With school aged kids, days can feel like a string of tasks to be done from morning til bedtime. “Get up, get ready, go to school, do your homework, go to this activity, get ready for dinner, take a bath, get ready for bed.” And somewhere in my task of making sure things are done, and my daughters’ task of doing them, our relationships are diminished, and almost seem automatic. Mom becomes the captain and children become the soldiers following orders. Children are rebellious and Mom becomes frustrated.
This isn’t how I wanted my relationship to be. I have heard and observed that a careful, loving, listening relationship while your children are young will make a huge impact for the impending teenage years and beyond. And that’s what I want. I want my children to see me as a parent who loves them, listens to them, someone who can be a confidant and also have a good time with.
But the mundane schedule of the day and the necessary bedtime hour did not seem to have room for that. I used to try to have 1-on-1 time in the evening, but doing so seemed to put a strain on the rest of the family. Then it occurred to me that I could squeeze in some time before the day even began.
Now, I wake up one child 15 minutes earlier than the usual wake up time and we play a game together. It’s Mommy and Me time, and no one will interrupt, because everyone else is sleeping.
This takes 15 minutes a day, one day a week for each child, and this alone has helped us see each other in a different light. I understand my children better, and they listen more willingly to me. We feel a love for each other that is stronger than it has been because we spend time to focus on each other.
Even if it is just 15 minutes.