Welcome to this weeks edition of 4 Moms, 35 Kids: How Moms of Many Manage. This week we’re talking about spending individual time with our kids. Oh, the worry and guilt that this topic can wreak on this mom of ten, but before I get started don’t forget that you can read the thoughts of other moms of many:
- KimC at Life in a Shoe (Mom of 10)
- Connie at Smockity Frocks (Mom of 8 )
- Headmistress at The Common Room (Mom of 7, plus a few extra hanger-oners)
So how do I spend individual time with each of my children? I’ve heard of parents having elaborate plans and schedules, taking each of their children out alone on a regular basis or scheduling one-on-one time with every child each day or each week. Well, that doesn’t happen here.
Do I feel guilty? Sometimes.
What I do is I pray daily that I would die to self and that God would bless us with relationships that bring glory and honor to Him. I choose to spend the vast majority of my time interacting with my children. I choose to turn off the radio, close the computer and not head out to run errands alone and we choose to limit outside the house, entertainment-focused activities.
I pray with my children, talk with my children, work, learn and play with my children. We live our lives walking side by side and in the midst of that living we spend individual time with each other, even though it may not be on the calendar.
Please don’t misunderstand, I fail and fail frequently. There are many times when I’d rather be alone, when I don’t want to answer another question, solve another dispute or hear another childish story. There are times when I choose to unplug and, by my actions I deny the fact that these children are precious blessings from God, but that choice does not bring the peace and contentment that I think I will find. It seems that “me-time” begets the desire for more and more “me-time” and that the real peace and contentment is found in choosing to remain plugged-in to my kids.
So what does individual time look like in our home?
Snuggling under a big, fuzzy blanket with another early riser while reading a Bible in 90 assignment.
Stopping whatever I’m doing to sit down on the floor right where I am and read a picture book to a toddler.
Listening to stories about dreams or the previous days activities during a reading lesson.
Cleaning out a closet, mopping the floor or putting up rain gutter bookshelves with a helper.
Starting laundry, making bread, running errands, everything is an opportunity to spend individual time with a child.
I also make an effort to occasionally join each of the children in doing their favorite activity with them. I may give Savannah a pedicure, put together a puzzle with Colby, cook with Amber or tackle a fix-it project with one of the boys.
There are times when we notice that one child or another needs more from us. On these occasions it’s simple to pull that child aside for a project, a snuggle or just an opportunity for them to talk.
If by your actions you show your children that they are your delight and your priority, not a drudgery or just one of the things on your ‘to-do’ list, that relationship will grow and develop and both of you will desire to spend time together.
Recent 4 Moms topics:
- Teaching Bible
- Soups and other wintry lunch recipes
- Favorite books for preschoolers
- Q & A: Sonlight Books we don’t read
- Teaching Reading
For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.