Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mamas, Don't Forget to Snatch One on One Time With Your Littles When You Can

I used to spend lots of time with Aaron when he was a toddler baking, reading, drawing, buiIding with blocks, and doing puzzles.  I do less of those things with Clare (alone, I mean.  Just Clare and me together.)  It's a simple mathematical issue involving the number of children and the minutes in the day.  It's harder to spend one on one time with individual children as you have more children to contend with care for.  

I know it's important though to have quality time with all of my children, time when they alone have my full attention and they know that being with them is the most important thing on my to-do list at that moment.  As a homeschooling parent, I believe that this one on one time is arguably more important for my younger children though.  Maybe this is just unique to me, but when planning our days (and weeks, and months, and years) I'm  typically very focused on school and what I need to meet the older kids' needs in terms of academics and extracurriculars and personal development.  It's not right, but I tend to spend a lot less time plotting and planning and reflecting on what my younger children need from me day to day.  

I live a bit of a hypocrisy in this regard (and if I may be so bold, I think other homeschooling moms may also): I say we don't send our youngest children to pre-school because a loving, supportive, nurturing home is better suited to the education they most need at that age.  But often I find myself neglecting those little ones who I've kept home because they "need me so badly."  (Don't go calling CPS  - I'm not talking "neglect" like no food or water or daylight or clean clothes.  Well, the clean clothes is a gray area, but still, there's no real reason to turn me in, ok?)  I'm primarily speaking of the kind of "neglect" in which our days revolve around activities, and books, and lessons, and chauffeuring geared toward the older children and the younger ones are sort of tacked on to the tail end of it all.

There's a picture of Aaron when he was 18-ish months old.  Dominic was a newborn and was asleep, and Aaron spent a morning with me baking oatmeal cookies.  

Oh Look!  I found two of them...

Even just thinking about these pictures always makes me smile, but it's also the cause of occasional bouts of mama guilt, because I know that I haven't had that same abundant, uninterrupted time with my other children.  Instead, I have to snatch at opportunities when they arise.  These moments are few, so they are precious.  Last week, the three oldest kids were at Vacation Bible School in the mornings. Monday and Tuesday, after dropping them off, I was so exhausted from poor nights' sleep, I put James down for a nap and then dozed on the couch myself.  I'm not sure what Clare did.  Thankfully, by Wednesday morning, I realized this is my Clare time!  So the rest of the week, I snatched some one on one time with my favorite two-year-old!   We made cookies and popsicles and did some yarn shopping and crocheting like Big Ladies do.  And we really enjoyed each other's company :)

making oatmeal cookies - our first time baking alone together!

she loves her some crochet hooks :)

I let Clare use the camera.  (please ignore that garish yellow cotton - I'm just using it on a trial run of a new pattern)
Russ steps in to photograph the Crochet Gals!

I love having another crochet junky in the family... even if she's not quite sure what she's doing :)

she'll get it some day... :)


  1. Not unique to you at all, I always suffer attacks of Mummy Guilt that my youngers don't get what my olders did, nor do they get all I want them to have:(

  2. Her hair!!! I love it so much! Such good thoughts and something I think most of us with more than a few children struggle with.

  3. I'm with you--it's hard. In some ways, I think it's "just life, just the way it is", but then I have moments of wanting to connect one-on-one with each kid. It doesn't happen as often as any of us would like, but we work on it. Sometimes it means one kid gets to run errands with me, but then he or she has all my attention.


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