• Make an Effort to Be Available and Question Your Busy
As moms and wives we tend to have pretty long, seemingly never ending to-do lists. If I’m being honest sometimes it does feel like my kids are a distraction from things that I “need to get done.” We’ve all experienced it. I could have gotten such and such done, but the kids.
This I where I find myself in need of taking a step back and reevaluating. There are many times I have to stop and ask myself, Am I really busy? Too busy? The answer truly depends on where my priorities lie at the time. I know if I want them to feel valued and have a good sense of self worth, that I need to show them that they are worthy of my time and that I value my time with them. If you feel the urge to say “not right now I’m busy” first ask yourself “Am I actually busy?” If not, press pause and spend some time with your kiddos!
• Give Them Your Undivided Attention
It is so easy to get caught up in distractions and to give your children attention halfheartedly. I know there are countless times my children have said “look at this, mama!” and I just go through the motions. I have been trying to remember to actually look at what my children have done and are so proud of and respond genuinely. I know that for me, when I am excited about something or proud of something that I have done, it does crush me a little when I feel that it’s not appreciated. There is no question that I want my children to feel appreciated. And I want my children to appreciate others; to look people in their eyes and respond to others genuinely. To give their undivided attention when someone is taking their time to express their ideas or feelings with them. The best way that I can make sure that they possess these values is for me to be that example for them. I want to be the kind of mom who pays attention. I know that in the blink of an eye they will be grown and I won’t be able to go back to cherish the moments that they looked at me with their little faces and precious drawings asking mama to be proud of them.
• Snuggle With Them!
This one is SO easy but I believe there is much importance in this. Even if you are on your phone and they’re watching tv you can still fit in some snuggle time. After all, they are only little for a little while. I know that my kids appreciate simply sitting with me. It makes them feel loved with me having not done anything at all but been right there with them. When my kids wake up, the first thing they do in the morning is crawl into bed next to me. Sometimes they fall asleep, sometimes they simply lie quietly but these are the big moments that are disguised as little moments. It’s a time to kiss their forehead and smell their hair and soak in the blessings of being a mama.
• Take Time to Really Talk to Them
There will never be an easier time to talk with your kids than while they’re little. So ask them questions. Talk to them about their day, or their favorite animal. Ask them WHY they like their favorite tv show. I like to ask my children what their favorite things about themselves are. And their favorite things about each other. I also take advantage of this and ask them about me as a mom. I ask them what I do all day. They usually say something like “cook and clean and love us.” It’s amazing how our children view us so differently than we view ourselves. It’s a wonderful thing to participate in their world and get some insight into their thoughts and how their little minds work. The most important thing though, is that you’re taking time to bond with your little ones.
• Play Games!
I know I know, it sounds like a lot of .. pieces everywhere. Chaos. But playing board games with young kids IS possible if you have the right games! Most games for kids are relatively short as well. One that super easy for young kids is “don’t break the ice.” My kids also love Candy Land and Mouse Trap! It’s a great learning opportunity for kids and a great way for everyone to feel connected.
• Cut Yourself Some Slack
I used to go to bed every night thinking about my failures of the day. Just letting the guilt soak in and take over. What I didn’t get done. If I spent enough time with my kids. Maybe I could have been more patient. Or maybe I had yelled too much that day. My kids were acting WILD, am I failing them? Are they missing something? Well I am hear to tell you, shut that $#@! down. Sometimes you just need to let go. Instead think about how blessed you are to have the opportunity to be a mom and take some time to pray. We are not perfect. We compare ourselves to others with their perfect Instagrams not realizing that we are letting it consume us. We want to be the best moms we can be and we think that we know what that looks like. But even those people you aspire to be like don’t have perfect lives. We all have our shining moments and our downfalls. It is important to strive to be better, but knowing in your heart that you are a good mom will take a huge weight off of your shoulders. Your children don’t need a perfect mom. They just need YOU and they see you with much more magic than you see yourself.