It’s no secret…I have mom guilt…and it’s BAD! I wake up feeling guilty from the day before and go to bed feeling guilty from all the yelling I did that day. I’m sure it’s totally normal, right?! I had three kids very close together. My first 2 are only 13 months apart…oops! And my third was born 2 years after my second. Oh, fun fact, I had 2 miscarriages in between 2 and 3 and I was given a small chance to even have a baby. Baby number one was conceived through many, many fertility treatments. Anyway, here I am, years later, with a 6, 5, and 2 year old all fighting (and I mean FIGHTING) for my attention day in and day out. As much as I try each day, it is literally impossible to give each of them my undivided, special, individual attention throughout the day. My two year old gets most of the attention throughout the day because…well, she is 2 and she is the baby boss, and we are all afraid of her. Ha! I’m sure all of you moms know what I mean. So this weekend, I decided to give my 5 year old daughter Tenley some special one on one mommy and me time. I recommend doing this with your kids once a month, even if it’s just a trip to the supermarket or taking them out to ice cream. It’s a great way to connect without the other sibling distractions and to make them feel special.
Tenley and I spent the whole day together Saturday. We drove about an hour away to visit my old town. We did some shopping, had lunch, and visited the cemetery where my father is buried. We had the best day together. She had a permanent smile on her face the whole day. She was quiet…just taking everything in. She didn’t have to scream over everyone else to be heard. She got my full, undivided attention and it she loved it!
These days are important. My kids are growing up so fast and sometimes I don’t even notice because of life’s everyday craziness. I need to take more days like this and I know it’s so hard to take a full day of one on one time with your children, but I came up with a few things we can do to make our children feel special even if we don’t always have that free time.
Take a Walk or Bike Ride
Even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes. Makes some time to get outside, enjoy some fresh air and go for a walk with one kid.
The grocery story is one of my most dreaded chores. But…make it more enjoyable and special by taking one of the kids and having them help you. Or let them pick something special out for dessert or a treat.
Mini Date Night
Make you child feel special by bringing him or her out on a “date night”. Let them pick the spot, get dressed up and have a special meal. Even if it’s just Chik-fil-a, they will feel so special if they have that one on one time with you. Teach them good restaurant manners during this time. My husband and I have even brought one of the kids out on a date night with us. It makes them feel extra special to go out with mommy and daddy!
I am not a cook by any means, but I do enjoy baking. Having one of the kids help bake is both a teaching and bonding experience. Let them pick out a meal or special treat and make it together!
Take Turns Letting Them Stay up Late
We do this often with our oldest son. But every once in a while we allow our middle daughter stay up a few minutes later to spend extra time with us. She loves it and feels so special staying up a few extra minutes to read a book, chat, or just cuddle.
Read a special Book
Let your child you pick out a special book to only read with them. No other siblings around to distract. It’s amazing how much calmer you and your child will be. They will actually listen to the story and take it all in.
Taking the time to spend with my kids one on one is so important…not only to your child but also to you. You learn about their tiny personalities so much more, and appreciate them as an individual. I love this time, I cherish these moments, and I appreciate my kids on a whole new level.