Becoming a mother is one of the most precious gifts in the world. We often don’t have the chance to take a step back and really cherish this gift. Between carpools, work, activities, homework, birthday parties, laundry and well…life, there never seems to be enough free time to create quality time. Our kids are growing up before our eyes. It feels like a second ago, I was in the hospital with a newborn and then I blinked, and now have three kids. When the heck did that happen?
As the mother of three, it can be challenging to find alone time with my boys, especially the older ones. It seems I am always driving them somewhere, cooking and cleaning up a meal, folding their laundry, helping with homework or rushing out the door. That doesn’t leave much one on one time to spend with each child and truly have the focus solely on them. How are they? How is school going? Are their pressures or concerns they want to discuss? What are their dreams, fears and goals? Did they recently perform a good deed that they want to share? How are their friendships? So many questions…so little time!
Here are some tips on how to utilize the precious minutes in your day to get to know your child and express your love for them.
- Date night isn’t just for grownups:
- I love taking my boys out for dinner and spending quality time with them.
- We take turns and pick our favorite spots.
- A few days before, we talk about what we will eat and everyone gets excited.
- Make sure to pick a kid friendly spot, go early and discuss expectations ahead of time.
- If you have more than one child, try to take them out individually as well, which will ensure they have 100% of your attention, instead of everyone talking at the same time and fighting for your ear.
- Do not discuss your one on one date in front of other siblings as it might make them feel left out and jealous. If that’s the case, explain that they will get their turn soon and how important it is to spend quality time alone with Mommy.
- Plan a special lunch on a weekend when your husband can watch the other kids. If he is busy, ask a relative, a friend or hire your high school neighbor for a few hours. No excuses!
- Think about what your goals are for this special time together and have a plan. Is there something specific you want to address?
- After lunch, plan an activity, like getting your nails done together, heading to the park, going for a bike ride, getting ice cream or whatever you enjoy doing together.
- Utilize your bedtime routine to include quality alone time with each child:
- Spend a dedicated amount of time for cuddle time in your child’s bed.
- Make sure each child knows they can’t interrupt if it’s not their cuddle time.
- What was the best and worst part of their day?
- Inquire if your child would like to discuss something specific that has been on their mind.
- Sometimes just laying there together and cuddling in silence says it all.
- Steal a few minutes of cuddle time when everyone is sleeping and the house is quiet:
- Every night before I get into bed, I head into my two older boy’s room and give them a kiss and tell them how much I love them.
- At times I will crawl into their bed and snuggle for a few minutes. Sometimes they will even grab my hand in their sleep.
- There is something so beautiful and peaceful about a sleeping child. (I know you can all agree with me on that.)
- This is a moment for us moms to look at our children, smell their little warm breath and remind ourselves how blessed we are.
- A great way to end your day.
- No matter how you decide to spend your special time together, let your child know how you feel about them and what they mean to you:
- Even though life gets hectic and busy, you will send the message that you always have the time to spend with them and to listen.
- Share your thoughts and feelings by asking yourself important questions. Why are they special to you? What qualities do you admire in them?
- Share stories of your childhood and what you were like at their age.
- Cherish every second of your time together because as we all know, it goes quickly!
I believe in always finding the time to spend quality time with your child, no matter what. You will not only create memories for your child to look back on, but for yourself as well. When you put in the effort to really get to know your child and create open and honest communication when they are young, it will have a huge impact on your relationship in the years to follow. What child doesn’t want to feel heard and understood?
Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mommy Masters out there! Take some time on this special day to give yourself a pat on the back…you deserve it!