One of the things I have realized is that my kids need time with me. Not time in the car running from here to there, not me working in the kitchen and them sitting at the bar, but time… side by side to just chat…time for me to hold them in my lap. Yes, I know my kids are still young and want to curl up in my lap and I’m thankful for that. But I think even as they get older the need for “Mommy Minutes” will be there, it will just be different.
So this week we started having just that— a 10 minute time period when they get home from school that is their “Mommy Minutes” time. Each child gets 10 minutes with me and the other child is not to interrupt our time by butting in on the conversation or coming to sit with us. I was surprised at how eager each of my girls was to have this time. We talk about how the day went. My little one often just wants to sit in silence and have me scratch her back. We sometimes read a book together or play a quick card game—just time together…one-on-one.
It makes me have to be ready after school though. In order to not be worrying about dinner I have to be prepared ahead of time. So here is my current recipe for being prepared:
Mommy Minute Prep:
- Have your dinner menu planned out in advance.
- Make sure dinner prep is done—chop all veges, get out all spices and shelf items needed, know how long the rest of dinner prep will be. Do you just have to now brown the meat and throw in the veges? Is the casserole all ready and just has to be placed in the oven at a certain time. Be ready.
- Have a few minutes for yourself before you can be there for the kids. Since I no longer work, I have decided to be home by 3 from errands and meetings so I can have some time to relax before the kids get home. If I was still working I would tell my girls I need my own “Mommy minutes” before I can give them their time. I think they would understand that. If you have a lot of kids you may need to plan out who will have their Mommy Minutes before dinner and who after.
I have seen that if I don’t freely give this time to my kids, they take it however they can get it but it usually isn’t in a positive way—hanging on me, poor bedtime routine, etc…
Don’t get me wrong….having Mommy Minutes didn’t cause all the sibling stress to fly away nor did it turn each child into a constantly obedient individual but it has made things better. I can see it in their faces and I can also hear it in the words they use.
So think about using this recipe to bring some smiles to the faces of those precious little ones that need their Mommy no matter how old they are.