Overcoming the Challenge of Spending Time with My Children
In this world where just about everyone works so hard to make ends meet, it is very easy to neglect the one thing you work so hard for-your children. That was the case with me. Every day I left home early before my kids woke up and came back late, while they were sleeping. I would only check on them while they are already in bed, fast asleep. I only spent a little time with them at weekends, if I wasn't working.
One day I came home to a rude shock. My baby that I knew could only say 'mama' wasn't sleeping yet. When she saw me, she got up and toddled towards me and said in her babyish way: 'Mummy has come.” I was so shocked I almost cried at the realization that I had missed my baby's growing up thus far. And that was it. I decided to take drastic measures to spent more time with my children and raise them myself other than delegate the responsibility to a babysitter.
The next day I went to work, I told my boss I would love to work in a department that wasn't too busy even if it meant less pay. My boss couldn't understand why I wanted a 'demotion' but I told him, “Anybody else can take up this position, but I am the only mother to my children. No one can take up that position.' He understood and made arrangements for me to work a normal schedule.
I also decided to drop other extra activities that I engaged in like doing extra jobs elsewhere, goings to social clubs etc.
Now that I had created space for my children, I had to thinks of what to do with them in order to create the bond we needed. So I decided that I would always get home early enough to have dinner with them. That has worked out excellent! Now I can watch them as we eat and inculcate table etiquette in them.
After dinner, instead of watching TV, we do more interactive things like playing games, reading, telling stories and I help them with homework.
When it's time for bed, I make sure I tuck each one of them into bed. I have made this to also be the time for private talk. As I caress them, I tell them what I did while at work and ask them if they would like to tell me what problems they faced during the day. Usually, when they are relaxed like that, they open up. This is also a good time for instilling discipline without being confrontational. It has worked wonders!
At weekends, when we can, we go out together or stay home and learn how to do some household chores.
Doing all this has not been easy for us. For example it has meant cutting down on some luxuries. But I realize that maintaining these family routines is more fulfilling than acquiring material possessions. Now our family life is more satisfying, everyone is happy and it's such a joy to contribute to the growth of my children the best way I can.
Wed, 22 Apr 2009 09:12:45 +0000
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