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Why I Stopped Telling My Daughter to Hurry Up

There are many heartwarming tales out there on the internet that share these sweet moments when a mom decided to stop telling her child to hurry up. The woman learned to let go of her own time sensitivity, to let go of her plans, and to let her child take all the time they needed as they were merely discovering the world and oh what a joy that truly is.

This is not one of those posts.

Don’t get me wrong. I love those stories. Honestly and truly I do. However, I discovered my own motivation to stop telling my kids to hurry up.

If they’re not hurrying up, it means whatever it is they’re doing is taking up more time in the day.

No, really, hear me out on this.

Call me a lazy, uncreative, boring parent, but I find it incredibly difficult to find ways to entertain my kids all day. Lillian, my 2.5 year old, is actually pretty good at keeping herself occupied. Levi, my 1.5 year old, is not. Bless his heart. He’s just a little boy, though. It’s not his fault that after knocking down 7 block towers he’s ready to move on. And since those block towers were Lillian’s, she is now extremely frustrated and wants to do something else as well.

By 10 a.m. one recent morning, we had eaten breakfast, cleaned up breakfast, watched an episode of Sesame Street, played with blocks, read books, done the Play-Dph thing, colored, done puzzles, played with their toys and… I was out of ideas. I had no clue what else to do with them.

This is me most days.

I even made finger paint for them to play with one day and the time it took to make the paint, get set up, then get cleaned up afterwards far exceeded the length of time they actually played with the paint.

1958026_559418750824336_5588807220305884448_nSo why then am I trying to rush them through getting dressed to head to the store? Why am I telling Lillian to hurry up and put the puzzle away? Why on Earth am I trying to get them in and out of the bath as quickly as possible when it’s one of their favorite things and they’re totally content to hang out in there until their lips turn blue because the water’s no longer hot?

All these activities, all these things they enjoy doing, take up time in my day. They relieve the burden of my having to come up with something for them to do. They keep them happy and entertained and it all takes us one minute closer to the end of a day which will surely end in tears and tantrums because, ya know, toddlers.

I know this post isn’t as touching as most on the subject, but I’m all about telling you how it is. And some days, if I’m being honest, it’s difficult to get from wake up to bed time and this–letting my kids take however they long they want to do something no matter how boring I might find it–is one way I’m surviving this difficult stage in motherhood.

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6 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Telling My Daughter to Hurry Up

  1. Dakota

    Actually, no, thank you for telling it like it is. I think if I read one more “epiphany post” without having one myself I’m going to scream. And omg, I totally hear you on setting up the craft that took more time to prep and then clean up than to actually do!

  2. jdvdoula

    I let Vivi linger a LONG time in the bath. I always have. I check in on her of course — but sometimes her love affair with water allows me to rotate laundry, run the dishwasher, vacuum the rug I can barely see under all the debris etc… And sometimes I just sit down near the bathroom with the book I’ve been dying to get back too or catch up on Facebook feed. I know, I know… I only have one so all of this will change, but I’m living the dream now.

  3. Toni Hammer

    Right?! I’m consistently amazed at how tiny a toddler’s attention span is.

  4. Toni Hammer

    You are very wise to be enjoying it now. But, in a couple years when Vivi can play with someone in the bath it’ll all be worth it!

  5. KristenO

    I’m a teacher, and one of my rules of thumb is that kids can only be expected to focus on an activity for as many minutes as years they are old (e.g. A 12 year-old can focus for 12 minutes). Keeping this in mind helps me keep patience when I’m home with my 2.5 year-old. When he plays with anything for longer than this, I’m happy.

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