Now that we are well and truly back into the school year and daily grind, it’s easy for parental guilt to sink in.
We’re so busy with work, life and endless to-do lists, we’re exhausted, and playing with our kids is not always our top priority. And it shouldn’t always be, either – that’s life. But, as the single mother of an only child, I can’t help but get the guilts when my daughter asks me to play outside and I don’t have the time (or simply don’t want to).
That’s when I remind myself it’s the simple things that matter. Small acts of kindness and love go a long way. So long as my daughter knows she is loved and cared for, that’s what really counts.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, and as though your kids are missing out on you, first of all, be kind to yourself. Know you are not alone! Most of us parents feel this way sometimes.
Secondly, if you don’t have time for endless games of chasey in the backyard, try doing some of these simple yet meaningful acts of love for your little ones:
• Leave a note in their lunchbox. • Make up a special handshake. • At bedtime, tell them you’re proud of them and why. • Offer lots of hugs. • Say “I love you” often. • Tell jokes. • Send them a letter in the mail. • Read a book together. • Dance to your favourite song together. • Give them a quick back or foot massage. • Hold hands. • Make eye contact when you’re talking, and truly listen. • Eat dinner together. • Ask them to style your hair or paint your nails (or vice versa). • Get them involved in planning outings for when you do have more time.
Not only will these small acts make your child feel even more special, but they will no doubt make you feel more special and happier, too.
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