Creative Child

How to Create One-on-One time with Your Kids When You Have No Free Time

by Sarah Lyons

One of the biggest struggles of any busy parent, especially those parenting multiple children, is finding time to spend quality one-on-one time with each child. This can become even more overwhelming when you feel like you have very little free time. As a mom of six children, I feel the constant pressure of my to-do list combined with a heavy dose of mom-guilt over the desire to spend time with my kids. So how can you have that quality time with your kids even though it feels like you have no time to spare?

Be intentional

One way to create some quality time with your kids is to be intentional about making it a priority. If I happen to have some alone time in the car with one of my kids, I do not let the opportunity for conversation go to waste. If my son wants to talk about Minecraft (again), which is one of my least favorite topics, I choose to listen because it is important to him. I may not fully understand what we are talking about, but he is usually happy to answer my questions and this lets him know that I take an interest in his hobbies. If my daughter lets me know she would like to spend some extra alone time with me, I make it official by putting it on the family calendar. This way it is more likely to actually happen and that time is less likely to get booked with another activity or appointment. Try scheduling one dedicated day, like the third Tuesday of each month, to have some alone time with your children.

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Let it go

While many of my tasks are time-sensitive, there are also quite a few that can wait, such as laundry or dishes. Yes, we don’t want the dishes and dirty clothes piling up so that the family has nothing to wear or eat off of, but on most occasions it can wait an hour or even a day before they have to be washed. Your child will notice what you think is most important - them! Plus there is the bonus of getting to put off your housework a little longer. If your chores truly cannot wait, ask your child to help put in a load of laundry and then ask if he would like to play a game, read a book, watch a movie, or bake some cookies while the washer runs.

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