Are You Spending Enough Time with Your Kids?
And, I mean, it makes sense. Many of us moms work, which means someone else is doing the caregiving for a significant portion of the day. And then, we come home and it’s boom-boom-boom. We have to do the whole dinner, bathtime, bedtime routine, with the rush hour commute in between. It often feels like there isn’t much time to “just be” with our kids.
But, it’s not just working mothers. Stay-at-home moms feel it too. The days are filled with a strange melding of structure and the unstructured. Organized chaos. Feedings and nap times and play dates, washing bottles, packing diaper bags and backpacks, stroller into the trunk, stroller out of the trunk...with laundry and dinner prep squeezed in between.
No matter what kind of mom you are, it can be hard to feel like you can just be with your little one when there’s so much routine to keep up with. We all feel like we’re just trying to keep it all together.
Sometimes we think we need to plan a family vacation or sign up for a Mommy and Me class just to get some special one-on-one time with our little ones. But, we’re already doing so much.
So, what’s the answer?
Check out this Facebook Live video I did last week (transcript included), where I share insights from a recent study on parents and the amount of time they spend with their kids and what I think is more important.
WATCH THE VIDEO:
This video previously aired as a Facebook Live. You can follow Happy With Baby on Facebook to catch all their live videos here.
Hi there. My question for you today is: Do you spend enough time with your children?
Hi, I'm Catherine at HappyWithBaby.com and I'm really excited to be here today to talk about this.
So, a concern I hear a lot from parents is feeling like they're not spending enough time with their kids or they're feeling guilty because they want to go do something for themselves and feeling like they can't, that they need to be home with them because they've been at work all day or they know they're distracted by like projects or things they have going on at home.
And this is really a real concern about like they're not doing enough, like they're not providing enough for their kids, that they're not being present enough and things like that. And so one of the things I always share with parents is that it's definitely it's the quality of time with your children it's not the quantity of time.
And, you know, there was a study that came out in the Journal of Marriage and Family, which I'll share an article below here when we're done, and then there's been several other studies about showing that it's always about the quality of time you're spending with your kids, not the quantity.
And so in this study that came out a couple years ago it showed that parents today and this is moms and dads spend more time with their kids than they did in 1975, right, and it's like steadily increased since that time and it's almost double what it was back then. And so I think that's really significant, so if we were actually to log the time that we're spending with our kids been probably spending a lot more time.
Now one of the points that this research also shared is that if you're like stressed out, if you're stressed out parent, especially moms, like you're stressed out, you're sleep-deprived, you're anxious, you're, you know, just a lot of times is because you're not taking care of yourselves, right, because you're doing like all these things, and I know this can especially happen for new parents, is that it can sometimes even be harmful to your children. Right. So, if we're not taking care of ourselves.
So and I know it's like, oh like I start to freak out or like I know moms especially will get worried, like oh gosh now I'm doing, you know, now I'm being harmful to my child, which is that's definitely not the intent. Like, they're overdoing things. So I think the point that I'd like to make is that this is proof that it's okay that you're taking care of yourself, right. This is proof that we need to take care of ourselves. And so, whatever that is, right. If it is, you know, taking a nap, going for a walk, chatting with your friend on the phone, hiding in the bathroom for 10 minutes so the kids are not climbing on.
I mean I just think of like those memes you see where the kid is like hiding under the--you know, the mom's in the bathroom on her phone or something and the kids under there and you see their hands trying to get through the bathroom. I mean, there's those memes that are out there that are like hysterical because they're so true, right.
Like we try to escape and get the breaks that we need sometimes and so whatever that is, you know, talk with your support people in your life, your partner, your family, friends, whatever. Like maybe take an extra 30 minutes before you pick up from daycare if you can and do something like that or go for a walk on your lunch break. Those are all really important things that we need to be doing for ourselves and you know this study shows like because it's better for our children.
So the next time you're feeling like, oh gosh, I'm the selfish parent because I'm, you know, I'm going to do this. It's like, no, I know that if I'm going to do this, like this is beneficial for my children and then we're teaching and showing our children how to take care of themselves. And that's really important growing up, so that they don't grow up feeling guilty and shame and feeling like they can't take care of themselves because they have to take care of everybody else. Like we have to prioritize ourselves and take care of ourselves so we can take care of our family, so remember that.
And then I think the other the other point I always like to bring up too is that is it's not all the extravagant things you do, right. Like trips to Disneyland or Hawaii or whatever--vacations that you plan on, like those are great and wonderful and those make wonderful memories and you know signing up for different classes and things like that are great, but it's like them spending time with you doing the things that you have to do, right.
Like, we have to eat, so sitting down at the table together, even if you have young children. Sit down and while they're sitting at the table in their high chair or whatever, they might not be talking, but they see that you're talking. You're talking to them. You know, if you have chores to do, like how can you get them involved? Are they toddling around enough that they can help put shoes away? Or are they, you know, can be in a bouncy seat and watch you while you do dishes and you're talking with them? Like those are all good quality time with you that you're talking and engaging with them.
It's not about all the fancy things that you have to do with them. Those are great, but if they add more stress and it's hard to get to classes and you're rushing around and there's always you know something to do every single day, then it's not worth it to your well-being and it's probably not worth it in the end to their well-being either.
So they need you to be able to take care of yourself and take it easy and make life a little bit easier at home. So whatever things that you can take off your plate that you're feeling that you need to do is like maybe reassess. Sit down with your partner like what can we take off of the plate where we can be more engaging and present with each other and with our children? And so it can make things a lot easier.
So I'm hoping that makes sense and, like I said, I'll have a little bit more information on my blog later with this video, as I'm rambling on and on. Because I could go off about this all day, but I don't want to take up too much time because if you're like me I feel like I don't always have time to watch big long videos.
But anyways--Hi guys! It's good to see you. Aw, thanks for the hearts.
So anyways, the other point I just want to say is this next month we're gonna be talking a little bit more about like self-care and what it really means. Cause it's not always about, you know, going out for pedicures and stuff like that, but really what self-care really means and then also how to avoid the excuses we give ourselves when we feel like we can't do them.
So if you want to stay tuned, hop on and sign up for my email list. You can go to HappyWithBaby.com and I'd love to add you and so you'll be the first to get the information when it comes out. I know this next month--well, some kids have already gone back to school. I know my son is going back to school and my baby is starting kindergarten so definitely working on the self-care here. So I need this as much as you guys, so it's all helpful information.
So anyways, I look forward to sharing more and I hope you all have a wonderful day. And until next time, you guys, take care. Bye.
LINKS & RESOURCES:
The Washington Post article, Making Time for Kids? Study Says Quality Trumps Quantity
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