Workin’ hard or hardly workin’? Whether you work on a farm, in a hospital, or for a company that uses call reporting to track company phone usage and gain internal data, we all go home at the end of the day. If you have kids, they’ll likely be clamoring for your attention as soon as you step through the door. For many of us, work doesn’t stop when we clock out, as there are household chores to complete, dinner to make, and bills to pay. How can you give your kids the attention they need with so much left to do? Here are a few ways to spend time with your kids even if you’re busy.
Let Them Help With Dinner
After a long day of work, you may not have a lot of time left in the day to get other chores done and still interact with your kids, plus you need to relax a little or else you’ll end up pulling your hair out. One great way to see your children after work is to let them help you around the kitchen while you prepare dinner. They can fetch ingredients from cabinets and the fridge, hand you bowls and utensils, and add ingredients to the dish with your supervision. If they’re old enough to be trusted on their own, they can contribute in even more ways. Kids will have fun helping out and enjoy the feeling of assisting the head chef. After dinner is made, you can sit down for a family meal and talk about your days–and if you’re not much of a cook, there’s always takeout and a movie!
Create a Nighttime Routine
If you have younger kids that you put to bed most nights, consider turning bedtime into a bonding experience. Rather than telling your children it’s time to go to sleep only to watch them march up the stairs, go up with them, get them snug and tucked in, and sit with them for a moment. If you were not able to interact with them earlier in the day, use this time now to ask them about their day or how school went. If there is anything that has been on your mind, or theirs, let each other know. If they are young, you can entertain them by reading or telling them a story before they fall asleep. Turning this into a bedtime ritual a few times a week can make going to bed something to look forward to rather than a chore. Just be prepared to reread some of their favorite stories over and over.
Utilize the Weekend
When worst comes to worst, there is always the weekend. Without work, there is plenty of time to go do something with your children, even if you have other obligations to tend to for a few hours. You might take them to the park, play a game, see a movie, or anything else that will bring a smile to their face. If you want to make the weekend extra special, take them to an amusement park! Or if they would rather stay put, even just hanging around the house with them is enough, so long as you’re there with them.
Finding time to spend with your children can be difficult, but it’s important to make an effort. This could be at dinner time, the weekend, or any other time that works for your schedule. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what you do, because they will just be happy to spend time with you.