The limited time in a day with caring for multiple children of different ages seems to lack much flexibility when it comes down to carving out one on one time per child. I’m a mother of four. I can relate to many mothers who have multiple children the challenge in squeezing in individualized quality time for each child while still managing to have time for yourself on top of your usual daily responsibilities. My children range from a teen, a tween, and twin six year olds. They all share different interests due to their ages, but they share the common bond of their love language being quality time. I’ve managed to keep my sanity with incorporating simple moments along with a few special occasions to ensure that I share in precious one on one time with each of them while not burning out my candle.
Time Is Limited & Sensitive
My mother navigated as a fulltime working single mom to make efforts to share in time with my brothers and I individually growing up. It takes a lot of flexibility, creativity, scheduling, and negotiations on the children and I to make sure every child has at least some quality time with me. I am far from being a super hero mom with powers that will allow the laundry to fold itself while I take one twin to the library. I balance life working as a fulltime middle school teacher, along with other leadership responsibilities at the school, and I co-parent long distance. My daughters are with me during the week, and my son comes home every Friday. I take the drive every Friday following work to pick my eldest daughter up from her fine arts program with the twins, and I make the drive to get my son at a halfway meeting point. Honestly, by the close of Friday night I ‘m pooped from daily shenanigans at work, the twins doubling up on me while I’m on afterschool duty ( My twins attend an adjacent school next door to where I teach), the dreaded carpool line for my daughter, and the drive back after picking my son up with all four in tow knowing that I still haven’t figured what I’m cooking for dinner. In other words, like most moms regardless if you’re a SAHM or a working mom we can all agree that with our schedules time is limited,and time is sensitive when it comes down to splitting it up between multiple children.
Making It Do What It Do
I do my best to carve in what I can with each child in making it work within our family’s dynamics. The kids and I are usually together since my support system of family and friends are scattered in distance. The advantage that helps me out in being a single mom now is that my children are spaced out four years apart. My mother and brothers live a little over two hours away,so the kids and I rely on each other in making it work to squeeze in one on one time. I don’t do a spectacular event with each child for quality time; I share in mostly intimate daily moments to give them each time. The earliest child that wakes up helps me with making breakfast while the others are sleep. My son is old enough to watch two of his sisters while I take one of my daughters with me for a short errand to the grocery store. One of my children may help me with a specific chore that interests them while the rest are occupied doing something else in the house. The weekends are usually my only days of the week that I can spare doing something extended with each child. I make one on one time with my son when the girls are with my ex. The girls’ father was having some major car issues that hindered him from seeing the girls for a few weeks, the girls missed their father, and my son wanted sometime alone to connect. I decided to take the drive to Savannah, so the girls could see their father. My son and I made it a roadtrip following dropping the girls off to share some attractions in the area of the beach and riverfront. I occasionally share in activities that are centered on catering to children with autism and special needs with my twin daughter with just the two of us. She gets super excited to go out in connecting with others like her. I’ve only done day trips with my oldest two children in navigating co-parenting logistics. The twins and I share short errand runs together. I don’t have an extravagant budget, a lot of extra down time, and my support system for child care is up in the air. It’s quality over quantity when it comes down to stretching out my time with each my children.I’ve learned to honor their love language of quality time in working with what we have in each other with making the little things count in creating valuable one on one time.