I often find the days go by in a blur and we're so caught up in the routine (and getting everything "done") that we don't make time for play - even as little as 15 minutes a day. This could mean play time for yourself, with your kids, with your husband, or with your friends/family. Just a tiny part of your day that is all about joy - nothing but pure fun.
Last night we were trying to have an adult conversation and the kids kept coming in, interrupting, being loud and asking for my attention, but it was a more serious conversation and I wanted to finish it. I was torn between knowing my kids needed some of my time after their long day at school/day care, and needing to be a grown up for a few minutes. I feel it's important that they understand, even at their young age, that they need to be respectful and can't rule the house by trying to interrupt or be so loud that we can't hear over their voices. For perspective, we're talking about a 15 minute conversation here... nothing too crazy. But because my attention was elsewhere, it was an obvious reminder that it was imperative that they got some play time when I was done - play time with 100% of my attention.
I took the kids upstairs and my son had 4 books lined up for me to read to them. This past Monday his school started their MS Read-A-Thon fundraiser and we have to try and read at least one book a night. They sat enraptured and they probably could have read 4 more books. I couldn't be happier that they both love books so much. I am an avid reader and I hope they can find the same pleasure in reading that I have since a very early age. I love that the Read-A-Thon is going to force me to focus on them every night. Sometimes I come home so pooped from my day that I take the lazy way out and just snuggle with them in front of the TV. They love that, of course, but I feel like I'm cheating in some way. Now I try as often as possible to either read, do a puzzle or play a game with them before the TV goes on. We really don't have much time between getting home and 7:30 bedtime, but I do want to make sure to find that little bit of time each day where the kids and I can just play. They couldn't be happier when we do this... and I know that very soon they won't want to play with me anymore. I'm definitely going to try and make the most of it while it lasts! I will do something to make the kids happy every single day - which makes me happy too :-)
P.S. We can all take a lesson from my 3 year old daughter - she is always happy, ready to play, and usually into some kind of mischief. I think she is the happiest person I have ever met... I hope she never loses this. Here she is dancing (as she always does when she hears some music).