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How much time do you REALLY spend with your little ones?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi, 

 

I am wondering. I feel that I don't really spend time with my kids. I do all the driving around, watching, taking care of, feeding and stuff, but I don't really play (no time) cuddle (no cuddly kids) or anything fun with them. 

 

There is just no time. We do read together in the evenings, but that was it basically. 

 

How do you manage to spend quality time with your kids? 

post #2 of 12

Are you a SAHM or do you work? I had a lot more play time with dd when she was a baby and toddler. The only reason it changed was because I started working again. I work from home so I'm still with dd most of the time but it became harder to fit in fun time when there was so much less time for all the not fun things that have to get done. BUT, just because we don't play as much as we did before I still wouldn't say that we're not having quality time. Eating, driving and cleaning together is still time together. We talk during those times. We know each other. I think it's also natural that the relationship changes as they get older. A six year old doesn't need and/or want to be cuddled like an infant does. 

post #3 of 12

Sadly, at present, I don't get to spend much time at all with my kids, especially my DD. I wake up with them, in time to get her dressed and sent to my mom's to catch the bus at bus time, while DS and I go pick DF up from work. When we get back, I have a few hours where sometimes DS wants to play/spend time with me and I don't have to do so much housework then, and we do, then I get him on the bus. I leave for work before they get out of school, and don't get home until hours after they go to bed. So most of the time we spend together is on the weekend. I really don't care for the arrangement, but while we are still rebuilding our home (not the house itself, but things like a bed for us and DD, chairs for our table, cooking equipment, and anything else we lost when we lost our last apartment), we need my income to be able to re-acquire those things, as well as pay our bills. I'm anxiously awaiting January, when DF and I have decided we (should) have enough of the stuff that what remains can wait until we have extra money from his job. greensad.gif

post #4 of 12
I quit my job to stay home with my son, and viewed that as a full time job. Tasks that could be done together, like grocery shopping, I did with him, but not paying bills. That was for naptime, or when he was doing something with his father. It was hard to find time for all the jobs that must be done. I did it because I thought it was my job. I don't know if it was the best way to do things, but he's a teen now, and it seems to have worked out.

If you feel you should be spending more time playing or reading, you may have to schedule it, at first. And close your eyes to the housework waiting for playtime to be over.

Each family is unique. There is no set way things must be done. And, as I mentioned before, when looking back, all parents seem to say "it all worked out".
post #5 of 12

Some days I do nothing but play with her, and some days she plays alone for most of the day (I am checking in on her frequently, of course.), and I figure it all comes out in the wash.  I try hard to balance the needs;  she needs time with Mama, the house needs to be cleaned.  Mainly, since she's still in the me-me-me stage, I respond to her.  If she's following me and being a pest for hugs and reading books, I stop cleaning and go sit with her until she feels more ready to play independently.  Some days, that never comes.  I should point out, I'm a SAHM.  I have no idea how working and having kids would go, and I respect my friends and others that make it happen. 
 

post #6 of 12

first of all quality time with 3 kids - are you talking individually? coz i have one and so its easy for me. i see other parents who always balance and figure a way out.

 

the thing is how do you define quality time? is it one on one? physically touching? because driving i would call one on one time. dd and i would have great philosophical conversations in the car. one time i actually made up 75 verses of if you are happy and you know it....

 

so it wouldnt surprise me if you are acutally spending a fair amount of quality time with them but you are defining it differently. 

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

first of all quality time with 3 kids - are you talking individually? coz i have one and so its easy for me. i see other parents who always balance and figure a way out.

 

the thing is how do you define quality time? is it one on one? physically touching? because driving i would call one on one time. dd and i would have great philosophical conversations in the car. one time i actually made up 75 verses of if you are happy and you know it....

 

so it wouldnt surprise me if you are acutally spending a fair amount of quality time with them but you are defining it differently. 

 

meemee, I think I love you! orngtongue.gif

post #8 of 12

Well, I'm a homeschooling AND working from home momma so it differs.

 

On a normal week I have a mothers helper 3x for a few hours each, and so those times I'm totally upstairs hiding and trying to write. Otherwise I feel like I'm with the kids the rest of the time? Sometimes we aren't like TOGETHER-TOGETHER since I'm cooking, cleaning or they are playing...but I consider that still spending time with them. It's all a part of making the home etc ... we do an hour or two of "real school" per day so that counts, and we bed share so they are always up in my face. So all in all a good amount of time but not all the time. 

 

Do I even make sense?

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triniity View Post

Hi, 

 

I am wondering. I feel that I don't really spend time with my kids. I do all the driving around, watching, taking care of, feeding and stuff, but I don't really play (no time) cuddle (no cuddly kids) or anything fun with them. 

 

There is just no time. We do read together in the evenings, but that was it basically. 

 

How do you manage to spend quality time with your kids? 


I have been a SAHP all 12 years of my dd's life and she has always been homeschooled.

There have been plenty of times I have felt like I was not doing fun things with her though even though I was with her a lot. I wouldn't say our non-play time is not quality. We talk a lot and I listen to her a lot and I definitely consider that quality time.

 

Reading books is good. Playing is good. I don't think quality time with parents is always fun and games though. I guess I would say to listen to them and talk with them while you are in the car or having dinner.

post #10 of 12

I try to take the kids out for a fun outing once during the week and once on the weekends. So we'll go to the zoo, children's museum, a park we usually don't frequent so it's more "special", etc. DH does the same thing as his work schedule allows which is usually once on the weekends, too. But other than that I also feel like we're in the daily grind. I like what onlyzombiecat said. I have some of the best conversations with my kids in the car. If I have to get something done on my laptop, I put it on the table when my kids are drawing so I'm still present with them. I'll sit down with them watch a movie even if it's only for 10 minutes before I have to make dinner. And honestly, I think it's a pretty good balance of play time and more just "life" time. I was never one to love to play with my kids all day (I think there are only so many hours of the day moms of toddlers can take of Thomas the Train without going batshit crazy) and as they age I've appreciated interacting with them in different ways.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks everybody! 

 

Yesterday our psychologist told me that I am just too hard on myself. To make that clearer: Two of my kids have ADHD (I wrote about it) and esp DS is driving me insane at the moment. I feel that I am just running after them and try to stop them from killing themselves. (that worked surprisingly good until now ;) ) 

 

I am diagnosed with ADHD myself, as is my DH, so we are probably the most chaotic family in the universe. I try to do all the housework, but I am always behind, and as soon as I cleaned something, there is a mess somewhere else. *sigh*

 

DD is gifted and goes bananas without enough stimulation so we do an outing per day. After school. (she is going to a public school, as homeschooling is illegal here). 

 

In the car they (DD and DS) want to listen to audiobooks and do not talk to me at all disappointed.gif

 

And they get so wild at the evenings that the bedtime ritual is mostly a chasing around and trying to read to them while the baby cries. (somehow I cannot get there sleep schedule in line) 

 

And in Feb I am going to start to work again...

 

I guess I need to establish some rituals here. It is just so damn difficult to play fun games with these kids. 

post #12 of 12

I wft but the I do work in as much good time as possible. The mornings are busy with getting ready for school and preschool but I always try and carve out some time for stories or a few minutes of play. When I get home I focus entirely on them until they go to sleep. The weekends are the same. The 3 year old has awesome preschool in the morning and great nanny in the afternoon so they get a lot of individual attention.

 

Driving or housework is time spent around a parent but I don't really count that as much. 

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