By: Mai Edwards
Visit Mai on her fantastic blog The Mommy Suite!
It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day, especially when your a full time working mommy, getting my little girl to preschool, changing diapers, cooking/cleaning, etc; you can forget to take the time to connect with your children. I am definitely guilty of this, I am so busy with getting errands done, getting the kids to their preschool or baby classes on time or baby classes, I sometime forget to stop and to take the moment in and just enjoy my time with my babies. I have definitely started to consciously take the time to enjoy and be in the moment with my kids. I wanted to share some great ideas that have really helped me to connect with my babies.
Bedtime Rituals: Being a working mom, I am away from them for most of the day, so the bedtime routine I usually take over so I can spend some quality time with my babies. I usually give them both a bath and that’s the time when I talk to my little girl and she tells me about her day. I get to really have sole one on one time with her so she feels special and knows that I really care and want to know about her day. After both babies are bathed I usually get my little girl down first, we read stories together, cuddle and I rub her back as she falls asleep. With my little guy, he just turned one so he still needs extra TLC, I will nurse him or he may just want his soother and I rock him to sleep.
Preparing/Cooking Dinner: My little girl is four and a half so she is at that age when she wants to help do everything. So I bought a special stool (we call it her cooking chair) and she helps me prepare and cook dinner. This is a special time that my and my little girl share to prepare dinner for the whole family. She loves to help cut veggies or set the table. Not only does this activity connect me with my little girl, but it also makes her feel like a big girl and teaches her the importance of eating together as a family and healthy eating habits.
Art time: Every weekend I set aside some time to do a special art activity of my daughter’s choice. She usually wants to paint, make play dough or draw, whatever the activity is I make sure to paint with her, have her pour in ingredients when we make play dough, or colour a picture together.
Hidden Notes: Now that my little girl goes to preschool. I prepare a special lunch each time and I always stick in a special note just to tell her how special she is to me or how much I love her.
Disconnect: Your phone, i pad, computer or whatever media device you have. It’s hard to connect with the kids before you disconnect from the rest of the world, so put your phone down. This is one of the simplest but also most important things we can do.
Movie Night: I don’t give my kids a lot of screen time, we do a lot of activities throughout the day so every night, I give my little girl about 30 minutes of TV time and we watch together whatever show she wants to see. Lately its been a lot of “My little pony” I seriously know the words to the theme song and some other ones that the ponies sing throughout some episodes. After my little girls show, I usually put on a baby einstein video for about 15 minutes for my baby boy and the three of us enjoy some quality time watch the show.
Get Outside: Whatever your schedule, find ways to get outdoors for at least 20 minutes a day. We are lucky and live really close to a little pond that has a great trail to walk about so we tend to do family walks through the trail. Or sometimes we go to the Bear Creek Park while my hubby runs around the track, me and the kiddos play on the playground or walk around and explore the trails in the park.
In writer Mai’s words…