How to make the most of time with your kids
It's true what the say: The dust bunnies and dirty dishes aren't going anywhere. Take a break from the rat race and commit to cherishing the little moments with your kids.
Between grocery lists, chores, bills and schedules, it's a miracle we moms are able to connect with our kids for a few minutes a day. Sometimes, a fresh perspective on the hustle and bustle of life helps us realize that special little moments could be slipping through our fingers. Enough! Make this the year you create memories with your kids every day.
It's not just a tired old saying -- it's the truth. Time always seems to move faster than we want it to, especially when it comes to our kids. Still, that's no reason to pass up a chance to snuggle with your kids, read a book, make a discovery in the yard or just watch the clouds roll by together.
"Moms are so busy and the to-do list just grows by the minutes," says Maureen Smithe, a mother of two and mastermind behind HomemadeMothering.com. "With so much to do, its easy to miss the little moments that are so fleeting yet special."
As moms, we're usually pretty close to our kids geographically, but how "present" are we from day to day? Do you find yourself stuck in a routine, just going through the motions? If so, you and your kids could be missing out on building memories on a daily basis.
"Being present in my children's' lives usually comes naturally for me, but sometimes I have to make a real effort for it to happen," says Smithe. "It's too easy to get distracted, but twenty years from now, will I remember that I finished the last load of laundry or that I read books to my kids all afternoon?"
Shake it up
Sometimes all you need to do it shake up your routine a bit in order to increase your awareness of the special moments all around you on a day-to-day basis. "If every day is the same-old routine, I tend to take these simple, special moments for granted," admits Smithe. "This doesn't mean we have to do something expensive or far from home. If we normally go to the park in the morning, I'll occasionally switch things up and visit the children's museum, play at a different park, stop in a cafe for a little cup of tea."
Put a little effort into doing something fun and a little bit different, and you'll be amazed at how vivid that memory will become for you.
Pick an activity
Memories are created when mothers and children do something special together on a regular basis. It doesn't have to be elaborate, extravagant or complicated -- just simple and meaningful. For some, a regular "mom-child date night" does the trick. Perhaps you share an interest in gardening, enjoying tea or reading a book.
"For me, making food in the kitchen is one of my favorite 'little moments' with my kids," says Smithe. "My daughter stands on a stool and my baby son sits in his high chair or rides in the Baby Bjorn. They are both so engaged with the process and so happy to be helping out. It is a simple way for me to spend time with them, take care of meal preparation, and teach them some skills." Whatever activity you choose, make it special and smile while you're at it.