As soon as Halloween is over with, we see early signs of Christmas everywhere. if you’re like me and Britney, we start to think of what gifts or presents we can buy for our kids so we aren’t trying to get things at the last minute. I’m not a huge fan of crowds, unless it’s a trip to Disneyland, so the sooner we prepare, the better.
We can give them a lot of material things but what is the greatest gift you can really give your kids?
One thing comes to mind and that is love. You’re probably thinking, “Duh! That’s the whole bit about being a parent!” Let me clarify it:
Your time is the greatest gift you can give your kids this year for Christmas and for years to come.
I’m not saying to forego all toys or return the ones you’ve already bought. Presents aren’t all bad, as long as you don’t turn your child into Dudley from Harry Potter.
Your kids don’t remember their gifts for very long but they remember the experiences of receiving those gifts and for the time they’ve spent with you during the holidays.
Time is something we can never take back. It is always moving and it never stops. That’s why it’s important for each of us to use our time wisely and make sure we’re including the kids in our plans. With the holidays coming, we tend to get very busy with all the activities and trying to get ready for family things.
Spending Time Can Be Inconvenient
Sometimes it can be a pain. We packed up the triplets to go bowling the other night and it took longer to load them up in the car seats and then unload them once we got home than the entire round of bowling. But C loved it and it was a chance to get out of the house as a family. He might not remember all the events leading up to it, but he will hopefully remember that we go out as a family, a crazy big family, but we do it together.
I am very fortunate to be able to have a job where I can bring my kids to work with me as I work in construction with my dad. We were working on a job close to home and I decided to bring C to work with me. I have never seen that kid more excited than to tell his mom that he was going to work with Dad. He ran to his room and got his socks and danced around the room waiting for me to help him get ready.
I remember the first time I went with my dad, I was just as excited as he was. I felt like I was a man, just like my dad. I cannot tell you how fun it was to have C with me, to see him follow me around with his own little tape measure and hammer. It was fun to see how excited he was just to spend time with me.
Time with the kids is important for moms and dads but I want to address the dads.
Kids need their dad
Dads, it is not enough just pretend to be there with the kids physically. We need to stop using excuses that we have work to do or whatever. I’ve seen too many times when we go to an activity as a family to go do something fun, I see other fathers there with their family, their heads are stuck in their phones not paying attention to what they’re kids are doing. Look up and pay attention. Don’t let your child remember that picture of you.
Now, I know we’re not perfect in that and sometimes there are important things we need to take care of. Make the mental note and set it aside as soon as possible so you can make great memories with your kids.
The Best Moments are the in-between moments
The best moments with your kids are the ones when nothing is going on. Maybe it’s just the kid in me but I absolutely love Disneyland. My parents took me there a lot when I was a kid and Britney and I like taking our kids. If you have ever been to Disneyland, you know that a lot of your time is spent standing in line waiting for a ride. Sometimes you wait 20 minutes for a ride that lasts less than 5 minutes.
What people don’t realize is that while you’re standing in line waiting for those rides, you can spend time talking to your kids getting to know how things are going in their life. You’d be surprised how much they have to say, whether they are a babbling toddler or an older kid.
I’m not saying that you need to go to Disneyland to spend time with your kids. What I’m saying is, make memories with your kids. Don’t regret the time you have to spend with them.
Sacrifice & Splurge
Every once in a while, splurge on fun activities that your kids would love to do. When you become a parent, what you want takes second place, not in the “I can’t say ‘No’ to my children” kid of way but remembering that it’s all about family. If you absolutely have to go golfing, take your family and make a day out of it.
I’ve never felt so much more joy than I have when I see my kids know who I am and they love to spend time with me because I love to spend time with them. Sometimes that means you may have to sacrifice what you want but I guarantee that you will never regret spending that time with your kids even if you have to watch a couple episodes of Paw Patrol.
If you want to have the greatest Christmas this year and next, spend time with your kids and make awesome memories that will last a lifetime!
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1. able to withstand great force or pressure.
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