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The Important Life Lesson My Toddler Taught Me

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One simple picture, a split second caught on camera. That’s all it took for me to realize that I needed to press pause in life.

Being a working parent is tough. The days are long and sometimes the reward seems minimal, but I take pride in being able to “do it all.” I’m a parent to children both on earth and in heaven, a wife and a television news anchor. And in between my everyday life, I find time to blog, volunteer and even launch a charity in honor of our triplets. Life is busy and finding time to do it all is like mastering a 1,000 piece puzzle.

My career often bleeds into my home life. My daughter, Peyton, has been a fixture in the community since her premature birth in 2013. She is sass and spunk and bursting with happiness. After a recent newscast, my photographer and I drove to my house to film a parenting segment for the news. Peyton loves the camera and adores “Photog Jon.” As we wrapped up our segment, it was time for Jon to leave for his dinner break. As he began packing up his equipment, Peyton sweetly asked, “Jon, stay for a tea party!” I chuckled as I kindly told my daughter that he had more important things to do that night. Before I could even finish my sentence, Photographer Jon was sitting on the ground, ready to have a tea party with my daughter.

For the next five minutes, Peyton poured pretend tea and giggled with her friend, Jon, and several of her closest stuffed animal pals. I was beaming, a grin from ear to ear, as I snapped a picture of this adorable moment. I looked at the picture and saw my daughter’s pure joy, and that’s when I realized it was time to press pause in life.

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In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be difficult to take a moment to breathe. That night was my moment, my chance to step back and look at what’s most important in life. After snapping that picture, I vowed to find time to relax and enjoy the little moments. Those dishes in sink? They can wait! A family movie night is more important. That pile of laundry? It also can wait! My daughter wants to swing outside.

Last week, my to-do list increased to two pages, and my Type A personality felt like it may win over. But, instead of getting dressed for the day and running our errands, Peyton and I had a pajama filled morning. We lounged and played and had a dance party to Justin Timberlake. The chores may be growing, but family comes first. As I looked at my long to-do list, I couldn’t help but shred it to pieces. I will eventually get to those important tasks, but right now I’m busy making memories.

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A version of this originally appeared at: http://www.perfectlypeyton.com/2016/07/time-to-press-pause-in-life/

Source: Huffington Post Parents

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