Be creative and maximise the time you do have with your kids.
As a mum of five, I often wonder do I give my kids enough time and on occasion, I've been known to let it eat me up inside as I lay awake in bed at silly o'clock overwhelmed in my thoughts thinking I'm failing as a mother. But the truth is I'm not, in fact, my life revolves around my children and just because they act up at times some more than others, I know I am doing my very best.
That said, finding a balance when you're outnumbered can be very challenging considering all children have different needs and wants. So if you're trying to find a balance here are some simple ways to spend more time with your kids when you have more than one.
Play their games
Get on the floor and play with your child. Yes, it's really that easy. Get down to their level and pick up the toy soldier, doll or crayon and engage with them even if it is only for a few minutes at a time, it all makes a positive impact.
Turn off technology
Put the phone down, turn off the TV and introduce screen-free times in your home. Recently we made an agreement as a family to switch off technology from Monday to Thursday and it has worked so well, in fact, my kids don't ask for their iPad's any more in the evenings and opt to play together instead.
Use every opportunity
Sing silly songs getting ready in the morning. Tell jokes in the car. Dance in the leaves on the way to school. Grab some fresh air with an afternoon walk around your housing estate. Play with them in the bath. Paint their nails. Bake cookies together. Make chores fun. Honestly, the list of opportunities are endless, be creative and maximise the time you do have with your kids.
Individual parent-child time is very important for little ones and for many, it makes a big statement and tells them they are a priority to you. We already know life is fast-paced and we are always jumping from one task to another but for those reasons alone, scheduling in an hour of one-on-one time is even more important. Not only will it help build their self-esteem, it will strengthen the bond between you both, cut back on attention-seeking behaviour but it will give you a warm fuzzy feeling that's good for the soul.
Try to eat together as a family at least once a day with no distractions. Make the dinner table a screen-free zone in your household and that includes adults too. Eating as a whole is a great way to reconnect and helps strengthen family bonds but it also an easy way to get the kids chatting about their day, to find out what's really going on in school, with their friends and if anything is bothering them.
Schedule a movie night
Once a week pull out the popcorn, close the curtains and snuggle up on the sofa and enjoy a film together. And of course, let them choose what they want to watch even if you've watched it a million times already. Spending quality time together as a family is extremely important for their development and overall wellbeing, so slow down, be present and turn all those little minutes into memorable moments because showing your children how important your time is with time will only have positive impacts for years to come.