As parents we are always scrambling to find ways to keep our children occupied- are there week-end classes, what are the latest books for my kids to read and, if you are a teen’s parent, is there any quick project that my daughter can work on? Sounds familiar?
Parents, especially the involved ones, are so busy trying to optimize their children’s lives that they often miss out on doing the same with their own. In my case, between managing a full time job and raising two kids, I believed that I had no time to pursue my own interests or to do fun things. In the last couple of years however, I have done some introspection: how easily I give my children fundas on time management? And how often have I spoken to them on exhibiting a lifelong learning attitude? How about applying these ideas to myself, I thought? And so I revived my interest in cooking and baking, began reading a lot more widely and regularly and, more recently, started to do a bit of gardening.
Now, when I look around me, I find many others I know being much more than “parents”. My husband, for example, has always found the time to do what interests him; other friends are passionately pursing everything from photography and writing to cycling and music. As parents, by continuing to develop our own interests, we demonstrate to our children that learning need not stop at any point in time. It can continue forever. More importantly, it helps us develop a sense of balance. Rather than make our children’s lives and hence their achievements our top and most often only priority, if we set aside some time for our own interests, it helps children also get the much needed breathing space. Doing your own thing is obviously a lot of fun too.
Last, when it is time for children to set out to chase their own dreams, we have something to fall back on. So, time to get a life?