My little girl turned two yesterday. It seems like two minutes since she was born and only another two minutes since her big brother was born, and he’s 7! As much as yesterday was a celebration it got me thinking about how quickly this time is flying by. Yes there are times when they are driving me up the wall and I long for the day when they will be older and more independent and I will be able to at least go to the toilet in peace, but at the same time I want them to stay small forever. I want to remember every detail (OK, maybe I can live without remembering the tantrums and the screaming) and yet I feel like most days we are just going through the motions and I am already forgetting things.

With this in mind I am going to make a concerted effort to really make the most of the time I have with my children, not in the big days out and amazing planned activities sense, but in the normal hum drum of everyday life.

You will never have this day with your children again. Tomorrow, they’ll be a little older than they were today. This day is a gift. Breathe and notice. Smell and touch them; study their faces and little feet and pay attention. Relish the charms of the present. Enjoy today. It will be over before you know it. – Jen Hatmaker

Here are a few ways I hope to achieve this:

Be present

When my children are talking to me or trying to show me something I will actually stop what I am doing and give them my full attention (unless I’m driving, that would just be dangerous;)). That means no half-heartedly listening while checking Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest/emails for the umpteenth time. No mentally composing lists/blog posts and politely nodding along while they talk. I have been caught out by the ‘what do you think mommy?’ question far too many times not to realise that they pick up on the fact you’re not really listening and it crushes me when I think how that must feel to them.

Spend more time playing with them

They both have so many toys it’s easy to think they should be able to entertain themselves and for a lot of the time I think it’s healthy that they do. But they also need me to join in on occasion. I do try to do this already but going back to the first point, I’m usually only half present. I need to put aside all other distractions for a short time each day to spend some quality time playing games with them, unleash the inner child in me and really get involved in whatever game they choose.

Have more one-on-one time

This is especially important with my 7yr old. The 2yr old gets me to herself everyday while her brother is in school (apart from holidays of course). We already have our own ‘snuggle time’ after the 2yr old has gone to bed at night but lately this has lapsed more into us both sitting playing on our iPads and although we are sat next to each other we’re not really connecting. The 30 minutes before he went to bed always used to be for stories and talking about our day and anything he had on his mind and I want to bring that back.

Make a daily record of all the small (and big) things

My journaling has always been rather sporadic but for a while I was making the effort to write down the highlights of the day in the form of 3 Beautiful Things, inspired by Clare Law at threebeautifulthings.blogspot.co.uk. (Unfortunately that blog is no longer being updated but it’s still worth checking out the old posts for a bit of inspiration.) It is a very quick and easy form of journaling and some of my favourite entries to look back on are in this format, so I want to get back to doing that too so that I don’t forget all those moments that made me smile. Also, taking those few minutes at the end of the day to record the good things really shifts the focus away from the days stresses and arguments (over which food they hate this week, not wanting to have a bath/go to bed/tidy their toys etc) and ends things on a positive note.

How about you? Do you feel like time is going too fast? What do you do to make the most of every day with your children?

 

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43 thoughts on “Making the Most of the Time You Have with Your Children

  1. Great post! I don’t have kids yet, but the time flies for me too. I mean I could have sworn that summer just started and now I’ll soon have to go back to college
    #BloggerClubUK

    Posted on 10 August, 2016 at 2:31 pm
    1. I was sure summer just started too but I find myself wanting to put the heating on, where did it go? Thanks for stopping by x

      Posted on 10 August, 2016 at 2:33 pm
  2. This is so very true I have only just come across your blog and this is a fantastic post. It’s exactly how I feel
    Will be watching out for your posts in the future thank you for sharing #bloggerclubuk

    Posted on 10 August, 2016 at 10:02 pm
    1. Thank you, that’s really kind. I’m only 2 and a half weeks in with this whole blogging thing but everyone has been so kind and supportive. Thanks for stopping by x

      Posted on 10 August, 2016 at 10:24 pm
  3. Good points. It’s so easy to only half give them attention but they will grow up and would be better not to have regrets.

    Posted on 11 August, 2016 at 3:21 am
    1. You’re right Charlotte, I’m never going to look back and regret not checking twitter more often, but I will regret not paying more attention to my kids.

      Posted on 11 August, 2016 at 1:27 pm
  4. I love this! When our oldest was a newborn all the parents we knew told us how fast it went and at first we were like “Yeah, yeah, yeah” and then we suddenly blinked and it was her first birthday!

    Posted on 11 August, 2016 at 1:22 pm
    1. It’s so true, everything seems like an age away and then before you know it, it’s been and gone. Thanks for stopping by x

      Posted on 11 August, 2016 at 1:25 pm
  5. Sometimes I think the crying won’the stop but then my own heart stops when I think they won’t be babies anymore one day😯

    Posted on 11 August, 2016 at 1:54 pm
    1. I feel your pain. I have had a morning of screaming fits and tantrums, it can be so hard sometimes to focus on the positive x

      Posted on 11 August, 2016 at 2:47 pm
  6. Time flies and I hate it. I can be guilty of checking twitter and facebook when I should be giving the kids more attention but I am so much more aware of that now and have stopped. I always feels like I want to appreciate more and love spending time with the kiddies. Thanks for linking up #bestandworst

    Posted on 11 August, 2016 at 5:06 pm
    1. We all have so much going on it can be hard to switch off at times and just ‘be’ with the kids, but I think it’s important we try, even 5 minutes of our full attention can make a difference. Thanks for stopping by and for hosting a great linky x

      Posted on 11 August, 2016 at 5:38 pm
  7. Great post. This is why I knew that, however hard it was financially, I wanted to be at home with the kids making the most of our time as before you know it, they are grown. I am very guilty of nosying on Facebook or Instagram but days out, holidays and weekends I turn my phone off or leave it in my bag and that is OUR time to really focus on our family and give them our full attention. #momsterslink

    Posted on 11 August, 2016 at 9:03 pm
    1. That’s a great philosophy to have. Days out and holidays my phone is used as a camera and nothing else, but I still need to work on not using it so much on the weekends. Thanks for stopping by x

      Posted on 11 August, 2016 at 9:59 pm
  8. lovely tips and a beautiful quote. I need to remember to write down all the little moments, as my memory is terrible, and pictures don’t always capture it. #brillblogposts

    Posted on 12 August, 2016 at 8:59 am
    1. Thank you. Ever since having kids my memory is like a sieve so writing everything down is essential x

      Posted on 12 August, 2016 at 9:13 am
  9. This is so true! This is one of the reasons I’m so glad we homeschool- because we have so much more time to make memories!

    Posted on 12 August, 2016 at 8:28 pm
    1. Thank you. I always think homeschooling must be so hard but so rewarding at the same time, and a great way of tailoring education to each individual child and their needs and talents. Thanks for stopping by x

      Posted on 12 August, 2016 at 8:38 pm
  10. Sorry, I forgot to add #Momsterslink!

    Posted on 12 August, 2016 at 8:29 pm
  11. I love this post. It’s so true, but it also makes me a little sad! :/
    They grow up far too fast, it’s important to cherish every moment.

    Posted on 12 August, 2016 at 8:54 pm
    1. Thank you, it is a shame they have to grow so fast.

      Posted on 12 August, 2016 at 9:02 pm
  12. This has been playing on my mind a lot lately too. #BloggerClubUK

    Posted on 12 August, 2016 at 9:41 pm
    1. I think the reality hits us all at some point x

      Posted on 12 August, 2016 at 10:03 pm
  13. What a great post! Thank you. Your reality is mine too and I am committing to be that mom that lives every moment. Life is too short and time with them is so very precious. TY! #momsterlink

    Posted on 13 August, 2016 at 10:24 am
    1. Thank you, you’re so right x

      Posted on 13 August, 2016 at 12:23 pm
  14. This post made me feel quite emotional! I’m guilty of getting distracted by my phone, and I’m also guilty of my mind just being elsewhere sometimes. You’re right, time flies by and our children won’t be children for long. The last thing I want to feel when my little girl gets older is that I didn’t make the most of the time I had with her when she was a toddler. You’ve really given me something to think about – thank you!

    Posted on 13 August, 2016 at 3:26 pm
    1. I forgot to say I came from #momsterslink

      Posted on 13 August, 2016 at 3:27 pm
    2. Thank you.This post seems to have resonated with a lot of people. In this day and age there are so many distractions and demands on our time it can be hard to switch off, but our kids need to know they are worth our full attention. Thanks for stopping by xx

      Posted on 14 August, 2016 at 6:52 am
  15. I literally can’t agree more! My little monster just celebrated her second birthday on the 5th of August. I can’t believe that my tiny baby is now 2. I have 4 other children as well that are growing so fast. I sometimes feel like I don’t take it all in and I need to slow down. These moments are only here briefly but memories we can keep forever! xo #momsterslink

    Posted on 13 August, 2016 at 6:40 pm
    1. Wow, 5 kids! You have my respect, it’s hard enough making time for 2! Happy belated Birthday to your little one x

      Posted on 13 August, 2016 at 9:06 pm
      1. Thank you! Some days I want to pull my hair out, and pray to God I lose my hearing so I don’t have to hear their shrill voices LOL, but most days I wouldn’t trade it for the world! xo

        Posted on 14 August, 2016 at 3:56 am
        1. Ha ha, I think we’re all the same. ‘Shrill’ is definitely the word! X

          Posted on 14 August, 2016 at 6:42 am
  16. Beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing. Our babies grow too fast, I can’t imagine one day I might have a home with no children in it!…. SOB…..! #brillblogposts

    Posted on 13 August, 2016 at 10:21 pm
    1. It’s a sobering thought. We’re going to miss the noise and chaos when it’s gone x

      Posted on 13 August, 2016 at 10:30 pm
  17. I’m well aware of the time passing but I’m so glad that I’m in a position to be able to spend that time with my daughter. For me it’s the ticking clock towards when she starts school. Since being a stay-at-home-dad I decided to put my time with my daughter first and as much as I want to update my blog and other things, keep them to when time allows. The quote of long days but short years is bang on the money! #thelist

    Posted on 13 August, 2016 at 10:27 pm
    1. Thank you. I’m dreading my youngest starting school, it will be like the end of an era.

      Posted on 13 August, 2016 at 10:39 pm
  18. I am so very aware that time is almost short. Although we have a lifetime together, certain things are passing so quickly that I am really making sure I take in and appreciate everything!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

    Posted on 17 August, 2016 at 9:25 pm
    1. They really are little for such a short amount of time, I want to hang on to every little cuddle. x

      Posted on 17 August, 2016 at 9:40 pm
  19. Today my baby started crying when I was feeding him a bottle, it was that pained cry so something had hurt him but I don’t know what it was because I was looking at Instagram on my phone. I felt sooo bad! I need to be more present so it was good timing reading this. Thank you #momsterslink

    Posted on 21 August, 2016 at 6:37 am
    1. Don’t beat yourself up hun, we’ve all been there. Glad you liked the post x

      Posted on 21 August, 2016 at 7:30 am
  20. I have 3 little ones who were all born within 25 months and none of which are twins. As fast as I do feel that the time has gone by I don’t feel bad if I am not spending every waking moment with them. Sure I play with them, take them to the park, do crafts, etc. But there are also time that I simply tell them to go play with one another while mommy gets some stuff done. I grew up an only child with my grandparents and spent a lot of time in my room by myself and I have never had problems being alone although I wish I would have had siblings. Thanks for linking with #momsterslink and hope to see you again on Thursday.

    Posted on 24 August, 2016 at 4:29 am
    1. Wow, 3 within 25 months! You’ve certainly got your hands full, hats off to you. I think it’s impossible to spend every moment with our kids and healthy for them to learn how to play independently. I also don’t think it’s possible to ‘enjoy’ every moment as this job is hard and stressful now matter how much we love them. My problem was that even when I did sit down with them my attention was always divided and that’s something I’m trying hard to work on.
      Thanks for hosting such a great linky x

      Posted on 24 August, 2016 at 8:16 am
  21. Such a great post! Time is a precious and valuable commodity these days, so how we spend that time is more critical than anything else. Each stage of our child’s life offers us the possibility of great joy if we relax into what is. When you’re with your children, really be with them. Put down your phone, switch off the TV and focus on your child. Ask open-ended questions of them and answer their questions to you thoughtfully and thoroughly. Show them that they are a priority in your life.
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    Posted on 25 April, 2017 at 1:45 pm