe, take it all in and not only how to make a cup of tea but to sit down and enjoy it.

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Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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