I’m far from being a perfect mom. I make mistakes all the time. I can definitely lose my patience and raise my voice from time to time. My kids don’t have the best sleep schedules (my little one could be part vampire – at least I’ve never had the issue of her waking up before me and getting me out of bed), and I’ll let my kid just eat pasta with olive oil and salt for days so she will JUST EAT SOMETHING. But I don’t think any of those things are the biggest mistake I’ve made as a mom.
I think the biggest mistake I’ve made as a mom has been to not prioritize having fun and quality time with the kids. I feel like my interactions are more of the purposeful, task-oriented variety – getting them up and ready for school, eating or rather negotiating eating, making sure homework is done, chauffeuring to extra-curricular activities, getting kids to do chores, etc. By the end of the day I’m exhausted. My husband has the bedtime routine where he tells stories and has the quality time. I feel like my biggest mistake has not been prioritizing the fun and quality time. Someone does need to keep the ship running and on course, but my mistake has been to be so focused on the ship running that I haven’t focused enough on enjoying the journey with my shipmates – my husband and kids.
I shared before the story of my challenging childhood with my mom. When I was young it seemed my mom was only focused on making sure we ate, were clean, did homework, did our chores, etc. Those were important things, but I don’t have any memories of fun times with her as a child. In contrast, I have vivid memories of going to the duck pond or the library with my dad or just sitting and having tea with him and talking. The fact that I don’t have any similar memories with my mom makes me very sad. The thought of my kids might not having similar memories with me makes me even sadder.
So, I have shifted some things. I am sharing some other duties with my husband and taking my turns at bedtimes and story times. I am prioritizing fun outings with the kids and fun experiences, because I want to leave my kids with great memories (not of how much homework I got them to do, but of how much joy we managed to have). How about you? How do you get quality time in with your kids?
Monick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom. She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers. She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor. She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms. You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.