I love bubble baths. They’re where I relax. I even read all my library books in there (that’s sort of hard on the wallet everytime I drop one!).
But lately I haven’t been able to relax in my bathtub very much because my daughters have decided that my bathroom should now be called “the meeting room”.
Whenever I take a bath, they head in to talk. That’s where they want to share what’s on their hearts, or just chat. And then, when I finally do get out and dry off, they want me to tuck them in. And then they want to talk some more! They’re in separate rooms, and whoever I’m not with keeps calling me, saying it’s their turn.
My daughters are 14 and 11. It’s not like they’re 6.
But it’s gotten even more intense over the last few years. They want to talk and talk and talk.
At first I was a little perturbed, because you have to understand: I homeschool. I am with my kids all the time. And sometimes I just want some time to myself!
But we all laugh at how much they want to talk with me. It’s a running joke. And lately, when we’re taking walks, they want to hold my hand again. They haven’t done that since they were little. But lately they just really like me.
I’m thrilled, honestly. But here’s my new theory: the more we talk to our kids, the more they want to be with us. They know that we love them, and they really bond with us. It’s not that my kids don’t have friends; they really do. In fact, they’re often gone for much of the weekend, and my oldest daughter is constantly on the computer with her friends. They have a ton of outside activities. But they always want to talk it all over with me.
There’s another family I know that seems like a wonderful Christian family. And I’m sure they are. But yesterday their daughter was on the computer with my daughter, and it became clear that she was eating dinner while typing. She wasn’t eating dinner with her family, even though they were all home. They were all scattered in different rooms.
When we put in the time, kids open up. When we don’t, they start to retreat and they look for their primary emotional support elsewhere. I want my kids to always be looking to me. It’s funny, too, because my husband used to homeschool one or two days a week. About a year ago he stopped. And the girls have stopped opening up to him as much. It’s really tough. But when he is home consistently for a few weeks, like when we take vacations or something, they’re back to bantering with him, too. All of it just shows me that kids need our time and attention. They don’t need activities. They don’t need stuff. They need us.
Sometimes, though, I really need a bath. By myself. And they’re going to have to learn that!