I recently went back to working full-time again after eight years of being a WAHM (work at home mom)! This has been quite an adjustment for our family as I am no longer available for any after-school activities, pick-ups, drop-offs, etc. It also means that I am less available to the kids during the week as I get home right before our evening routine (dinner, bath, bed). The result is that to my family, my attention after hours is deemed as a commodity more valuable than gold!
Every evening when I walk through the door I am bombarded by both kids with stories about their day, teachers letters, newsletters, etc. and I’ve noticed that all of a sudden they have become very competitive and argumentative (well more than usual!). I attribute this to the fact that they are getting less of my time than they are used to and now feel the need to compete for my attention when they do have it.
This came to a head last week when my youngest, upon being told to wait her turn to talk and not to interrupt her brother, retorted that I was being unfair as he had four whole years to talk to me before she was born!
When I retold this story the next day at the office, my colleagues made a suggestion that I really loved! They suggested giving both my children an allocated one-on-one time slot in order to pass on any school newsletters, tell me interesting stories about their day, discuss any upcoming events at school, etc. In that way they won’t try to speak over each other and will both feel that they got equal attention. To expand on this idea, they could take turns on who goes first every day!
The value of one-on-one time with your kids
The more I thought about this the more I like the idea of a one-on-one time slot with the kids, it doesn’t even have to be formal, just about 15 minutes set aside before we start with our evening routine, perhaps after dinner, where I do nothing but sit with each of them in turn and listen to them.
I will be starting this next week and will see if the situation improves! My daughter’s school principal said that our lives are so busy and we run around most days like headless chickens that we forget that the most important thing in our lives are our children and we should make the time to just listen and talk to them. I couldn’t agree more!
Do you have any other suggestions on how you divide your time among your children? Any more gems to share please comment below I would love to hear your suggestions!