We all know that spending time with our kids is a priority but how do you fit in studying, writing papers, research and everything else that goes along with grad school? You get creative! That’s how!
Recently, my nine year old daughter really acted out and out of motherly instincts, I decided to sit down and have a heart to heart with her. Imagine my guilt when in her own words she told me that she missed me and that I don’t have time for her anymore. She wasn’t acting out to be bad. She was just doing what she thought she had to do to get my attention. I admit that school has taken over a lot of my time but I had no idea just how much it was affecting my children.
I looked her in the eyes, both of us crying now and I told her “I will always make time for you.” Nothing will ever come before spending time with my children. Not even grad school. The good thing is that anything is possible if you have faith in yourself to be creative. Creativity creates solutions.
So that’s why I came up with “homework night”. Sounds like fun, right? I’m sure before knowing what it entailed my children would’ve said no way! Well, as I’ve learned from my psych classes, it’s all about your perception of situations. Most don’t see homework and studying as a fun way of spending quality time with family but I had to come up with a way of merging homework and study time with spending time with my kids because believe me, I have way more school work than I do kid free time.
So I decided since my kids have homework every day and this is something we have in common that this is the perfect opportunity to show them that homework and studying can be a positive thing.
So one day after school, I had them each get out their homework and computers and I got out my never ending heap of books to read too. We got out some blankets and set up camp in the middle of the living room floor. I ordered pizza and for the next almost three hours, we studied and worked and it was actually productive! There was no complaining, few distractions and the best part was we all worked as a team and helped each other. My daughter worked intensely on her work and every now and then she’d ask her older brother or me for help. I got some much needed studying done and I wasn’t distracted with worries of rushing so that I could spend some time with my kids before ushering them off to bed.
For me spending quality time with my kids is about more than just playing and having fun. It’s also teaching by examples. It’s about being creative and showing them that they can achieve whatever they want in life. No time, no money, not smart enough, not strong enough etc. There are no excuses! I was able to show them that we are all in this education thing together. I’m learning right along with them and I will always have time for them because whatever we do, we can do together.
Since then, homework night has become a thing in our house. We probably look like a bunch of nerds but it’s one of those things that the three of us will look back on for the rest of our lives with the fondest of memories.