are you a working mom, tired and weary from day to day tasks and worried every day that you are not spending enough quality time with your children? Are your children school aged and you find yourself discouraged that it feels that there are never enough hours in the day to just enjoy their presence and have fun with them?
If you answered yes to either of these questions or if you find yourself feeling that you don’t spend enough time with your children, then you must know that you are not alone in these feelings. With the way of the world today, we adults tend to rush from one thing to the next, trying to please everyone and juggle our ever growing lists of tasks.
Everyone’s to do list is different, but I promise everyone carries this list in some form or another. And what do many of us wish at the end of the day, when all is said and done? Many of us wish that we had more relaxing moments spent with the ones we care most about.
These moments may not be easy to come by, but if we really try they can be achieved my friends. Try to incorporate some of these tips into your daily routines and watch how these little changes can turn into moments and even lasting memories!
“YOUR CHILDREN KNOW YOU LOVE THEM BY YOUR PRESENCE, NOT YOUR PRESENTS..”
1. When You Walk In The Door Put Away Your Phone.
This is my number one piece of advice as I find it to be so commonplace in this day and age for us to always be on our phones, even when we are not even thinking about it, it is a hard habit to break for many.
My husband and I are just as guilty of this as the next person but we recently made a commitment to each other to put down our phones when we get home from work every night until the kids get into bed. We can answer important phone calls but otherwise, it is a “No Phone Zone”.
We talked about the fact that our children are noticing everything these days and we certainly don’t want them growing up with their eyes glued to their phones when they come home from school, we want to teach them that personal interactions and spending time with family is not only important but more fun than anything found on your phone!
2. Sit Down As A Family For Dinner
Looking back on my childhood so many of my memories came from the dinner table. As often as possible my parents tried to have a sit-down dinner at the kitchen table and we would pick out music to listen to and just talk about things as a family.
Sometimes we ate quietly while other times we shared things about our day, our concerns, or things we were excited about. The bottom line is that we were together for this hour, with no other distractions.
3. Go On One-On-One Dates With Your Children
If you have multiple children it can be hard to divide your attention equally, and sometimes this means one or more of your little ones may not get enough quality time with you. My husband and I realized this early on as we have twins and it is near impossible to give them undivided attention because their sibling is always right there.
We started taking them on individual outings every once in a while. Usually, it’s as simple as running errands but they always enjoy the one on one time and they are usually so well behaved likely because they are getting the attention they crave.
As they get older my hope is that this evolves into more of a scheduled and regular thing and the outings become memorable experiences for them.And on this note, even if you have only one child you can schedule one on one dates with your child split between you and your spouse, anything that gives them a little more quality time and attention will be so welcomed by them and by you!
4. Be Organized And Plan Ahead
Admittedly this can be hard to do at times because let’s be honest, who has the time for organization?? But being organized and planning ahead can certainly make things easier on the whole family.
For instance, do you know that you will have to work late one day or that your kids have extracurricular activities on a certain day/night?
Planning ahead to make sure dinner is prepared (or in the crock pot) once you get home and that all household chores are already taken care of for the day makes for a much easier evening when you finally make it into the door rather than running around in a rush that doesn’t end until well after the kids are tucked into bed. Trust me, I’ve been on both sides of this and I thank myself every time that I have the foresight and energy to be organized and plan ahead.
“AS A MOM, YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT HOW MUCH TIME YOU’RE SPENDING WITH YOUR KIDS. THERE IS NOTING YOU WILL REGRET MORE IN YOUR LIFE – NOTHING – THAN NOT BEING PRESENT WITH YOUR CHILDREN.
– JAMIE LEE CURTIS “
5. Make The Most Of Your Lunch Break
If you have a long lunch break (anything over 30 minutes), see what small errands you can fit into this chunk of time. Groceries for your dinner or household supplies can be bought, gifts for upcoming birthday parties can be purchased, phone calls made, meal planning done… anything that you can squeeze into this chunk of time are things that you will not have to worry about later when you are together with your family.
6. Get Help With Household Tasks
This is something that I am understanding the importance of every day. I used to try and do everything solely by myself, cooking and cleaning included.
Talk about exhausting! I have recently let my husband help with household thing like laundry and occasionally dishes (he is amazing by the way!) and this takes a tremendous load off of my shoulders in the evenings.
If you can afford it financially, also consider hiring someone to help with regular house upkeep and purchasing meal services such a prepackaged meals or services that send you boxed ingredients for home preparation.
As they say, “time is money” and often times parents that can swing it opt for using their monthly budget on services that help to free up their time so they can focus on their family rather than luxury clothing or lifestyle items.
7. Take A Family Vacation
Now some people might see this one and say “duh!!” and others may look at this and say “we can’t afford it”… but no matter what your initial thoughts are let me just say that as long as you have paid vacation days or the ability to take days off of work then you can make a vacation happen.
For those that may not have the finances, a “staycation” works just as well. Just a good chunk of time that neither parent works and kids are not in school so that you can slow down and step away from the normal routine and hustle and bustle of everyday life and make some memories together.
8. Develop A Special Bedtime Routine
Although bedtime can be the time of the day when everyone has reached their point of exhaustion, I also find it to be the time of the day when my girls will open up to me the most.
Laying in bed and reading them a book or just giving them a hug gives them a sense of love and security which in turn usually ends with them opening up to me and sharing with me about their thoughts, whether they be serious or silly.
This may not end in long conversations every night but providing a routine that is calm and reassuring every night provides that sense of closeness and security that promotes an environment of comfort and trust which means when they have something to tell you then they certainly will!
9. Turn Off The Radio And TV
Now don’t get me wrong, we watch TV every so often in our home and we listen to the radio frequently in the car as well. What I am suggesting here is that we have consistent
periods of time where those things are turned off and we tune into each other. Just as I said with the phones, eliminating distractions such as these is the first step into carving out quality time with your family in our otherwise hectic lives.
10. Hug, Kiss, Smile, And Snuggle
Really, this should have maybe been #1. I am fully aware that not everyone is as comfortable with physical affection as others are, but I tell you what, in my experience, these displays of affection mean the world to children. Often times a smile, kiss, or hug is all that is needed to overturn a souring situation in our home.
But what’s more is that even on those days when we all drag in from work and daycare feeling exhausted, and all we have time for is a quick dinner and bath, those are the days where those hugs and kisses really matter for both my children and for myself.
These physical actions can speak volumes to your children and make both of you feel so connected and close to each other, even when you are not able to be constantly near each other.
I hope these tips have been helpful and provide you with some inspiration on days when you just feel that it’s all going wrong. And trust me when I say we all have those days, no mother is perfect, no family is perfect. We are all in this thing called motherhood together!