I have always been a working mom. I had to go back to work when my daughter was 8 months old. Being a working mom is not an easy task.
I just started working before I had my daughter and I really find pleasure in my profession. Some women choose to fulfill their professional dreams, and some just don’t have the choice. I am somewhere in between probably, so this is how we roll.
As much as I love my job, I always felt guilty leaving my daughter while she was so young. She was breastfed so you can only imagine the separation anxiety I had being 8 hours at work. She was probably having the time of her life with her nanny (a beautiful woman to whom I owe so much!!) while I was biting nails and worrying if my child is starving to death.
My daughter being older now, I can really feel the need for bonding after being away for the most part of the day. She goes to kindergarten as well. She has a lot of stuff happening for her in this period of the day. Since 3 year old kids are not well known for keeping deep and meaningful conversations, I have to think of ways to connect with her, or she becomes a little monster that nobody can tame.
As all working moms know, having just a few hours in the day to spend with your kid (and very little energy) can be quite a challenge. And not to mention all the other stuff we need to do around the house…
I wanted to share what works in my family and hopefully give you some ideas.
1. Spend some one on one time with your kid. Uninterrupted, quality time. That means no looking at you phone, no chatting with other people present, no doing housework. Just sit and go with the flow. Follow the cues and spend at least 15 minutes with your kid when you come home. It will give you some time to unwind, as you also probably had an eventful day, and you will sync better with the mood of your kid.
2. Include them in whatever you are doing. If I have to do laundry, I ask my daughter to help me. She will probably throw clothes all over the place, but it’s fine because we are doing something together. If I have to cook something, I ask her to wash some veggies. You get the point probably. Yes, I know it takes more time. But it is worth it.
3. Surprise your kid. I like to surprise my daughter with some simple and cool craft or experiment I found on Pinterest. Plus side: my daughter is so impressed with these stuff and probably thinks I am the coolest mom ever!!
4. Sing and dance. It’s a physical activity, it betters the mood and is just silly. Kids love silly :).
5. Exercise together. I must admit I am not the exercising type of person, nor I have ever been. But you should try exercising with a kid in your house. It is almost impossible as they will try to distract you in all ways possible (climb you, tickle you, jump on you, crawl beneath you) so you will probably get nothing done. But it is a great bonding activity and is something new to try (if it’s not your everyday routine).
6. Take a walk. A short walk around the block or to the nearest playground can be a relaxing thing (or it can also end in tears and bribes when the time comes to go home). Your kid will be grateful and you will have time to talk about various stuff. Your kid will probably surprise you with some weird topics :).
7. Cuddle. Never underestimate the bonding power of a hug, and touch in general. Kids will maybe also like to wrestle, tickle, kick you in the stomach (out of excitement of course, not intentionally). Just go with the flow.
8. Eat together. Whenever possible sit together on the table and have a meal together.
9. Watch a movie together. This is great if your kids want to watch movies. Works great if you have no energy or willingness to do anything else. Throw in some popcorn, it becomes a movie night, home theater party. Here is a list of some family friendly movies you can enjoy with your kiddos.
10. Bedtime ritual. If everything else fails, you have bedtime. It’s when kids want to talk about everything, want to hear stories or tell stories.. Use this uninterrupted time to bond and listen about your kids day, listen to stories about trolls, Moana and God knows what else!
Have fun mommas. Working mom, stay-at-home mom, work-from home mom, doesn’t matter. Kids grow up real fast so use whatever time you have to create memories that will last.
Amber, My Quiet Spot
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