Being a working Parent is hard. You feel guilty that you can’t spend as much time as you want with your kids. However, the alternative, not being able to provide for your children, also brings about parent guilt. Instead of focusing on the fact that you don’t get to spend long summer days frolicking in the sprinkler with your child, try to make the most of the time that you do have.
If you can put your child to sleep even 15 minutes later, you can take advantage of an evening snuggle-fest. Turn off the TV and devote your full attention to your kiddo. This is a great time to tell stories about what went on during the day.
If your little one is hesitant to share, use these questions to spark some conversation:
• What was the funniest thing that happened today?
• What made you smile today?
• What’s the nicest thing you did for someone else today?
• What was the hardest thing you did today?
• What part of your day was the most enjoyable?
Even if you don’t feel like chatting, cuddles with your child can give you that connection that you don’t have during the day. Don’t worry about spoiling your kids by lying in bed with them for a little while. They will eventually want to kick you out, so take advantage of this time while you can get it.
Make A Date
Take your child out for a special mommy/daddy-kiddo date. Ask your child what he or she wants to do, and spend your time focusing on your little one. Alternate with your spouse so that you can get a break sometimes too.
Change Your Expectations
If you want to spend quality time with your kids, you have to let some of your chores go. So many parents, especially mothers spend all of their free time making sure that the house is immaculate. If you do that, you won’t find an extra moment to spend with your child.
Remember that the house is just going to get messy again anyway. However, the quality time that you spend with your children won’t go away. Its benefits will last forever. If you must do housework, give your child a job to do with you. Kids love to help, and you’ll still be able to spend time together.
Spend Time With Yourself
Even when it feels like you don’t have a spare second to do anything but work, household chores and taking care of your kids, it’s important to take time for yourself. This goes beyond self-care. Make sure that you’re doing something you really want to do every day. I’ll even go as far as to suggest that you find something about which you’re really passionate. When you spend some time doing what you want to do, you’ll be much more likely to enjoy those moments when you’re doing what your child wants to do.
No matter what you do with your child, remember that quality is better than quantity, according to a recent study. We have this cultural expectation that mothers should love spending oodles of time with their children. Researchers haven’t found any correlation between the amount of time parents spend with children and kids’ emotional, academic or behavioral health. In fact, spending a lot of time with your kids when you’re stressed out can actually be harmful. Stop feeling bad that you don’t get to hang out with your child 24/7, and focus on making a few minutes a day really special.