We all know that little ones are the most amazing things to happen to our lives. They show us there’s an amazing element to almost every single thing we come into contact with. They make us feel warm, fuzzy, happy, elated, and most importantly, they can really make us feel whole. But as we have spoken about before, being an amazing mother doesn’t always feel amazing. We as mothers still need time for ourselves, time to accomplish things we want or need to do. No one wants to have to sit their kids in front of the T.V. and hope they are occupied long enough for you to get a pattern sewn up. And the guilt that can come with that sometimes… So what do you do?
Tip 1 Scour Pinterest (plan ahead)
I always head over to Pinterest for cool, fun, busy activities for kids, it’s a good idea to get a round up of about 3 and ask your little ones (if they are old enough) which they’d like to do. Of course its going to take some enthusiasm on your part as well as maybe walking them through the process once or twice. Depending on your child’s age, there are so many things from gross motor skills, to fine motor skills. I use play-dough so often! (Tethering your child to the hard floor is a must with play-dough, unless the mess that comes with it is worth it to you.)
Tip 2 Indulge in Something They Cherish
You will always get a better result if you fill your child’s attention tank before you try to separate your attention to another task. The best way I have found is playing with them. Whatever game they want. Whether that game is hide and seek, talking cars (my son’s favorite) or make believe kitchen, make sure it’s what they want to do, how they want to do it. Let them be in charge! Avoid structured attention like reading and coloring as that doesn’t always offer a lot of play and silly communication between the two of you. Most important, set a timer let them know you’ll be playing for the next 30 minutes (this is a minimum I set but more is always better) but once the timer goes off, you have to work on your own project. This way, there’s no shock when you are ready to separate.
Tip 3 Work with Them
If your little ones are old enough, give them a small desk next to yours to do whatever task it is that they wanted. If they are still quite small, a blanket and some new safe sewing things can be a whole lot of fun. Things like fabric scraps of different textures could really entertain! Giving your older kids some tasks, having them hand you the correct color threads etc. makes them feel helpful. Simply explaining everything you do can be great for babies and older kids alike, they are included either way and both learning vocabulary!
Tip 4 Date Night
I have an almost 4 year old and 1 year old. My husband and I rotate date night with both of them. Some days it’s my husband and my son, sometimes it’s me and my son. Either way, my daughter gets time with the opposite for her own date night. This is another tactic to help fill your child’s attention and “I’m special” tanks. They get one on one attention with your spouse or yourself which strengthens your bond. If date night is with your spouse, this is a great time to feel like you have some very guilt free “you” time to get done whatever you need! If date night is with you, this is a great time to build your connection with your child so there is a solid base the next day when you’d like to have some sewing time.
All 4 of my top tips for working around kids for free time, I hope it helps Stitch Junkies! What do you guys do to keep your kids busy while you accomplish tasks? And If you didn’t know already, there’s a pattern on the way!