For a stay-at-home mom, it may seem like spending quality time with your child is a given. After all, you’re there within arm’s reach (more or less) of your beloved all day long. But lately I’ve felt disconnected. All the stress and anxiety stemming from an out-of-state move we may be making in the near future for my husband’s job, mixed with the normal frazzled-ness of life, and telecommuting to work for a local organization I’ve recently joined… Mama has been a bit tense.
It makes me feel terribly guilty that I’ve let the things going on in my life affect how I interact with my daughter. For all of her drama and craziness, questions and negotiations, Shelby is a pretty cool kid. She’s also extremely tiresome at times. That mixed with the afore mentioned worries has left me at my wit’s end, and I’ve been ready to about jump off a time or two! But that’s no excuse for a short fuse with the preschooler I adore.
So…. Now that I’ve confessed to not being Mother of the Year, what am I doing about it? Well, I’ve moved my laptop- my social and business lifeline- to the dinning room table. It’s situated perfectly where I can survey the entire living room and most of the house, as well as be close to the kitchen to grab snacks and juice when she calls for them. It also prompts me to want to take more breaks because of the crummy seating (antique = cool, not necessarily comfy). But the biggest perk is that Shelby can sit right beside me and do whatever, all the while, we can talk and I can listen to the new song she’s made up. I have a pack of new crayons I keep in the kitchen for just these occasions. They’re only for the table, and only when I’m sitting at it. This A) keeps them from getting broke/lost/used for mischief and B) it entices Shelby to sit next to me, color and visit. We love to draw together, and I make sure to post our creations on the fridge at the end of the day.
Are there other things that I could do? Of course, there always are. But until Bootsie gets tired of our current setup, it’s what works for us. And I’m getting lots of art to add to her scrapbook.
What do you (or can you) do to stay connected to your kids? If you have any tips, tricks or ideas, don’t be stingy- share ‘em! We’d love to hear.~AnnA