Real Time to Connect
Do you make time to connect with your kids? How much is really enough? We have a real reason to spend time with them for the first year or two of their lives as they are completely dependent on us, but after that how do we manage to create time to really connect?
Let’s define connection time. Most mothers are busy doing things on their “to do” list while their kids are in their care, believing this is time with their kids. Such as taking them with you while you finish your errands or bringing them with you to a coffee morning with other mothers. This is not connection time.
Connection time is when you are free from any pressures or duties and are in a state of mind that is attentive and focused only with your children. You are not just available physically, but wholeheartedly with all your senses, your mind, and your heart.
This is the time when you can look into their eyes and enjoy being with them; seeing what they see, thinking about what they are saying, understanding how they feel, and truly engaging with them.
It is only when you genuinely put your heart and soul into your time with them that they can start connecting with you. It makes them feel secure and safe. They feel they belong and that they are worthy of their mother’s attention. They feel loved.
I understand that this is a challenge for many mothers. A common complaint I hear at the beginning of every parenting class I give is “I feel overwhelmed and need an extra 24-hours every day.” We all experience this time management challenge so here are some tips on overcoming it and creating real time to connect:
1. Remember that you have one whole week. 7-days, each with 24-hours. That is a lot of time (168 hours to be more specific). So if you spend just one hour per day that would total 7 hours per week with your child and 161 hours for everything else.
2. There will always be something to do. Take a moment to decide if what you are about to do is really urgent or if it can be delayed. Kids grow quickly and missed time can’t be made up for, but you can always catch up on the many other tasks later.
3. Ask yourself, can you delegate? This will ease your daily burden to give you more time, while the person helping you will feel good about being able to help you.
4. Find shortcuts. You don’t have to go through every single step of a certain process as long as you get the same (or even a similar) result. Get the job done–it doesn’t have to be perfect.
5. Go easy on yourself. Even when things go wrong, (and it’s alright if they do), it doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough. Turn it around and reassure yourself that it’s a learning curve. We learn and grow from our mistakes.
6. Ask your kids for help. Believe it or not, they will jump at the opportunity. They may actually show you a fun way to do things, so keep your eyes, ears, and heart open for some new learning.
7. Smile, breathe, and take it one step at a time. You are blessed with a little miracle creature that has come through you. You have made it through 9 months of pregnancy, through birth, and until now.
8. Assure yourself that you are enough.