In March of 2020, I took our newfound quarantine as a challenge to do as many fun at-home activities with my kids as I possibly could. Looking back at my Facebook memories from that time, I was honestly really crushing the sensory bin and Pinterest activity game.
However, by March of 2021, my kids and I had rarely been apart and they were quite frankly driving me insane.
My oldest child’s constant questions were just getting downright annoying, especially with the 3-year-old’s crying and fighting in the background. There was one point where it got so bad, that I paid a babysitter and I did nothing except sit in the car where it was quiet. I didn’t even leave the neighborhood.
I had no idea what to do to fix my attitude towards my kids except to just ride it out until August of 2021 when they’d be in school and we’d be done with our constant together time. I just kept hoping that I’d start to enjoy my kids more when I didn’t have to see them quite so often.
After a week of especially challenging behavior from our oldest child, I realized that he’d had close to zero one-on-one time with me in the past year. I panicked and took him out for ice cream at the park the second my husband got home from work. His behavior was excellent. Instead of challenging my every move, he was actually mostly agreeable and he was so excited to have me all to himself. Honestly, that was pretty much what I expected from him.
What I didn’t expect was how much my attitude towards him changed.
Instead of being frustrated by his questions, I found them endearing and I could really tell we were both enjoying researching the answers together.
We tried crazy flavors at the ice cream shop and we laughed and played together at the park.
I found myself sad that we had to go home, instead of counting down the minutes until bedtime.
I quickly made it a point to spend as much one on one time with my kids as possible.
My daughter loves to be pushed in the stroller or ride in the car, so it was easy to add her to my walks or to bring her along on the quick errands I would need to run in the evenings.
My other son loves to do puzzles and play games, so I have been making it a point to add those activities in with him.
It has been very good for me to remember that my dream was always to be a mom. Instead of resenting my kids always being around, I have really enjoyed finding ways to daily spend special time with each one of them. Yes, sometimes it means sacrificing time I could be by myself, but the funny thing is, I don’t find myself NEEDING to be alone nearly as often. Instead, I find myself craving even more connection with my kids.