My kids are entirely different people after I get some alone time with them, and it absolutely amazes me.
Don and I have been making some effort to get 1:1 time with each kid more often before the baby comes. So on Saturday morning, I took B on a mommy/daughter hike (much to the chagrin of W, who felt like she was being punished by being left home with Daddy. It totally broke my heart, because W had dumped out a big container of beads all over the kitchen floor earlier, and I of course said, “Why would you DO that?” while she giggled. Once she found out B and I were leaving her behind an hour later, she apologized ten different times, thinking THAT was why we were going without her. It wasn’t.)
Once we were out in the woods, B took over. I tried to let her pick the route and set the pace and generally be in charge of the whole event. She squatted down to watch the ice melting for a good ten minutes as I patiently shifted my very pregnant body from left foot to right foot, fighting the urge to keep moving, because inertia is a real problem right now. She talked and talked and talked the whole time, telling me about her friends at school, things she dreams about, asking questions about the trail and the animals, and chastising me for forgetting a snack. We had the BEST time.
She was literally a different kid for the rest of the day. Cooperative, helpful, and not at odds with me. So often, even at 5, she huffs and puffs when I ask her to do something. There are so many whiny, “But WHYYYY, Mom?”s and “I don’t get ANYTHING I want!” and it can be SO frustrating when you are literally bending over backwards for someone, but those virtually disappeared. She seemed peaceful and content all day long.
So on Sunday we switched, and I took W while Don built a “rocket” in the basement with B. W and I had an equally good time, especially because I remembered the snacks. She literally threw her arms around my neck when we were getting dressed and said, “Oh, I am SO excited. I just LOVE you, Mommy!” and it melted my heart.
It was both WONDERFUL to feel like I found a little magic medicine for the girls and I, and simultaneously TERRIFYING because I realize how rare it will be after the new baby is born. Thinking through the logistics of planning frequent 1:1 time with 3 kids and 2 parents is…challenging.
Anyone make a real effort to schedule 1:1 time with your kids? How often and how exactly do you do it, especially if you have a larger family? Help a sister out! ?