The end of summer and beginning of another academic year can leave us parents feeling frazzled and stressed. The resurrection of after-school clubs, sports practices, homework and evening routines allows little time for small talk or quality one-on-one moments with our children. I know I’m not alone in the feeling that we find our family schedules so full of “extras” that it can sometimes seem downright impossible to find the time to eat dinner together at the dining room table, let alone have meaningful conversations about our days.
As a mom to 8, I felt I was in a constant state of failing my family. I found it difficult to give my children the individual attention they so desperately needed while juggling the family, the pets, appointments and household duties. There were countless nights I went to bed with the dreaded “Mom Guilt” heavy on my heart. I felt like I may have asked “how was school” in the midst of the chaos of them walking in the door from school, but did I really know how their day was? How was recess? Who did they sit with at lunch? How was the new teacher? Were they happy? Had they made new friends?
I realized these were questions that I honestly did not know the answer to. I pretty much felt like the Worst.Mom.Ever.
I knew I had to fix this. And I knew it had to happen soon.
After brainstorming different ideas with my husband to try to allow more alone time with each of our children, we decided on the concept of “Mommy & Daddy Nights.”
How it works: Each child gets an evening during the week of my husband and I all to themselves while everyone else is in bed. A Mommy & Daddy Night is typically 15/20 minutes of extra time talking, reading, telling jokes, playing “I Spy,” etc. My younger ones relish the extra snuggle time and re-reading of favorite books and my older children use the time as a chance to tell us what’s been on their mind. We can find out how school really is. We can pick up on certain stories and topics that we otherwise would not have had the opportunity to do.
Most importantly, my children feel heard. And that makes this Mama happy.
It’s amazing what setting aside a few minutes every day for simple conversation can do for the heart of the home and the better of the family!
Kristin is a married, 30-something SAH mom of 8 (yes, eight!) Aside from her ‘Mom Job’ of changing diapers, perfecting pb&j sandwiches and making parental mistakes daily, she repurposes and up-cycles other people’s trash into items she can sell. She is a bit of a decor enthusiast, but typically has a budget of around $0, which means she has to get really creative. So, basically, her super power is making crap from junk. But, her most important life work is what happens in the walls of her small-ish home. She is a mediocre parent attempting to raise a tribe of exceptional people and documents her journey with a bit of humor and a whole lot of honesty on my blog Perfectly DeStressed.