One of the easiest ways I have found to create quality time with my kids as a working mom is to live in the moment. Now, I did not say this is the easiest thing to do. I have multiple projects, multiple goals to work on, hobbies, errands, cleaning, cooking, and we all know how important multi-tasking is. We do it at work all day long. Similar to working under pressure at work, we need to leave some of the multi-tasking at work too. Home is for family. Home is for instilling values and morals. Home is for being in the moment. By making every moment count, you will realize how much quality time you do have with your kids. It may never be the quantity we want, but those quality moments are worthless. Notice I did not say count every “minute.” There are obviously chores and responsibilities that must be done, but make sure you are emphasizing time for your children even more than you emphasize cleaning up or cooking.
Here are some ways I am trying to live in the moment:
- Limited to no checking email while I am with my kids
- Involving them when I do clean or cook, even if it is handing them a rag for wiping or spoon for stirring. It also teaches them that “chores” can be fun and makes them feel so utilized and important.
- Tickling and lots of hugs and physical touch, which can be quite essential for kids even without that love language
- Exercising together even if it is doing crunches with them sitting on me
- Working “social stories” or moral decisions into everyday conversations
- Listening…stopping and listening…not just rushing to prep dinner while they are talking about their day
- 30 min of one one one/two play immediately when I get home…focused directly on what they want to do and asking open questions about their day
- Limiting all phone calls around them
- Regularly making time for extra reading in my lap
- Sneaking in their room 5 minutes early to cuddle in the mornings before work or at the end of naptime on the weekends