Quality Time with my Children
I am a mum of 4 kids and quality time
use to be still is very important to me, but I am finding this harder and harder to achieve.
When my children were babies and toddlers, I had more time to achieve quality time. I have always worked but when my kids were young it was on a part-time basis so this is where some of my time has gone lately. I have only been blogging a couple of years and this now takes up many a lost hour. I need to exercise around my work/kids so this is another place that has sucked up time. And my precious darlings are so busy themselves that the remaining of my time is as a taxi driver.
As someone who grew up in a large family, I often felt left out and needed more time with mum. So when I became a mother, I was determined to put aside some quality time for each child once a week. It’s like it use to be very important to me and lately I have simply forgotten. I was reminded recently just how much I miss spending quality time with the kids, when I spent an amazing day with my youngest. He did not stop talking (some of the things he said would shock you) but he appeared so grown up. Time is going so quickly that I can’t afford to be complacent anymore.
Next year is MY big year for changes and on top of my list are ways I can spend more quality time with the kids. Let me share what I have come up with so far:
- Technology FREE 2 hours. As the year has progressed, so too has my ability to stick with this rule (and enforcing it with the kids). As of next year, from 6:30pm – 8:30pm there will be no technology. The only exception is doing homework or assignments for work that couldn’t be completed early. Tech free means no phones, no emails, no iPads and no e-games. Even if we don’t always do stuff together, at least we will all be in the moment.
- One-on-one time. It doesn’t have to be an event like going to the movies. It can be as simple as popping down to the supermarket but just taking one child. Or taking my car to be washed and taking only one child. Or having a quick coffee/hot chocolate if we are running early for school in the morning.
- Stop saying YES to everything. The time has come where I need to take things back to being a little more simple. I have to put my kids first and realise every time I say YES to someone else, I am saying NO to my kids. I just need to learn how to balance it.
- Stop sweating the small stuff. This one is hard for me. A clean and tidy house is something I love but most weeks it ends in some sort of argument. Also, when I get home from work, if there is stuff everywhere, I tend to get cranky way too quickly. These are not big issues, they are small things. My mood can prevent my kids from opening up to me about their day and spending quality time with me.
- Cook with the kids. I hate to cook but unfortunately we need to eat and cook everyday. I have started to cook with one child once a week (and so far we are kicking butt in the kitchen – or she is anyway) so I decided as it is something that has to be done, why not get help doing it. We can make it fun and I promise not to sweat the small stuff along the way.
- Book in family time each weekend. Sometimes this is harder than it sounds as we have lots of sports on but when you are racing from one event to the next, there is no quality time. I am not going to stress if one child is missing (I know have a teenager who works weekends), family time will still be booked in for an hour each weekend.
- Leave a special message once a week. This can be as simple as a text message telling my child how proud I am of them or a special little note in their school lunchbox or a tiny gift left under their pillow for when they go to bed. They will know that I have been thinking about them and how special they are to me, not matter what time of day it is.
- Schedule a special one-on-one date once a month. This is something I think my kids will not only look forward to but also remember with fond memories. I will include things like movies (that’s a given), sneaky lunches if I have the day off, a quick dinner just for 2, coffee date, yoga classes, head out for a surf and anything else we share as a common interest.
Now that I have finally put this in writing, and sharing it with my gorgeous audience, I would like you guys to hold me accountable if I start to complain I AM SO BUSY. Life is never too busy for the most precious people in your life.
How do you spend quality time with your child?
Linking up with Essentially Jess for team #IBOT