A few years ago I was laying in bed one night feeling all the mom guilt. I had been so busy throughout the day and it left me wondering if I had spent enough quality time with my kids that day. The time just seemed to get away from me so I laid there and planned all these things in my head that I was going to do with my kids the next day.
The next night rolled around and half the things I wanted to do didn’t get done and I was again wondering why I felt so bad. I was with my kids all day but I was so busy cleaning up, making meals, worrying about homework, and all the other things that had filled my day. It was easy to “spend quality time together when we were out doing things, but on the days we were all “just home” it was harder. That’s when I decided that there was going to be 30 minutes of phone down, full attention, quality time with my kids no matter what. Now most days there is a lot more, but this was my rule for days when everything piled up and life seemed hard to manage. They were going to get my undivided attention for 30 minutes that was truly focused on them.
5 Magic Minutes Rule
There are 3 five minute sections of the day that are the most important to me. These 15 minutes are non-negotiable for me. The first 5 minutes after they wake up, the five minutes after they get home from school, and the 5 minutes before they go to sleep.
The FIRST FIVE – when your kids wake up be there to say good morning. Ask them how they slept, what they dreamed about, and tell them you love them. Those 5 minutes will go a long way for them and help start their day off right.
The SECOND FIVE – as soon as your kids get home from school, ask them about their day. Tell them you missed them, and listen as they talk about what they learned, what they did at recess, and what they are excited about for the next day. Help them be heard, and reinforce that you are interested in what they are doing and how they are feeling
The THIRD FIVE – bedtime can often be stressful, am I right? As crazy as it can get, take the last five minutes before you leave their room to read to them, talk to them, and remind them that you love them.
These five minutes throughout the day are so important to me. But there is one more 5 minute Rule that might be the most important to me. That is my kids “Mom I need 5″ five minutes. If at any point during the day whether I’m doing the bills, folding laundry, cleaning the kitchen, etc if any of my kids says “Mom I need 5” they know that I will stop whatever I am doing, sit down on their level, and give them 5. It is important for them to know that I am always there for them, and that they come first. We always have 5 minutes to spare, no matter how busy we are.
Try it out, figure out where the most important 5 minutes are in your day and then make it a habit so you never miss those 5 minutes.