As a very busy mama of five, a clinician, and a businesswoman, I am often asked how I manage it all. Parenting my children is my top priority and one of my favorite things to do. So I would like to give you a little sneak peek into my personal life and behind the scene look into our household.
Let me start by saying that I am thrilled to have a big family. I believe that children are a blessing and being a mom is a very special calling. However, having a lot of kids comes with numerous challenges. One of them is the children’s natural need for individual attention. For many years (and still!) I have been troubled and conflicted about giving my children individual attention. I remember asking one of my friends who happens to be a momma to six precious children (before I had five!) how she makes sure they all get enough of her love and attention. She just laughed and explained to me that in a large family, there is so much love to go around that no one ever feels lonely. She also pointed out that her children struggle with finding space and privacy!
This thought gave me some comfort for a while; but it has been fleeting. All too often my children have snuggled up to me and said, “Mommy, when can we spend some time together, just you and I!” As soon as I would hear this, guilt would sneak in. I realized that despite all of the love in our family, they still have a need for one on one love with mom and dad. And to be honest, as I watch them grow, I realize how precious is my time with them and that I may need that one on one love with them more than they do.
So in this post, I would like to share with you a solution I came up with.
Not surprisingly, each one of my five children has different interests and hobbies. I have always wanted to take everyone on special trips and to cool places; however our family budget does not usually allow us to do so. For example, taking five children and two adults to an aquarium quickly becomes a rather costly and unaffordable event. So in order to make this happen, it is important to be creative.
This is how we make it work:
Every other week, one child gets a special date with mom or dad. For example, our eight year old Collin is very artistic. It just so happens that I recently received a Groupon in my email for the Atlanta Children’s Museum. He and I will be able to go for a fraction of a cost for the entire family to go and he will love the special one on one time with mom! Our ten year old Ava has been dreaming about ice skating. I have not taken all of the kids because lessons for all of them would be so expensive. And sadly, I don’t have enough hands to hold all of their hands on the ice at once. If I make this a special date with Ava, her heart will be so happy, I won’t break the bank, and I will get to hold her hand the entire time. Ellie, who is Ava’s younger twin sister, has a very special kind of love for lizards. I was able to take her to a special reptile show and exhibit where she got to hold and pet some of these creatures. Our thirteen year old Kai who is quite an athlete, loves nothing more then eating spicy chicken wings and watching a game at a sport bar. And last but not least, sixteen year old Casey is an action/fantasy movie lover. She and I have so much fun going to the movies and holding hands when we get super scared.
You are probably wondering where does dad fit into all of these plans? Well, there are trips that I would rather not take, such as climbing a rock wall or going to a baseball game. So I happily leave these up to dad. But if dad can find time and pick just one morning a week to take the lucky child out for a cup of steaming hot chocolate and talk. Trust me, not one of them minds getting up early for that rendezvous. As parents, we are very excited about our special dates with all of them. We find them to be an affordable way of making our children feel special and loved.
In saying this, know that if your wallet or schedule does not allow for any such dates, any time that you spend one on one with your child is valuable to them. But be mindful- you should engage in an activity of your child’s choosing (entertainment) rather than an activity you need to help with – like a chore. Playing a simple board game or going out on a little nature walk and listening to their hearts can be absolutely priceless.
I would love it if you could share how you love on your children. All questions and comments are always welcomed. Before you leave, don’t forget to sign up below to stay in touch and not to miss my new posts.
With well wishes,
Enter your email to get my latest content.
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.