- Why are there dirty socks in the middle of the kitchen?
- Why did you think it was a good idea to dump all your clothes on the floor?
- How did a whole toilet paper roll end up in the toilet?
- Why am I cleaning up crackers smashed into the floor of my car?
As a father of four children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years, I’ve had to learn to prioritize and focus on what’s important.
When we found out we were having baby #4 we called up my grandmother to tell her the good news. We weren’t quite sure how we were going to handle it all. My grandmother has lots of experience from having 7 kids of her own and a few that were born very close together. She could remember her one indulgence of the day was having a cup of coffee and sitting down to watch her soap opera before the kids got off the bus from school. She had her routines to keep her sane among all the craziness.
My wife and I asked my grandmother if she had any advice for us. Are there any tips of the trade we could use or would come in handy? We were expecting some sort of story, 3 little tips to keep everyone alive, or a secret playbook full of details. We didn’t get any of that. Her advice to us was very simple, but at the same time profound. It didn’t matter if:
- they left socks on the floor,
- didn’t listen when you asked them to pick something up,
- you weren’t able to entertain every question or
- give everyone the attention you thought they needed.
She simply said “Just Love Them”.
I repeated it back to her and she said “Yep, that’s it.” Just love them and everything will be ok.
Love them when they are happy. Love them when they are sad.
Love them when they are silly. Love them when they are mad.
Love them when they are angels. Love them when they are bad.
Sometimes in our day to day we can lose perspective. Are your kids going to remember this 10 years from now? Is it really that important?
I’ve created an iPhone app to help parents be 1% better every day. The app is called Just Love Them and randomly reminds you four times a day to love your children and focus on what matters most. As long as you’re doing it for love, you and your children will be just fine.