How to have regular one on one time with each child as a busy mom.
âIs it my special time today?â My kindergartner asked as soon as he stepped foot in the house. Â
âYours is tomorrow,â I answered, âToday is your brotherâs time.â
âOkay,â He skipped out of the kitchen, âI know a game we can play tomorrow!â He added over his shoulder.
My kids love their special time with mommy
If you told me several weeks ago that Iâd be making appointments with my children for a quality time with mommy, I wouldnât have believed you.Â I should always be available to my kids and husband no matter what Iâm doing, right?
Well, mostly yes and sometimes no.Â Yes, if Iâm around and my kids have something to say, I listen and respond.Â Yes, if they ask for a hug, I put down the dishes, dry my hands, and give them a hug. Â
But if Iâve made an appointment with myself for a 30-minute bubble bath with a favorite book, my family members know that itâs mommyâs time and they need to respect my self care boundaries.Â Taking care of myself recharges me and fills me up so I can then pour into my children from a full cup, and not a half-empty one.
Several weeks ago this got me thinking.Â If I can make an appointment with myself and keep it, why canât I do the same for my kids?Â When we keep an appointment with ourselves, it seems like thereâs nothing wrong with it, but if we make and keep an appointment with our children, well, thatâs unheard of!
Who puts quality time with children on their calendar? Â Who sets a timer when spending time with their kids?Â This sounds so wrong, doesnât it?Â Except itâs not.
Letâs compare the time before I set appointments with my kids, and how things look after I implemented putting time with kids on my schedule.
Life Before scheduled one on one time with kids
Any time my kids wanted special time with mommy, I put down whatever I was holding, and went to spend time with my child.Â This was fine, the dishes can always wait, but then the other four kids wanted their special time too. Â
This was ok, we just took turns.Â But then sometimes I had to pick between spending time with my kids or cooking dinner.Â On the other hand, if no-one asked for one on one time with me for a while, it didnât trigger the other kidsâ memory, and before I knew it, weeks would go by without quality one on one time with my kids.
Life After scheduled one on one time with kids
With our five kids, we worked out a schedule around after school activities where each child has a claim to one weekday with me.Â We spend 30 minutes together, just my kiddo and me. Â
They choose what we do for our 30 minutes.Â We may simply talk about anything they want.Â We may play games.Â They may get a back rub.Â One of my kids is an avid reader and loves reading his favorite books to me. What we do in that 30-minute time block is up to the child in the spotlight.Â Everyone else knows that this is a special time and they will not disturb us unless something very important is going on.
This doesnât mean Iâm not there for the other children, it means that while Iâm spending special time with one child, the other kids are learning to respect boundaries, and learning to be patient, because they know that their special time is coming.
Why itâs important to spend regular one on one time with kids
This ensures that each child regularly has uninterrupted time with their parent.Â And if they forget, mommy will remind them.Â So they never feel like theyâre missing out.
Donât get me wrong, I donât limit spending time with my kids just to these appointments.Â Iâm always there for them, we cook together, play together, clean and do chores together.Â But thereâs something special about this time when my child has my undivided attention, and I have his. Â
This builds stronger bonds between myself and each one of my children and makes them feel important.Â Because they know that mommy has a lot to do, but when itâs their turn for special time with mommy everything and everyone else has to wait.Â Thatâs pretty powerful and means a lot to a child. Â
Regularly giving individual attention to each child will get them used to opening up to you, and as they grow, they will be more likely to come to you to share their struggles and wins, or simply talk with you as a friend would.Â
But itâs important for you, too.Â You will learn so much about your child, they will open up to you more, and you will begin seeing the world through their eyes.Â if you open your heart to it, you can learn a lot from your children.
This is why itâs important for parents to spend regular special time with kids.Â Set appointments with your child and encourage daddy to do the same.Â Everyone will learn from one another and grow together, building a strong family bond.
You probably have about a million things on your do to list, I get it. Â Here’s how you can find designated time with each of your children.
Want ideas of things to do during one on one time with your kids without leaving the house?Â Sign up for our motherhood tribe email list below and the list will be on its way to your inbox.