The sheer number of demands on the time and energy of a single mom is staggering. Caring for your child, making sure he has enough food to eat and ensuring he has the necessities of life and can enjoy some of the pleasures as well is daunting. Your child, too, may be busy with school, extracurricular activities and friends. But it is important that the two of you find time to spend together and connect. This article will give you some practical ideas on how to find time to spend together when both of your schedules are crazy.
Spending time with your child, even when he is very young, will help to solidify your relationship and make it easier to make it through the tough times. Also, as your child grows older, he will be more likely to come to you with his problems instead of turning to outside, possibly more destructive, influences. The more you two can connect, the stronger your relationship will be now and going forward.
The most important thing that you can do, regardless of how you’re spending time with your child, is to listen to them when they’re telling you things. Even if you’re being subjected to a fifteen minute discourse on the soap opera that is your teen’s social life, remember that that is what’s important to your child at the moment. Really paying attention to what is being said to you and responding to it will help your child know how much you care and will make it easier for them to connect with you.
If you are a mother to more than one child, try and find time on a regular basis to spend with each child. Even if you can only find a few minutes to go for a walk, take the time to connect with each child away from the others. Talk to them. Find out what’s going on with their lives, and what they’re thinking about at any given point in time. This is especially important if you’ve got a child who tends to be overshadowed by his siblings.
For children who are old enough to be out and about create a family calendar so everyone knows who is doing what, and when. Try to keep things in check so no one has to be in four different places at once.
If you’re having trouble finding time to spend with your younger children, let them help you around the house. Until they hit the tween years, they are often willing to help. Although your idea of “help” with the tidying might be very different from your five year old’s, letting him pick things up beside you and put them away will help him feel like a valuable part of the household, and it gives you a chance to spend time connecting and talking with him. I’ve found it’s often more fun than I anticipate it will be. Letting children help make supper or bake cookies is another way to do this. Letting them “help” also has the added benefit of teaching them by example some of the basic household skills they will need when they get older. And, perhaps, it will make them more willing to help you when they are teenagers. Hey, I can hope, right?
Take advantage of the time spent with your child as a captive audience. Car trips to school or games are good examples of this. Talk, play word games, enjoy each other’s company instead of letting the radio take over.
Try and have one meal together that’s not spent in front of the TV. Ask each member of the family about their day. Find out what happened that was important for them.
Setting time aside to spend with your child may not be the easiest thing if you are a single mom with all the demands on you that come with the territory. It’s even harder if your child is busy, too. But it is important and rewarding. Hopefully this article has helped you find ways that you can turn things you do every day into chances to spend time and connect with your child.