Recently I read that book A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family... and really gleaned good stuff from it. One of the best things was the author's emphasis on the vital importance of relationships. In her opinion relationships should trump all... or most things. So, for instance if rooms need to be cleaned or chores done, but her children are engaged in peaceful and loving interactions she thinks the chores should wait... even hours or until the interactions turn south.
That really impacted my perceptions. I am a bit more list driven... I have a routine and stick to it... and it serves to create a peaceful and enjoyable family life. But, recently I've noticed, especially in school that I sort of just move us along to the next thing, despite the good things that are occurring. Some where the routine turned from it serving me, to me serving it!
This morning... after breakfast we did chores... as I was finishing up some laundry downstairs the little ones went upstairs to get dressed and tidy up their rooms. They got dressed, but got "lost in play" while rooms should have been cleaned... it is now 3 hours later and still they are still playing SO happily.
About 2 hours ago I thought, "I really need to stop this play and get school going!" I felt panicked and defeated that we hadn't started on time and like I am wasting good learning time. I was then reminded... they are learning, they are learning how to play nicely, how to imagine and how to be friends. Is there any thing more important for a 5, 3 and 2 year old to learn? Not really. So, we didn't read a book or count or do a project or practice phonics skills... but today my children did play for 3 hours uninterrupted with their best friends!
We can do our school work this afternoon or tomorrow.
I am sitting back... going to fold a monstrous mound of laundry while my little ones play doggy family and I thank God for relationships!