How does a busy wife and mom find extra time in her day to really focus on quality time with her kids?
That’s a good question!
If you’ve been following my blog the last few days, then you already know I struggle in this area. But I’m working on it!
I brain-stormed a few practical ways to spend more quality time with your kids, but first I want to clarify a few things.
So what do I mean by quality time?
I’m referring to the “love language” quality time, as described in The 5 Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman.
I highly recommend this book, by the way!
How do I know if my child’s love language is Quality Time?
The biggest clue is that your child will ask for extra time with you, or complain about not having enough one-on-one time with you.
All children need time with their parents, but if your child’s love language is quality time then he or she will absolutely thrive on in (and whither emotionally without it).
Spending time with this child is what makes him or her really, really feel loved.
1- Read to your kids. Easier said than done on busy days, but very important.
2- Tell a bed time story. My three-year old asks for one every night!
3- Always, always, take a minute to tell your kids goodnight before they go to sleep. I want my children to go to sleep with their emotional “love tanks” full!
4- Include your child in what you’re doing throughout the day. It’s easy to send kids “out” when you’re busy, but this can be especially hurtful for a child who craves your attention.
5- Take your child with you while you run errands or grocery shop. A little one-on-one time with Mama is very special.
6- Go on a walk with your child. Again, make it one-on-one time.
7- Watch a favorite movie together. Maybe during nap time while other siblings are snoozing.
8- Take your child on a “date”. My husband does this with each of our children throughout the year and they LOVE it!
9- Play a game together. Focus on togetherness, not on rules or who is winning.
10- Work on a project together. My daughter loves it when I help her with a craft or painting project.
11- Just sit and talk. But mainly listen.
12- Find a hobby you both enjoy. My husband and daughter share many mutual interests.
13- Be interested in your child’s hobbies, just because. Your child will feel valued when you get excited about what he or she loves.
14- Make the most of every day tasks. When you sit down to fold a basket of laundry, say, “Hey, wanna come help me? We talk can about ________.”
15– Realize that what seems so important right now is not as important as your child. It can wait.
“If our children see us neglect other things in order to spend time with them, they will realize how important they are to us.”
-Gary Smalley, The Key to Your Child’s Heart
Hovering isn’t quality time.
Before I wrap up this post, I want to clarify two more things:
- Hovering over and micro managing your child’s life isn’t necessarily “quality time.”
It’s control, and it’s unhealthy.
I’m a firm believer that the ultimate objective of motherhood is to launch healthy, Christ-loving, strong-minded adults into the world. Accomplishing that is a process of developing healthy, Jesus-loving independent kids.
Children need quality time and focus, but they also need the freedom to have their own preferences and personalities.
Mama Needs Time Too
2. Another misconception I see (and used to believe) is that a mother can only be a mother.
While it’s true that I don’t work outside the home, I do have many hobbies, I’m involved in ministry with my husband, and I even work part-time from home.
My personality, and tendencies to over-achieve, add to the struggle for to me cultivate that focused, one-on-one time that my kids need from me.
And that’s why I wrote this post… to help myself, and other moms who may be like me, to prioritize time, focus, and emotional energy.
The truth is, I need time too.
Time to work on projects and hobbies that interest and energize my soul. Time to read. Time to rest. Time with just the Lord, time with just my husband.
Life is such a balancing act, and most times there’s not a “right” or “wrong” way to do it.
We have to daily choose to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us through each season of life and motherhood.