I often find myself caught up in the routine of daily chores. Wake up, make the kids breakfast, wash up the breakfast dishes, give them baths….etc And because of this, I find myself saying ” not now darling, mama is busy” to Ally whenever she asks for a few minutes of my time. Sometimes the minute the words leave my mouth, I instantly regret it. Will it hurt if the dishes are left unwashed for a while? Does it really matter if lunch isn’t served on time? NO. Does it matter to my child if I just stop and pay attention to her for five minutes? Oh, yes!
Now when she comes to the kitchen with a request to read a book or play a game of baseball, instead of saying No straightaway, we usually have a compromise. I’ll stop what I’m doing, to read her a book or play her game and then come back to my chores. I know it makes a huge difference to her that we take the time to listen and attend to her needs rather than just brush her off.
We definitely had more time for her when she was just an only child, but the companionship and love that Max has brought has more than made up for it. Still, we try to spend a little time everyday with each child. One of our favourite moments with Ally is playing with her after Max has gone to bed. We usually gather in the playroom and either read a book, make something out of playdoh or build castles with her wooden blocks. I really treasure those few minutes with her, the delight on her face at having the undivided attention from both her parents. As for Max? When Ally takes her afternoon nap, it’s his turn for some alone time with us. Unfortunately for him, I don’t function well at 1pm in the afternoon, its when I need my power nap in order to last the rest of the day. I usually lie on the mat in the playroom and entertain him from there, or allow him to use me as a jungle gym.
I need to point out that the reason I have the energy to spend time with the children is because I have a fantastic husband. He pitches in with the housework and truth be told, he is way better at household chores than me. We work so well together, whenever I need to escape to the kitchen to prepare a meal, he automatically gathers the children up and entertains them. If one of us needs a badly needed nap, the other is always on hand to look after the kids. His flexible work hours make all this possible and honestly, I would have gone insane without him.