Making memories, doing things for your kids, and just being with your kids are all ways to help your children have a happy childhood—but if the thought of all of this is overwhelming (and results in groaning—from you), just remember that nothing needs to be staged or over-the-top. It just needs to be sincere and real. Take everything in 30-second portions. Sometimes we think that we have to spend hours at a time doing crafts or painting a room or baking something elaborate or playing games outside when in reality hours aren’t needed (unless you’re having fun). Only minutes. Even seconds. When you’re tired and don’t want to get up to get your child something that he or she asked for or to do something with them or respond positively to a will-you-play-with-me invitation, just remind yourself that this moment right here will only take 30 seconds—but your child will remember it forever! Your children will remember that you played with them. That you spent time with them. That you did stuff for them. And you know what? You won’t even remember that you were this tired. You will remember the positive side too—that you were a good parent who was present and attentive and involved and active. You didn’t just slink behind the excuse of “I’m exhausted and I earned the right to do nothing after a day like today.” Yes, if we’re tired, we need to rest and we need to say so. But have you noticed that our children are satisfied with a few minutes of togetherness? It doesn’t have to be continuous. (Which follows, we will get a chance to rest!) Have you noticed that they just need to feel connected to us? And when they feel connected, they feel okay and can self-direct their activities? The more we pour ourselves into our relationship with our children, the more our children will feel grounded, the more they will be confident, and the more they will take initiative with their own lives. It’s when we push them away that they get all the more clingy (which most certainly will be a negative drain our energy and will prevent our being able to adequately rest).