There is no negating that spending time with your children is important. For parents with multiple children, it can be difficult to ensure you are spending enough time with each child.
Sometimes my older children will complain that I don’t hang out with them, but when I make an attempt, it is often met with “nevermind, I’m busy”, so I let go. However, for the younger two, it’s not that simple. Since Sarah was born, I have been able to tell that Isla has been starting to feel left out. I try to make sure that I always spend as much time with her as possible, however this past week I had to wonder if the amount of time we were spending was quality (memory making) or if it was just “time” spent together.
As a parent, the worst feeling in the world can be hearing your child say “why don’t you want to spend time with me?” It seems even with you think you are doing your best, your child has a way of snatching you back to reality to remind you nope, your not quite there yet!
I decided that I would make sure that the time Isla and I spent together was more quality, than quantity. Even if it meant she and I did a super awesome thing (just she and I), once or twice a week, rather than me trying to do something small with her everyday (as filler time).
I decided to start by finding out what she wanted to do-and of course she gave me a huge list that included going Disney World and the moon; unfortunately I had to let her know, we needed to keep things local for the time being. So we flew kites, she and I had a special sit down snack during Sarah’s nap, and at random moments during the week, we sat and talked about what her “dreams” were. To my surprise she had many. There were things that I knew , but I learned so much more, just by really taking the time and listening. By the end of the week (we did this three times), I could tell there was a big change in her. There were less tantrums, and she seemed happier.
Since initially doing this, Isla and I have come up with our own secret handshake, we share “mommy snuggles”, and we have a day set aside each week for just she and I.
As a parent it can be hard to admit that maybe you haven’t put as much into your child as they needed, but when you recognize it, you have to fix it. It’s important, whether you stay home or work outside the home, that you follow your child’s cues. We aren’t able to have these moments everyday, but I do my best to make sure that all of the time I spend with any of my kids is more quality over quantity.