My son told me recently that he feels that I am always busy. He says, “mommy, how come you don’t play with me as much as you used to?” Hearing my 7 year old ask me this question brought me to an abrupt stop. My heart dropped. I mean...I am a teacher. I know how important it is to spend time with my children-quality time-doing things that they enjoy. All the psychological and developmentally informed practices that I have read about, practiced daily in my own classroom and at home, and it takes my 7 year old to be my inner voice? You can only imagine how big I felt at that moment.
In my mind I mustered all kinds of things I could say to him, “mommy has been busy with work;” “we have been making a lot of changes recently,” “the chaos from the move and trying to catch up has been consuming me.” But, then, what good would this do for him other than make him feel that those other things were more important.
Internally asking myself questions, how do you make it up to your child? For being too busy, and how to spend quality time with your child? How to make time for your child when you have no time? These very questions causing me to freeze. What can I possibly say that makes it better?
So in that moment, I dropped to my knees. Looked my sweet boy in the eye and grabbed his hand. I responded, “you have my attention. Thank you for reminding me that we haven’t been spending enough time together. What would you like to do?” From there, I spent the next 27 minutes watching him bulldoze his lego houses with his Dodge Racer and we rebuilt them just to do it again.
In reflection, there was nothing better than pausing and playing. In the middle of the day, while my mind was running, my concentration was on cleaning, unpacking, prepping dinner, finding light bulbs...but for that moment, that split second, he was my light bulb.
Family Time. This is such an important concept; why does it seem like we hardly have enough? Or we feel as though we just don’t have enough time for quality family time?
But, we do. We can. We will.
As we begin to think about ways that we can make more time for our family, I encourage you to sit with yourself for a few moments, just as I did when I heard his little boy voice say such impactful words. Offer yourself a soothing gesture of compassion. If you realize this is an area of growth for you, forgive yourself and know that you will make more of an effort. Growing forward.
Whew!! NOW, let’s look at ways that we can push in some more quality family time children-spouse-immediate family members-neglected friendships.
How to Create Quality Time with Your Family
These are just some of the ways that you can bring in more family time. I, myself, have found success and planning time out and holding myself accountable. I am also putting more effort into paying attention to what they say and making that time in the moment. Living in the moment, at best, is the way to be. We are in our heads too much. It’s okay to step away for a while.
We want to hear from you! What are you doing to push in more family time, making time for bonding with your kids, and your creative ways to spend quality time with your kids?
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