First things first.
Forgive me for not keeping to my promise. The plan was to keep in touch with you and giving you heaps of FREE PRINTABLES. Both of which I did not do due to family commitments.
Having 4 kids has taken a whole lot of my time, mentally and physically especially when exhaustion kicks in.
As the pun goes – I have bitten more than I could chew (WORK that is).
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVEEeee my kids. And sometimes it is a challenge to distribute your energy and time to every child (especially if you have more than 1).
But it is SO important to do so – so your child or children will continue to feel loved and cared for.
And that is why I LOVE this quote above so much. If you wanna get your free printable, make sure you read until the end of the post to get it. I promise you, you’ll absolutely LOVE it!
What is the Greatest Gift You Can Give to Your Child?
I wanted to write today because of my eldest son, Michael.
You see, him being the eldest child in the family, he gets all the perks of having the newest clothes, toys and the first to do all the ‘big boys’ stuff – like experiencing the more challenging outdoor activities and games compared to his other siblings.
While his siblings get ALL the hand-me-downs clothing, toys, and limited challenging outdoor plays and activities.
But you see, being the eldest ain’t all that rosy.
As a parent, I have a lot of expectations of him because I needed him to be a good example to his siblings.
I always tell him, “Michael, you’re the eldest, so you better be a good example to your brother and sisters because they are constantly watching you”.
So I do discipline him more often than the other 3, I have to admit.
Of course, I have mommy guilt. All.The.Time.
And with all that disciplining and scolding… I forget that he is still a child. And he still needs to be able to be a child – to have fun, to be silly, to make mistakes…
Sometimes I feel like I treat him more like an adult than a child, as I expect him to know EVERYTHING and do the right thing – which of course, is a really silly thing to do.
And with all that expectations, Michael has been nothing short but a responsible, kind, loving and helpful son and brother to his siblings.
He has helped me to tidy up, brings a diaper for Hannah when I needed one, runs his baby sister’s bath or the bigger bath (for him and his other siblings) and he really does look out for them as well no matter where we are.
As grateful as I am to Michael, unfortunately, I have noticed that I’ve been giving more attention to my younger children than to Michael. Or spending time on Netflix or on my phone – reading, checking emails, replying to my clients etc.
Then, mommy guilt kicks in. Again.
I know we all moms do this. But a little guilt is good sometimes to keep ourselves in check and keep us in line with what’s more important.
Which brings me to this.
I needed to spend more time with Michael. And do less of the not-so-important stuff. I needed to talk and to listen to him. And give him the time to be himself. To express himself.
And I decided to do just that.
Michael did not have school today (Friday) because there was a Teacher-Only-Day at his school. So we’ve decided to go for morning tea. I asked him what he wanted and where he wanted to go. He wanted a chocolate cookie. I also got him a drink while I got myself an almond-cappuccino (yum!) while we shared a plate of hot kumara (sweet potato) chips.
I made an effort not to use my phone during this time.
So we talked about a number of things. Sometimes we were just being silly as we talk nonsense while he tells me about what he does at school. We laughed a lot too.
Then, we went to the park after that and he played his heart out.
When we came home, Michael was skipping as he head towards the front door and he was beaming from ear to ear.
This just confirms my resolve that I have to make an effort to spend quality one-on-one time with each of my children because it is SO important for their emotional health.
And while it is a real challenge to do it with 4 kids, seeing Michael’s response today has made it easier for me to want to do this.
“A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child”
I never wanted to take Michael’s feelings for granted and I wanted to show him just how much I love him and appreciate all he has done for us and the family.
And as much as I want to spend that time working, spending this time with him was worth it because I’m giving him a portion of my life which I will never get back.
I don’t want him to just remember me as a working mom. I also want him to remember that I have taken the time to spend with him during his childhood years.
And when I ask about his day today during lunch and Michael said this,
“Mom, I feel so happy and lucky today. I love you, Mom”.
And that has made all the difference.
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