How many of us feel guilty for the things we do or don't do with or for our kids? I know that every mom that I have ever talked to about raising kids, at some point in their lives or relationships with their kids, have a feeling of guilt. I should do this more often or that. I know that my own mother (and father) had and have lots of guilt for the things never said or done. As I think back to my childhood and the way I was raised, my parents had the guilt, but never did anything about it. Now sitting in the drivers seat of a parents life, I feel that this is a very easy fix. Instead of talking or worrying about what you do and don't do, just do it! Every mothers guilt is different, not enough time spent with them, when the time is spent not being connected, no helping them learn the lessons of life, not supporting them in what they are doing, not showing up for dance recitals or baseball games. To me it seems simple, again, just do it! Say the things you want to say, life is too short not too. Do the things you want to do with and for your child. Life is too short not too! Be the parent that you always wished your mother or father to be to you. Just do it! Life is too short not too! Tell them how much you love them, how beautiful of a person they are, hold them, hug them, tell them they can and do anything they want and mean it! Explain to them how important it is to be a good person and lead by example. Turn off the cell phones, the emails, the texts, IMs, etc and spend the time to be a better parent. If you find that all of this is too overwhelming, break it up and start small, baby steps do work.
I have a friend of a friend that says they can not connect with their kids. They can't turn off that constant mental check list in their head of what needs to get done at work and at home. I get it, being a parent, single or not single is a tough thing. My advice to her you ask? Make a list of things to do with your kids. This is one of my favorite things to do with my daughter. This way I am making the efforts to do the things I want to do with her and she wants to do with me. Now, everyday is not perfect of course and other unforeseens come into the equation of life. So, if something doesn't get done that day or week we make the list, we add it to the next day or week. Sometimes we even multi-task, good or bad we do it. We play a game while having dinner, we do a puzzle, we do an activity book while having lunch. Let's face it, in todays day and age, when everything is moving so quick, we have to slow down. If we can't do it all the way, at least we are taking the time to make the time with our kids. Stop the guilt...you are good parents and a little change will go a long way. Only you can change it and make the difference, one step at a time.
Start your list of things to do with your child today, do it and you will feel better and the guilt will slowly melt away. All of my best, Dyan
What I learned: When I make my list for things to do with my daughter, it helps me focus my efforts of spending time with her, we do well rounded things-games, exercise, cooking, you name it what ever we come up with to spend time together, sometimes I need to multi-task my activities of work and play and family time and that is OK, by focusing on the good of what I do, it makes me realize that I am a good parent, not everyday or every thing I do is perfect and that is OK.
What we share: By creating our things to do list it helps us both focus on important activities for both of us, responsibilities, quality time spent together, realistic expectations of what we can do together in a day or week and lots and lots of bonding.