Thursday, 14 January 2016

Family balance: Spending time together plus more one to one time.

As a Mama to three little ones (four in April!), time can sometimes feel quite limited when trying to give them all quality one to one time, meeting their individual needs and interests. Since September when the whole school thing started, life has felt like such a fast pace, to the point where some days my head is spinning. With the ever so helpful additive of pregnancy hormones this has been harder some days than others. With me feeling like I'm not getting enough quality time with my three. 

With a change of nursery hours for H last week, this has seen time with my little chap increase a little bit plus less school runs (this was 6 car journeys per day from September until now) So now with Halle doing two full days and one morning, as opposed to every morning we now get two 'full' days together without the rushing about and trying to make sitting in a car seat 6+ times a day a fun thing. We still do our usual playgroups and the popping to the shop so he can 'help me' with getting food bits, popping it into the mini trolley, our Cafe Nero hot chocolate date where he has his mini espresso tub of marshmallows and steals my cream, or playing at the park. All of which on those two days where we have no clock watching makes it a lot less manic.

Its a more simple time together which we both really benefit from. Not only this, once we're home for lunch instead of darting off for the nursery pick up, we can enjoy food together before his nap, and when he does nap, I can now get on with stuff that needs to be done or even blog/photography work without feeling guilty that i'm catching 30 mins while Halle is usually home. So from now on Thursday & Friday nap time will be 'my catch up' (or quiet time for me to restore some energy!) - minus the guilt.

This coming week will see the full change as it's starting right from Monday which will also see that Halle is home with us on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. These two days will be our time as a three with Tuesday being our 'nothing' or 'odds and sods' day, and Wednesday she will be joining us at our weekly messy play that we all use to go to as a foursome with our Yve's.

This does leave me with guilt that our biggest girl isn't joining us in the week anymore but we know that she really enjoys what she does and we make up for it with our home time and cherish it all the more, especially weekends.

As i am grateful for spending better time with my little chap, I am also looking forward to having Halle joining us again as even though I see her in the afternoons, it was always seeming rushed or she was too tired from a busy morning to want to do anything, so having her back at playgroups and a day at home will be lovely. It will take me back to when I had my Yve's at home, then my two girls, and then my little trio. Man how simple those days seem now in comparison. 

I am always missing my biggest girl so so much during the week, So making sure we get our time is so important to me. We need it the most I would say. Scheduling time to have a shopping or hot chocolate date, walking hand in hand and connecting through conversation, crafting at home together, learning new things like sewing or knitting etc. These are the things I want to keep up and try harder with. 

The girls are only 18 months apart in age so have always been very close and love doing things together but I can see that they are craving time with Mummy or Daddy apart even if they can't always see it. Enabling them all the have one to one time with me or Daddy in their own right is something that needs to be a normal element to our life. It can sometimes seem quite tricky as they're all so close in age, have similar needs and interests and you don't want to leave any one out but also its such a healthy thing to do, and to show them that we all need a little time. We do the majority of our things together anyway and love it so much, something we will continue, but I think making the one-to-one time more regular will create a nice balance also.

So the next few weeks and months I am going to listen quietly to what they would love to do either together or individually and make sure we all get the time to connect.

Do you have three or more little ones?

Any in foundation stage or nursery? 

How do you balance out your one to one time with your littles?
I wanted to add these two pictures of my little chap (who's soon to be two!)
I can't believe how much he's changed since this photo was taken back in September 2015. Wild hair, less teeth but still those beautiful piercing blue eyes.
... My cheeky little boy, not long before his first haircut (sob!) I think this suits him too but it was a nightmare for knots and he still has it longish but tidied up! :)
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5 comments

  1. Ive found that to be the biggest challenge of school too, suddenly there is so little time to spend one on one with my biggest girl and I miss the closeness of our days at home and the time together when the babies were napping. Pip is very attached to me so that makes life interesting too!!

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    1. Thank you Carie, Yes its a tricky one. it's something that makes all the difference I find though and it could be the slightest thing that 'alters the scales'! I'm pretty sure it'll be all different again once baby arrives! we can only do our best! x

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  2. I have no idea how you do it. Two keeps me busy enough, let alone three - and four soon! So excited for you. I know you'll keep all those plates spinning x

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    1. I have no idea some times, it's my normal though and i try my best to embrace it all! I often get people so shocked that im expecting our fourth! take today for instance, they were stunned! x

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  3. We are in a similar place to you, this year has been harder with J in Year 1, and L in reception. I think its made us value our time together more, and we seem to split between action packed weekends out trying to make the most of being together to relaxing days at home, just letting the children follow their own interests. My eldest are 16 months apart and they share a lot of interests and one-on-one time normally ends up with everyone joining in, but they are at their happiest together so I try not to worry, and do my best to be there if they need me! Your little ones sound very happy and content, I cant wait to see your new addition xx

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