Rushing Our Children Through Life

Rushing Our Children Through Life

Rushing Our Children Through Life

My child sat down at the picnic table delightedly admiring the heaping sno-cone she held in her hand. Suddenly, a look of worry came across her face. “Do I have to rush, Mama?”

I could have cried.

Here was my child simply wanting to enjoy her icy treat, but she feared she would have to eat quickly and perhaps not have time to finish it down to the last tasty drop. Hearing the word “rush” upon her small lips was disheartening. But for many years, I lived life in a rush. “Hurry up” became a worn-out phrase in my daily vocabulary.

Live in Today

As my child looked up at me waiting to know if she could take her time, I knew I had a choice. I could sit there in sorrow thinking about the number of times I rushed my child through life … or I could celebrate the fact that today things are different.

I chose to live in today.

“You don’t have to rush. Just take your time,” I said gently. Her whole face instantly brightened and her shoulders relaxed.

And so we sat side-by-side talking about things that ukulele-playing-six-year-olds talk about. There were even moments when we sat in silence just smiling at each other and admiring the sights and sounds around us.

The Sweetness of Life

I thought my child was going to eat the whole darn thing—but when she got to the last bite, she held out a spoonful of ice crystals and sweet juice for me. “I saved the last bite for you, Mama,” my daughter said proudly.

As I let the icy goodness quench my thirst, I realized I just got the deal of a lifetime.

I gave my child a little time … and in return, she gave me her last bite and reminded me that things taste sweeter and love comes easier when we take pause in the busyness of life.

What pressures do you experience that make you rush your children? Have you discovered any ways for slowing down and simply being with the ones you love?

Rachel Stafford

Article written by

Rachel Macy Stafford is a certified special education teacher with a Master’s Degree in education and ten years experience. She shares her journey to let go of daily distraction and grasp what really matters on her blog Hands Free Mama and on Facebook at The Hands Free Revolution.


Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a Guest Blogger of and is provided in order to offer a variety of thoughtful points of view. The opinions expressed on this Perspectives Blog post do not reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or As such, Dr. Greene and are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. This post is used under Creative Commons License CC BY-ND 3.0


  • Cheryl Greene

    Rachel — Once again, you made me cry. What a beautiful post — a poignant reminder of the years that have gone by and a reminder to take time today.

    • Hands Free Mama

      Thank you for the kind and supportive words, Cheryl! They mean so much!

  • Jenny

    That’s great when it comes to moments like the above, but what about when they take an excessive amount of time to put their shoes on, or simply won’t get dressed so you can take them to camp, swimming, etc (things that they could then again take their time with and enjoy)? I feel that while this article was heart warming and in the moment, and I agree at times it’s necessary to teach our children to take time to enjoy simple nice moments in life (heck all adults could learn to do this as well); there are times when children do need to learn to ‘hurry up’.

    • Kim

      I hear you, and at the end of the day, I don’t think it is worth it to make them ‘hurry up’. Why? Really? Why? If we can plan to give them an extra 10 minutes to tie their shoes, what do we lose? I should say, I am constantly in a hurry. I trip-link and plan and leverage any 30 seconds available to me… but one of my sons doesn’t. That is who he is. The other does. Sometimes they aren’t like us and I think that also deserves a moment of contemplation, and maybe 10 extra minutes of recognition and appreciation….

      • Hands Free Mama

        I really like your perspective, Kim. I also love your practical solution of planning to give 10 extra minutes so your child can go at his own pace and do things independently. This is exactly what I started doing with my leisurely child. It turned out to be a win-win for both of us. Granted, we were still late once in a while, but I realized that being a few minutes late is definitely not the end of the world. Thanks for sharing.