3 Tips for Finding (or Making) More Time to Spend With Your Kids

3 Tips for Finding (and Making) Time to Spend with Your Kids | Baby Chick

3 Tips for Finding (or Making) More Time to Spend With Your Kids

Sometimes it can feel as though life is moving forward at a break-neck speed. There’s no time to enjoy; to just be for a minute. Forget trying to do anything for yourself — like reading a book for fun, trying your hand at a new hobby, or even just working out and showering on a regular basis. So finding or making more time to spend with your kids may seem impossible. However, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we can probably find small pockets of time scattered throughout our days that we could be using differently. And perhaps, if we could make up our minds to be more intentional about the time that we spend with our children, we could feel less guilty about taking advantage of these “stolen moments.” But how can we maximize our time? How can we be more intentional?

1. Plan and prepare, then prepare some more.

Preparation is the only way we will be able to use our time more efficiently. This has been an extremely hard lesson for me to learn, over many years. I am the world’s greatest procrastinator — in part, because I am also a perfectionist. (I am embarrassed to admit that sometimes I need the drama of an impending deadline to get me moving.) What I recommend? Keep a planner, if you don’t already, and consult it regularly. I have gotten to where I like to plan out my day the night before — I pack lunches, snacks, and lay out clothes every night after dinner. Backpacks, nap mats, and any other necessary items are ready and waiting by the front door. This helps to reduce some of the school morning struggle.

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I also try not to have more than three major items on my To Do List each day — outside of meals, school drop-off and pick-up, dishes and laundry, regularly scheduled naps. You know, the non-negotiables. I make a tentative schedule for when these items are supposed to happen, that way I don’t become overwhelmed in the midst of the daily chaos. And my chances of actually accomplishing something increase exponentially.

Preparing a tentative schedule for the day has the added bonus of helping you better identify pockets of time that you can use to spend some special, intentional, time with each of your kiddos. Even 10 or 15 extra minutes with your baby can make him or her feel on top of the world!

2. Multi-tasking can be your friend, but it can also be your foe.

Choose the right times and activities. Playing with your toddler? Probably not the right time to (also) reorganize your hall closet. Or if your kids are anything like mine, you will end up with blue ballpoint pen all over your beige suede furniture.

Be present; play intentionally. Give your child 20 to 30 minutes of undivided attention. Then, when she’s napping feel free to tackle that closet (or the giant pile of laundry). You will feel better about how you’ve spent your time, you will probably finish the task more quickly as you won’t have been distracted, and you will have filled your little cutie’s love tank.

The best way to multi-task efficiently? Combine something that takes no mental energy with something that requires (some) attention. Like cleaning up the dinner dishes while quizzing your elementary student on this week’s spelling words. Let me reiterate, this does not mean disappearing into your smart phone or answering emails at the dinner table. Which brings me to my next point…

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3. Put down the phone and all the other electronic waste.

Technology is a double-edged sword. All of this STUFF that’s supposed to make our lives simpler and easier, has added its own clutter. In fact, for many of us, all of the STUFF has made us less effective. Take a long, hard look at yourself. Are you spending too much time consuming media or using a device? Better yet, ask your children what they think. Little kids don’t lie. At least not about this kind of stuff. (They may lie about eating their vegetables, but that’s a topic for another day.)

Every now and then, my preschooler will come into my home office and (forcefully) shut my laptop — that’s usually my clue that it’s time for a break. Other times, she has taken my smart phone out of my hands, and yelled “no more, mommy!” Yikes. That is NOT the kind of parent I want to be. She’s four — she’s bound to start remembering some of this stuff.

Getting lost on Facebook or Pinterest seem like a small thing, but it can be a huge time-suck. I promise, the world will not end if you don’t catch up on your newsfeed every five minutes. Instead, put down the phone, turn off the computer, and build a lego castle with your kid. That, by far, is time well spent.

If you can relate, here are a few ideas that have worked for me.

  1. Try deleting (or taking a break) from the app or device that seems to be sucking the most time.
  2. Silencing or shutting down these devices for a set period of time (every day) can also help. I constantly have to remind myself — especially as a work-from-home mom — that boundaries are important, and it’s perfectly acceptable to take time for myself, my husband, and my girls. Otherwise I am going to end up wondering where my life, and all these precious busy years, went.
  3. Disappearing from social media isn’t really an option for me nowadays (it’s kind of my livelihood), but limiting the amount of time that I spend — deciding that I am only going to work and/or use social media during specific hours (refer to point number one regarding scheduling) has really made a world of difference. Of course there are always exceptions, I am only human. But being more intentional has definitely helped with some of the time-suck, and makes me a better parent.
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Time is a gift. I don’t want to waste it, or fritter it away. Pinning 20 pictures of my dream bathroom is not more important than reading a story to my daughter. When we are more intentional with our time, and work to make or find more time with our kids, we are not only enjoying these little years more fully, but we are leaving a lasting (and loving) impression on our babies.

About the Author /

Wife, mommy to three precious little girls, currently pregnant with baby a boy, and owner of The Plaid Pony.

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Instagram post 17852873872664390 Harvesting colostrum . . . look at all of that liquid gold!⁠ 😍 If your baby comes early or you are already lactating before baby arrives, it’s great to hand express into a teaspoon and gather what you’ve collected into a syringe. #breastfeedingtip
📷: @boo.b.ltd
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Instagram post 17893588471419368 ⁠Gosh, they can be such a pain in the ass sometimes. But then when they stop and look at you with those puppy dog eyes, you can’t help but scoop them up and love on them. They might be a pain in the ass but they are YOUR pain in the ass. 😂❤️ (From one mother of a strong-willed--read exhausting and opinionated--kid to another!)⁠
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Instagram post 17853985321641015 I feel like several people have been going over a week past their due dates lately . . . Is it something in the water? 🤔 How many days before or after your due date did you have your baby? 👶❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17899717765403522 ❤️ How to Help When Visiting a New Mom – Podcast Ep 21 ❤️⁠
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Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
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This episode is brought to you by @skylightframe. It's a digital picture frame that has a touch-screen display that documents all of your family’s special moments—a great gift for yourself or for an expecting or new mom. If you want to bring a nice gift when visiting a new mom, be sure to check out Skylight Frame and use our discount code BABYCHICK for $10 off your order! #ad #skylightframe⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
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2. Schedule your workouts. Like most things in life now, you're on a schedule. Create time in your new life for you -- you'll thank yourself later.⁠
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3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
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4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
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5. Get a new outfit. Because, duh.⁠
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6. Join a fitness community. It's scientifically proven that external motivators work when it comes to starting and sticking with a fitness routine. Utilize your community for support and motivation.⁠
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I’ve got my whole world in my hands 🎵
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
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Instagram post 18110828746014338 The first year after baby is the leading time when marriages break up. The extra stress, lack of sleep, and major life changes can all contribute to communication breakdown and losing intimacy. 💔 That's why protecting relationships is such an important part of postpartum planning (done in pregnancy). Parenthood is an emotionally provocative experience. These heightened emotions help you tune into your baby's needs, but it can also help you tune into each other.⁠
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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Instagram post 17934950050319412 EXACTLY! 🙌 I wish more moms knew this and didn't feel pressured to say yes automatically to guests--of course, unless they want to! 😊 But you can always say no and not right now. Take your time to bond with your new baby. If you want people to come over, great! But don't feel bad if you don't and want more time alone with your family. People who love you should understand. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17857907638591275 Dinner time with toddlers can oftentimes be hectic and stressful. Sometimes they’ll eat what you’ve made them and other times they won’t. 😒 We’ve been there! This is why we are sharing two yummy dinner recipes that have been toddler approved that the whole family can enjoy—Taco Pizza and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes! 😋
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We substituted sour cream in these recipes with @stonyfield YoBaby yogurt because it provides not only the calcium they need, but also probiotics, protein and vitamin D! 👍 (Our pediatrician says our little guy needs 2-4 servings of dairy per day!) The yogurt still has that tangy flavor that you’re looking for but with even more benefits! Cheers to full tummies and happy families! 🙌 #ad #stonyfield
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