As the third kid, Roland doesn’t get the sort of a attention that he probably should. Of course he is cared for, and in those caregiving moments I try to give him my full attention, but there’s always a lot going on in our life to distract me from him. I do want Roland to get some special one-on-one time with me, so we have started a new nightly routine where he gets me all to himself.
Roland is a bit of a night owl like his mama. I put him to bed when I go to bed, and then he’s asleep in the morning while I get the girls ready and make breakfast. It’s been a really beneficial schedule for the family, and it gives Roland some time awake without the girls. Lately he’s been so very talkative at night that I can’t help but engage with him. So, it’s become our routine that every night after I put the girls to bed, I sit down with Roland and we chitchat. He goes on and on and gets louder and louder, and he thinks I’m funnier than any other human I know. We have quite the time together, and it is truly the best therapy at the end of the day.
Spending special time with just Roland made me realize how important it is to make sure to get a little one-on-one time with each of my children every day. I know it benefits me as well as them to be able to give them my full attention even if just for 10 minutes. My kids are all pretty independent, so I get by without having to entertain them, but I’m realizing that means I just need to make sure to intentionally engage with them, individually, every day.
I find it easiest to find time for my oldest since we already get one-on-one time during my middle child’s nap. Roland usually obliges us with snoozing for some of that time as well. I have to be a little more proactive about carving out the time for my middle child though. Even before her nap, my oldest joins us for stories, and the two of them share bedtime. I don’t have a specific time set to give to just her, so I need to remember to play with her when she is playing alone sometime during the day.
I feel a little ridiculous writing about my intentions to spend time engaging with each of my children separately. I’m with them all day most days after all. How hard could it be? Well, I work from home, and my children have to share me with the other children I care for some days, not to mention the ever increasing loads of laundry, housecleaning, and meal preparations. I promise I do supervise them, but my attention is usually elsewhere if I’m being honest. I don’t try to do it all, and the upkeep of the house is always the first thing to go. But, I want to make sure I’m not sacrificing my relationship with my children to make sure I get my work done. They are the reason I do what I do, and in the busyness of the day to day, I’m ever so thankful that Roland showed me how important our time together was, especially to me.