I’ve been wanting to spend one-on-one time with my kids. They want it. They need it. And so do I.
Every time I’ve done it in the past, though, it either 1) goes on FOREVER or 2) causes the other two to whine because it’s not their turn.
And they have legitimate right to complain–often I’m so worn out by the first mom-time that I delay the others’ time until tomorrow.
And then I usually forget.
Not this time.
Today, we did stations, like they do at school. One station for each child:
1. Mom time
They stayed in each station for 20 minutes. They were happy to, knowing that 1) their time was limited, and 2) they were guaranteed one-on-one time with mom.
When it was their turn for one-on-one time, we met in my room and looked at my “Mommy Dates” Pinterest board. I’d collected ideas of things I thought might be fun to do with them. Then I let them pick what to do.
Butterfly and Globe
My 5-year-old chose to make an origami butterfly. Or, rather, to watch me make it. I had her check to make sure what I did matched each picture before moving on to the next step.
Our 20 minutes weren’t up, so we also made this cool yin-yang globe.
I cut out the pieces with my Cricut, just to be fast. I figured out how to put one side together, but I had to look at the instructions for the other. Pretty easy.
It was easy and simple, though I had to banish my 9-year-old upstairs because he was too nosy. Inquisitiveness is a good trait, but not when it interrupts one-on-one time.
My 7-year-old did stir the water a bit too quickly and it splashed on her. After that, she chose to have me stir the rest. I kept her close by, so she could monitor when the sugar dissolved.
Origami Moving Flexagon
Just like before, I brought up the Pinterest board for my 9-year-old to look at. He had other things in mind, though. Immediately, he asked, “Can we make an origami moving flexagon?”
“Uhhhh, what? Is that a real thing?”
Thanks to Google, I found it was a real thing–and a pretty cool thing, too. You know those infinity cubes that you can just fold over and over and over? This is the same sort of thing, only made with paper and–best part–free!
So we chose a video with instructions and grabbed two sheets of paper and had at it.
We paused the video several times (the guy goes through it pretty fast). I was a bit skeptical–this couldn’t possibly work, and even if it did, it’d be dumb. Or it COULD work, if only you had absolutely perfect folds, which I’ve never been able to do.
The video is about 14 minutes long, so we went a bit over our 20-minute time with all the pauses. But it was fun to be with my son, doing something interesting.
AND IT WORKED!
We both made origami fidget things that were mesmerizing.
Satisfying and helpful
This was so much fun!
I’ve been wanting to spend more time with the kids, but I have limited energy these days. This really helped.
And instead of “what do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” we spent the time doing fun things.
Spending time with the kids like this also helped my depression. Today was one of those rare days I woke up feeling well. But I know even on days like that, I can crash easily, especially if I’m not doing what I feel I should be doing. Well, being a mom and having fun with the kids is DEFINITELY something I should be doing. Now I feel energized, not drained, to do more things, both for/with the kids and by myself.
This is not normal for me. Normally, I’d have to rest between each thing I did and maybe, eventually, I’d work up the energy to do something else that day. Not today! I’m off to go take care of myself and my family.