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My son was standing in front of me, in the kitchen, holding a drawing in his hands.
“Look, mom, do you like it?”
“Of course I do! And I like the colors you used”, I answered.
“Do you want to come and draw with me?”
“I would love to,” I said, “but I need to finish something first.”
“Ok, I’ll wait” – he said as he was returning to his small table in the living room.
I watched him from the kitchen. He smiled at me and started a new drawing.
My eyes moved over the list in front of me. It was my to-do list for the day, and it was full of small tasks I need to do, but I was determined to finish them quickly and play with him.
I finished loading the dishwasher and went to the bedroom to fold some clothes.
Some minutes later, as I was folding the laundry, my son came to me again. I was in our small hallway, surrounded by piles of laundry.
He told me that he finished another drawing.
“It is a drawing of our home, mom!”, he said. “With you and me!”
“Wow, I can’t wait to see it,” I said.
“I’ll leave it on the table for you to see it later, mom.”
“Thank you!”, I replied with a smile on my face. “I still have some tasks to do. Could you please find something to play with until I’m done?”
“I’m going to build a tower,” he said as he was running back into the living room.
For the next hour, time went by without me even realizing it.
When I was almost ready, my husband came back from work. As soon as he entered the house, my son jumped in his arms.
“I want to go to the swimming pool”, he shouted.
A few moments later, they were out of the door, heading to the swimming pool.
photo credit: Oksana Kuzmina / shutterstock.com
As the door closed behind them, I was standing in the kitchen with my fully-checked to-do list in my hand. But something didn’t feel right.
I went into the living room and saw the drawing on the table.
I picked it up. And it touched my heart more than I would have expected.
It was a very simple drawing of our house. It showed my son playing with a car on the floor in the living room. And it showed me in the kitchen, cleaning.
And then it really hit me.
That was how my son saw our day. He was seeing us staying far from each other. Without any words, he was telling me how he felt. And it melted my heart.
I was so focused on my to-do list that I missed the chance to spend time with him. And I realized that a similar scenario happened more often than I wanted to admit.
Between taking care of the household tasks, working from home, and doing all the things I felt like I needed to do, too little time was left for play and connection.
And I felt so bad about it!
I knew that I needed a change.
I needed to be more intentional about spending quality time with my son and building that strong, loving relationship I always wanted to have with him.
The easy habit that will help you spend quality time with kids every single day
In the days after that evening, I kept thinking about ways to spend more quality time with my son.
And I was lucky to find that one easy solution that changed things for the better!
I realized that it all starts with my commitment to being a more intentional mom. To not let any other day pass by without connecting with my son and spending happy moments together. To make him feel loved even on those days when life is really busy.
So I decided to make connection a priority.
The easiest way to do this was to create a habit of spending quality time with my child every day. I knew that some days will be very busy and that it will be easy to get caught in daily tasks and forget about my commitment.
To prevent this, I decided to set aside half an hour every day just for play and connection. Some days we spend a lot more quality time together: we go on mom-child dates, we visit nice museums, we go for long nature walks.
But on those days when I have a lot of things to do, that half an hour is so precious! It helps us connect, it makes my son feel loved, and it makes me feel happy!
⭐ An update (five years later): It’s been 5 years since I started this habit with my son, and it was one of the best parenting decisions I ever made! I am a mom of two boys now, and we still stick to this habit every single day.
If you want to try this habit with your kids, check the tips below to help you get started.
How to implement this habit and spend more quality time with kids
If you are a busy mom, you probably have those days when you feel that you have no time or energy to spend quality time with your kids.
But there is an easy way to remember to slow down and connect with your child even on those chaotic days.
Here is how you can build this habit of daily quality time with your kids:
- Reserve 20-30 minutes every day for a special time with your kids.
Make this a priority and treat it like any other important thing on your schedule.
- Decide when to plan this special time so you can do it every day.
You can either set a specific hour when you know that you and your kids will be home. Or you can set a time based on another activity that you have on your daily schedule (e.g., after dinner). Being consistent with the time will help you develop this habit a lot easier.
- During those 20-30 minutes, make sure that you only focus on your kids.
Set aside any distractions. Turn off the TV, your phone, your laptop, or anything else that might interrupt you. Slow down and just enjoy your kids.
- Find an activity that you and your kids like and enjoy it together.
It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. You don’t need any “fancy” activities to connect with your kids. On the contrary, many times the simplest activities can bring the most fun.
⭐ If you need some inspiration to get started with this habit, check out the activity ideas inside the Family Joy Club. The monthly guides include activities that you can quickly set up for your little ones to connect and have fun together!
- To make sure that you don’t forget about the daily 30 minutes of quality time, set an alarm on your phone at the same hour every day.
Also, tell your kids about your decision to start this habit and encourage them to remind you about it in case you forget.
This will keep you accountable at the beginning, while you are developing the habit. In time, it will become a lot easier and those 30 minutes of connection will become part of every single day.
It all started with a drawing
That evening a few years ago when I saw my son’s drawing of us had a big impact on me. It put things into perspective and helped me make a change.
I am very grateful for that moment because it allowed me to become a more intentional mom and brought so much joy to our home!
A few weeks after that night, after starting our daily special time together, my son showed me another drawing. It was a drawing of me and him together on the living room’s floor surrounded by colorful little hearts.
I asked him what the drawing means. He told me that he drew us playing together.
“I love when we play like this mom!”, he said. “It’s my favorite moment!”
Hearing him say that melted my heart. And I felt so happy and grateful!
Sometimes kids show us exactly what we need to know to become better parents. We just need to take the time to listen to them. Even when they use drawings instead of words.