The other day, I saw a family shopping for Chinese New Year decorations. It didn't seem like a special outing specifically to buy decorations. They were dressed very casually and looked in a hurry. An adorable little girl was running back and forth between her parents, showing decorations to her mum "Shall we have this mummy?" and then to her dad "Mummy says we have enough already". It occurred to me then, that this family was having a very special family bonding moment. The family was busy looking for decorations and oblivious to the fact that they were actually having a special moment. Their child will never be at that age again and may not be interested in those same decorations again. She will grow up all too soon.
Had they realized that the time is so precious, they would have stopped, admired and asked the cute little girl for her opinion. Quite often we are in such a hurry, we forget to enjoy the moment. We may take our little ones to try new outfits for a festival but rush them in the dressing room. "Oh, hurry up! Everyone is waiting outside." We rush around so much when we really should be slowing down and cherishing every moment.
We don't have to go away for expensive holidays together or create an event then make sure everyone is available before we can have a special family bonding moment. We have that everyday in our lives whenever we spend time with our family.
We have special moments when we teach our children or help them with homework. We have bonding moments when we make cookies together for a special festival. We have happy moments when we watch a movie together. We bond when we play a sport, go for a walk, chat on the way home from school.
I really like the quote by Dr Seuss. "Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory." It is up to us to cherish our moments together and create special memories with our families.
As a stay at home mother, sometimes being around all the time makes me forget that quality time is much more precious than quantity time. Reminder to self: "Be there for your child not just physically. Every time your child comes to talk to you, listen, really listen and give them the emotional support they need from you."