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When Clay and I got married we both agreed that when we had children, I would be a stay at home mom. Fast forward a year later and my life long dream became reality. Now each day I care for our son while Clay works hard to provide for our family. I had such high expectations of motherhood, and frankly they were completely unrealistic. My misconception of being a stay at home mom was born from my own experience of having a stay at home mom growing up. For me it was a blast! I played games, ran outside, went to the park, visited the library. Childhood was so great, and I thought motherhood would be just as fun.
Little did I know the work that goes into being a homemaker. While for me it was easy being a kid, looking back with a mother’s perspective it wasn’t quite the same experience for my mom. Each day isn’t fun filled in motherhood. To be honest, some days feel torturous; the “Let me just sit on the toilet for a couple extra minutes just to have peace” days. Or the “I’m putting you to bed early because I can’t handle you anymore” days. It’s okay to admit that sometimes motherhood is more than we can handle. We are human, not superheroes (although some like to think so).
Although we can’t go everyday on our own strength, we do have moments of mild and major successes. The lunchtime spent without a tantrum or the sweet moments of hugs and “I love you’s” are the moments that propel us forward. These are the moments that remind us that it’s not all bad and just like us, our kids have emotions. They have good days and bad days, highs and lows, but they appreciate the good moments just as much as we do. If I reflect on my own childhood I think of the weekly trips to Burger King, the Twinsburg library and the local donut shop.
I don’t remember the moments my mom lost it because I was being difficult, or the extra minute she took in the bathroom just to get away. Those good moments were experiences we shared together and I am so thankful I can name more than just a few. My childhood memories of being home with my mom are special to me and truly demonstrate the importance of spending quality time with your child.
Setting an Example
It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily routine of being a stay at home mom. After all, we are responsible for almost everything. Not only do we accomplish household duties, but we also care for the kids. Trying to do both can sometimes seem like the impossible task. Interruptions are frequent and often it’s hard to get anything done. But spending quality time with your child sets a strong example. Choosing to sit on the floor and do a puzzle together while laundry waits to be folded is a huge testament of your priorities. Showing your child you prioritize them over other tasks builds their character, gives them confidence and helps to them to have a standard of behavior for themselves in the future.
So much of what I do with my own son are things my mother instilled in me. She set a strong example for me of spending quality time together and I love being able to show Ezra that same example.
Spending quality time with your child also nourishes healthy relationships. Conversing with them shows them the channels for communication are open which is important as they grow. If you open these channels while they’re young, your child will be more likely to come to you in the future. Being available as a parent both physically and emotionally provides stability. Stability in turn builds trust. All of these key elements are primary foundations that can all be grown from the simple task of one on one time.
The traditions I mentioned of going to Burger King, the local library and donut shop were memories I cherish now as an adult. They are the parts of my childhood that help me strive to continue creating memories with my own son. It’s great to have one on one time with each of your children even if you’re a mom of multiples. Creating a memory doesn’t need to be complicated or extravagant. It could be as simple as making pancakes each Saturday morning together, or having a monthly or weekly mother/ son or mother/ daughter date. These are the moments your child will look back on with fondness, and the memories you can share together after time passes.
Ways to Spend Quality Time with Your Child
Quality time doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should consist of one on one time. Try to get an hour of one-on-one time with each child per week. It’s okay if that’s spread out through the week. If you can only manage 10 minutes a day with your child, those minutes will become cherished and are valuable moments in your relationship! Here are 20 ways to spend quality time with your child.
- Read a book together
- Walk to get the mail together
- Make weekend breakfast
- Going to see a movie
- Take them for ice cream
- Story time at the library
- Bedtime Storytime
- Dance Party
- Coffee Date (with a hot coco for them)
- Make dinner together
- Create a craft together
- Write each other letters
- Have a specific song that you sing together
- Go to the park
- Bathtime music time
- Play a game together ie. board game, hide-n-seek, sports etc.
- Go outside and do a scavenger hunt
- Bake a special treat to share!
- Go on a walk
- Do a puzzle
Spending quality time with your child doesn’t need to be extravagant. Don’t overthink it! It can be as simple as singing songs together during bath-time. Creating moments that you cherish and your child looks forward to is extremely important for building good parent/ child relationships. Do you have a tradition you do with your son or daughter? I’d love to hear! Share your ideas in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!
Fun games to play with your child: