Life can be really full on can’t it! With all the phone calls, appointments and forms that need filling in. Then there’s the planning and support needed for all the everyday things that need doing, and places that need going to. Add to that the constant worries and wonderings about small things like health, friendships, discipline, eating. You know the kind of small details I’m talking about! Life can be so crammed full that it is hard to find time to simply be with my children, and have that time to really connect.
I love to find hobbies or projects that we all have an interest in, and have them ready to go (out in a corner of a room for as long as we can practically stand it) for those moments when either we have space together or those moments when we both need a welcome distraction from the battle over whatever it happens to be right then. It took a bit of time to work out what kinds of things, and it also took a change of attitude to the mess of it constantly being left out but after a while it was so clear to me that it was well worth it.
I had gotten so overwhelmed by all the necessary busy-ness of life that I had lost moments of laughter, of fun, and of understanding and appreciating each other’s strengths in the midst of it all.
We have found common ground in Lego projects, in art for bedrooms, in puzzles, in gardening, in Sims, in crafts. Lately my youngest and I (often joined by my eldest too) have been working on a project to build a dolls house for her 14 inch doll. We have been having fun trying to repurpose all sorts of bits and bobs we have in the house. We have been taking our time and chatting as we go. AS clothes and furniture, wallpaper designs and garden spaces have evolved, we have adored it together. It may not be perfect but it’s been a wonderful process, worth all the mess and the saving of the recycling.
The thing is I never actually have time to do these things, but somehow when they are ready to go we can find moments to dip in and out of the project together.
It’s such a simple thing but something I am increasingly thankful for. Positive time together with my kids is just so needed, for them and their well-being and also for me as a parent under pressure. Doing something together that our strengths and talents can shine through is a wonderful thing, especially when so much of the day to day feels like a battle, and so much of the admin and appointments focuses in on the weaknesses and areas that need support.
What do you enjoy doing with your kids? My husband finds very different projects to be common ground. Whatever it is, be encouraged. Yes, you and I are busy with so many things but moments of busy enjoyment together are never wasted.
Written by Cathy Porter