As a parent, it can be hard to admit when we have failed at something. Saying it to ourselves is one thing, but letting the world know, is a completely different level of uncomfortable.
But like they say, when you know better, you do better. I never want to look back and wonder what could I have done differently? Or I wish I was there more. I know if I don’t want to ever feel that way, then I definitely do not want my children to have those memories of their childhood either.
I like to tell people that I spend most of my time doing absolutely nothing ( I don’t why I say it), but it’s just not true. Between two blogs and a business that I run all from my home, it can be pretty daunting to try and find time to breathe most days. But I manage to do it, why? Because it’s important.
We always seem to find the time for the things that we want.
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, that I realized, as much as I am with my kids, I never had time for them. Or rather, I never took the time to actually be with them.
Most days we are always in a room together, they will be playing and I will be on the computer. If I’m not on the computer, I’m on the phone. If I’m not on the phone, I’m looking at a book. All the while, my children are trying to get my attention and while I would answer them, I wasn’t fully there.
It seemed that everything else was more important. Social media became a huge distraction, speaking with brands and other bloggers became the center of my world, quickly replacing those who were supposed to be my main focus. To be completely candid, yes I noticed all of this, but it was still several weeks for I even attempted to change it.
As the days went on, I would go to bed filled with guilt, that yet another day passed and I hadn’t taken that extra time like I promised myself I would the day before. With every passing moment, of every passing day, I grew more and more disconnected from my children.
It wasn’t until I realized that my oldest daughter (who is away at school) hadn’t called me in several weeks (nor had I called her), that I decided “okay, it’s obvious things are falling apart here”, I knew something had to be done.
I decided that was time to redirect my focus on what matters most; myself and my family. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how successful you are. If you lose what matters most to you, then you truly have nothing.
Here is what I did to regain control of my life and how I learned to be present for my kids.
The First To Wake Up
Some days this absolutely sucks, I can’t even lie. But by waking up an hour or hour and a half before my kids, I am able to get in my much needed quiet time. During this time, I can also shower, grab a quick bite to eat, answer emails, schedule my social media, all in enough time to still catch my 7 am news programs.
If you can’t get up before your kids that far in advance, even waking up a little as ten to fifteen minutes prior to them getting up will do some good.
The important thing is to try as much as possible to get some type of quiet time in for yourself throughout the day.
Put The Kids To Bed Early
You are probably thinking that this defeats the purpose of spending time with them. Well it doesn’t. I like to use this time to talk to them about their day, and things that they want to do that next day or upcoming on the weekend. I like to have these talks with each child individually at their bedside every night. This helps to make sure that no matter what I get the one on one time with each of them that they need. Not only that, it fosters the notion to my kids that they will always be able to talk to me about anything, no matter what.
There is no denying that technology has become super addictive. So much so that there are actually retreats and rehab places to help people deal with it (weird huh?).
I can’t deny that the iPhones, iPads and everything else have aided in my being detached from my family. But at the same time, when your income relys on you being active and present on social media, and being on a computer or having access to one, the balance in itself can become tricky.
I have set times that I can and can’t use my phone. If you are like me and during your downtime the first thing you do is pick up your cell, then it may be time to put restrictions on yourself.
I understand this can be a lot easier said than done. But as I stated earlier, we always seems to make time for the things are most important to us; so in this instance your family shouldn’t be any different. Making time is more than just throwing out your to-do list, it’s simply prioritizing things you want to get done. Don’t forgo everything else, however, the things that you know you can accomplish during your early morning quiet time or during naptime, should be done then, and everything else can be saved for when the kids go to bed. That way you are not taking valuable time away from your family.
What are some ways you foster quality time with your kids? Let me know in the comments below! Make sure to follow us on Facebook & Pinterest for more quality time activities.