Somedays it feels like my toddler comes along for errands more than fun adventures to the Children’s Museum or playground. A busy schedule and long to-do list have been known to limit uninterrupted Mommy time where I’m able to give my daughter my full, undivided attention.
The whirlwind of life; of taking care of three kids, walking the dogs, running a home and juggling adult responsibilities like paying the bills and keeping the fridge stocked (and of course, a little thing called work) makes it hard to live in the moment and always stay connected to my kids, especially my toddler, Taylor.
Connection and making the effort to interact daily isn’t about shunning your responsibilities. It’s as simple enough as pushing them aside for 15 minutes because the window of time to connect and interact with your children is brief and in the grand scheme of life, the laundry can wait, the dishes can wait, the email you need to respond to can wait. If you want to stay connected and involved with your child, it can all wait.
Meaningful Ways to Connect with Your Toddler
- I will let the dishes sit in the sink for a few more hours and take you to the park to play. I’m not going to just sit and watch you play, I’m going to play with you and slide down the slide and swing on the swings.
- At breakfast, I’m going to put my phone away and listen to you and talk with you.
- Let’s crank up the music and have an afternoon dance party.
- I’ll let the laundry pile up so we can go outside for a walk and smell the flowers.
- I’ll pull up a stool and let you help make dinner even though it’s going to push things back 20 minutes and the mess will inevitably quadruple.
- The next time I want to rush through bedtime because it’s been a long day and I’m tired, when you ask me to cuddle, I’m going to lay next to you, squeeze you tight and breathe you in.
- When you ask to run through the sprinklers, I’m going to put on my swimsuit too and run through them with you.
- When you ask if we can play the game one more time, I’m going to ignore the floors that need swept and vacuumed until tomorrow, and I’m going to suggest we play the game two more times.
- I’ll put away my camera when you ask if I saw your trick, so I can really watch you with my eyes wide open and so I can soak you in.
- Instead of running to the grocery store, or the post-office or to the gym, let’s push it back 20 minutes so we can paint our nails whatever color you choose.
- When you get out of the bath and I wrap you in a towel, instead of rushing you to get in your pajamas, I’m going to breathe you in and hold you in my arms like my baby, because you are growing too fast and one day you’ll be too big for this.
- The next time we’re driving in the car, I’m not going to turn on the music. Instead I will ask you about all your favorite things and listen as you tell me about all the things you love.
- When it’s time to eat, I’ll mix things up and grab a blanket for a picnic outside.
- The next time you ask for a hug or run into my arms, I’m going to squeeze you tight and hold you extra-long.
- Every time I see your smile I reach for my phone to snap a picture, but this time I’m going to watch you and let it warm my heart. I will let the gratitude I feel that you are my child and I am your Mama, fill me up.
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