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He 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 still need to finish some things on my list.”
“Ok, I’ll wait,” he said as he was returning to his little 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.
I had four more things to check on my list, and 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 taking care of the laundry, my son came to me again. I was in our small hallway, surrounded by several 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, 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 in the living room.
I finished the laundry, and I went to the kitchen to make some dinner preparations.
What should have just taken me only a few minutes transformed into a time-consuming task. Time went by without me even realizing it.
As I was almost ready, I heard my husband’s key opening the door. I looked at the clock, and it was already 5 o’clock. I couldn’t believe how much time it took to finish all the tasks on my list!
As soon as my husband entered the house, my son jumped in his arms.
“I want to go to the swimming pool”, he shouted.
“Okay, let’s put our swimming suits on”, my husband said.
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 after them, I was standing in the kitchen with my fully checked to-do list in my hand. But it 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.
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!
The whole motivation for me to build a business from home was to spend more time with my son. But somehow I wasn’t able to spend as much quality time with my son as I wanted.
I thought about the time when I was a working mom. Our evenings were all about playing and spending time together.
Why did we lose that?
I soon realized that it all had to do with me!
As a working mom, I had a big to-do list as well. But I was a lot more determined to spend quality time with my son in the evenings.
I made this a priority. I was intentional about this.
After I switched to staying home with my son I kind of took things for granted. I imagined that spending the whole day with my son will make me us feel connected just because we were close to each other.
But I was so wrong! I learned that the amount of time that we get to spend with our kids is not necessarily proportional to the amount of connection we build.
What really matters is the quality of the time we spend with the kids. We love and joy that we add to the moments that we spend together. The commitment to build a strong and loving relationship.
The easy habit that will help you spend quality time with kids every single day
I knew that I needed a change. In the days after that evening, I kept thinking about different 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 be 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 the tasks on my to-do list feel overwhelming or when I have a lot to work, that half an hour is so precious! It helps us connect, it makes my son feel loved, and it makes me feel happy!
photo credit: DmitryPoch / depositphotos.com
How to implement this habit and spend more quality time with kids
If you are a very busy mom, you probably have those days when you feel that you have no time or energy to spend quality time with your child.
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 kids:
– Reserve 30 minutes every day for quality time with your kids. Make this a priority and treat it like any other important thing in your schedule.
– Set a regular time for these 30 minutes. You can either set a specific hour when you know that you and your kids will be at home. Or you can set a time based on another activity that you have on your daily schedule (e.g., spend the 30 minutes of quality time together immediately after dinner every day). Being consistent with the time will help you develop this habit a lot easier.
– During those 30 minutes, make sure that you only focus on your child. 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 child like and enjoy it together. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. Connecting with kids doesn’t mean doing fancy activities. On the contrary, the simple things that you get to enjoy with your kids are the ones that really matter.
If you need some inspiration to get started with this habit, check out the Playful Mom Toolkit. It includes everything you need for 20 days of daily quality time. The activities included in the toolkit are very easy to put into practice and will bring joy and connection to your home.
The kit will help you get used to this habit and at the end of the 20 days, you’ll find it a lot easier to make room for connection even on the busiest days. You can get all the details about the Playful Mom Toolkit here. I’m sure that your kids will love the activities in this toolkit!
– To make sure that you don’t forget about the daily 30 minutes of quality time, set an alarm on your phone for the same hour every day. Also, tell your child about your decision to start this habit and encourage them to remind you about this 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
The evening when I saw my son’s drawing had a big impact on me. I brought 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 in our home!
A few weeks after that night, after many happy moments that we enjoyed in our daily connection time, 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!”
It melted my heart. This time I felt so happy and grateful!
Sometimes kids show us exactly what we need to know to become better parents. We just need to make the time to listen to them. Even when they use drawings instead of words.
P.S. I’ve also created a mini-challenge called the Playful Connection Challenge to help you get started with this habit, in case you find it helpful for you and your kids. This is a 5-day challenge and you can join for free using this link.
If you decide to try this challenge or the big Playful Mom Toolkit, I would love to know your feedback about it! The emails that I receive from moms who have tried the toolkit and created this wonderful habit in their busy lives are such a big joy for me!
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photo credit preview photo: monkeybusiness / depositphotos.com