Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kiddo Dates

I WAS IN THE QUILT shop the other day, when the young girl (19 yrs) behind the counter made a comment to me, "How do you do it with all those kids?" Well, I have to say I was taken back a bit. Even though the oldest of the little ones is now seven years old, I don't think of myself having "all those kids". Quite frankly I don't really feel like having four kids is a big family. I know many people these days do, but I guess four seems like a good number. It doesn't feel overwhelming, however I do have my days.

Anyway, I thought about what she said a minute and responded by sharing with her my "kiddo dates". Many people talk about couples making time for themselves and many have date nights. My hubby and I do, but I think it's just as important to have one on one time with each child. If your kids are anything like mine they are so different without sibblings around and some times I don't get to see those special little things about them until we're alone.

In our family each of the kids gets a "date" with mom at least once per month. I have been encouraging dad to do the same, but he just seems busier than mom. Anyway, each week one of the kiddos gets to go out with me. Some times it's just to run errands, but I always make a point to do something they would like to do also. It's just nice to have that one on one interaction, where there is no competition and it's just free and easy. I also think because we make the effort for these times there is much less competiton when we're all together. At times when one of them is being especially needy, I make time for an exta "date" time with them and it almost always nips in the bud.

I think balance is the key to 'how I do it'. Time alone, time for us as a couple and time for all the other 'parent/kiddo couples' our family includes. Less activities and just more time for relationship as a family. For us it's much less stressful than going from here to there and my kids seem to have plenty of activities to keep them busy. Balance... it's a good thing!

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