Whether you are a SAHM, WAHM or work out of the home it is a challenge for moms with multiple children to divide their time amongst them while trying to make sure each one of them feels special.
After we had our third child, my oldest two children (ages 4 and 7 at the time) experienced a lot of jealousy and resentment. It was bad enough they had to share my husband and I between the two of them, and now they had to share us with an extra person. They didn’t like all of the extra time and attention the new baby was getting. We all know that newborns require ALOT of attention.
My kids would ask me to play all the time, but I was too tired. I didn’t want to go anywhere either cause it was too much of a hassle just trying to leave the house. I basically just let the TV entertain them. I know that wasn’t fair for them, but at the time I was exhausted and my patience was thin. Luckily my husband has lots of energy and loves to play and goof around with the kids, that helped sometimes.
I noticed a change in my oldest two children’s behavior, they began acting out more. I think they just wanted some attention, even if it was negative attention.
This type of behavior just led to extra stress and frustration on my end. I became more stressed out and less tolerant and more impatient. I spent a lot of energy disciplining them (no TV, going to their rooms, missing out on special events like birthday parties). None of this really helped though.
It also didn’t help when I went back to work after maternity leave and had even less time to spend with them. On weekdays we don’t get home until after 6:00 pm. When I pick them up from daycare after work, our evening consists of trying to get through fixing dinner, eating dinner, homework, brushing teeth, bath, and getting to bed. Oh yeah, and simultaneously taking care of an infant. That doesn’t leave much room for quality time when you’re trying to get the kids to bed by 8:30.
But, as my baby is getting older (11 months now), I am still busy and tired, but I am making more of an effort to spend more quality time with each of my children. Once I began making more of an effort, their behavior has drastically improved. Also, as a result, I don’t have the extra stress of having to deal with constant behavioral issues (kids will still be kids, but the acting out has become less excessive). I am less stressed and overall everyone is happier.
9 Ways to Maximize Individual Time with Each of Your Children
1. Have “date nights” with your children individually.
2. Point out their individual qualities. Let your children know that each one of them is important and special just for being them.
3. Have a special bedtime routine with each of them. I enjoy reading to them and talking about our day.
4. When you run an errand take one of your children with you, you can alternate between them.
5. While your out with one of your children stop to get a special treat, like a cake pop or hot chocolate from Starbucks or some ice-cream.
6. Sit with one of them while they are watching one of their favorite TV shows, even if you aren’t interested in what they are watching.
7. If feasible let each of your children participate in an extra-curricular activity that interests them. Try to be involved or at least show some interest in their activity.
8. Ask each of your children how their day was, listen and ask open ended questions to get a dialog going. They will appreciate you showing genuine interest.
9. Let them individually help you cook dinner or bake treats.
As busy moms it can be pretty difficult to try and divide our time between our children. Even if you can’t spend a lot of individual quality time with your kids, even moments of time can make a difference.
Maybe you prefer spending quality time as a family, and that’s ok too.
Quality time ideas you can do individually or as a family ………….
Perhaps you prefer to spend quality time as a family rather than with each child individually. Some fun ideas include:
· Going to the movies or having a family movie night or game night at home
· Cooking or baking together as a family
· Going to an amusement park
· Miniature golfing
· Visiting friends and family
· Going to the park
· Going for a special treat at your favorite ice-cream shop or bakery
· Taking a walk
My children just like to be around my husband and I. It often doesn’t really matter what we our doing as long as they get to spend time with us.
What are some ways you make each of your kids feel special?
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