My husband was recently home for a week and during this time the children had so much fun. They played cricket together, they play cards, we swam, we played board games and we enjoyed each other’s company as a family. He flew out this morning and it dawned on me that I don’t have enough fun with my children, so I began to question why? You can probably predict what my response was – TIME AND ENERGY! By the time I work, feed them, clean up and see to the other necessary jobs of running a household I am exhausted!
So now that this has come to my attention I need to create opportunities for fun, both with my children and with my friends (but that’s a whole other story). One way that I can successfully spend more time with my children within my limited time frame before I turn into grumpy, tired mum is to schedule it in my diary. If I have pre-warning of a fun activity e.g. card game, I am able to acknowledge that I have committed to the family to spend time, rather than be nagged to play when I am feeling overwhelmed and exhausted (and we all know that more often than not, these situations end in tears).
Let me divert a little and look at that word ‘spend’- to invest, to swap one thing for something desired. When we spend time with our children we are investing in them, we might have the perfect house, the big car and perfectly groomed children, however, if we don’t invest time in them, no matter how perfect the house looks, how big the car is or how clean the children are, they will fester resentment towards the most important people in their lives if they do not get positive attention from them.
If we are not spending quality time with our children, and by this I mean enjoying each other’s company, then what are our children seeing? Are they seeing that work is more important than them? Are they seeing that a clean house is more important than them? Are they seeing that watching TV is more important than them? Lack of parental attention will lead children thinking that they are not worthy of our attention, a child may grow up in ‘normal’ household where clothes are clean, meals are wholesome and hygiene is an expectation, however if we are unable to connect and interact with our children, research suggests that they are of a high risk of growing up with an emotional deficit and therefore will struggle with their own emotional intelligence as adults.
I know that I need to make some changes and invest more time into my children, I need to let the dirty dishes sit for a while longer or I need to leave the washing for an hour because what I actually need is to spend time making memories with my children.