Giving Our Children Undivided Attention Isn't Always Easy

BY: - 4 Apr '12 | Parenting

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Ok, guilty mommy here. Yes, I am guilty of being a little too good at multi-tasking. Lately, I have found myself having a conversation with my children, checking email, writing and planning ideas for my business all at the same time. While I feel as though I am being successful and getting most of the things on my to do list done, my children feel the greatest impact. My girls don’t always speak up and demand my full attention, but when they walk away quickly or ask “Mommy, did you even hear me?” it brings me back to reality and helps me to realize I have to get my priorities in order.

There never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we have on our plates. I often wonder how our parents made it seem so effortless. My mother always worked full-time, managed our household and still had plenty of time for us. Today’s parents have the same responsibilities, why do ours seem more challenging than those of our parents? Our childhoods are what we always hold on to. We are creating memories for our children and I don’t want my children’s memory of me to be that mommy never made time or was always unavailable.

Children don’t quite understand our being busy. It doesn’t matter that our schedules include working to pay the bills in order to provide for them or time to relax because we are so worn out from working. All our children connect with is their personal needs. One of their major needs is time with their parents. They want us to recognize and acknowledge their talents, pay attention to their stories and travel to their pretend worlds from time to time. If we are unable to make time for those things, their hearts are broken. I personally can’t live with that type of disappointment, so I first have to prioritize. Recognizing what is most important allows me to tailor my schedule to make sure it reflects my priorities, my faith and my family. Being aware of what takes my attention away from my girls helps to correct it also. I am now on the lookout for those behaviors.

My new goal has become working on non-family things after my children’s bedtime. This way my work won’t interfere with my relationships with them. If there is something pressing and I must take care of it, I explain it to my girls and let them know the length of time it will take and when I will be available. They definitely understand that my husband and I have grown up responsibilities, but as long as we carve out special time for them, they don’t miss out on anything. It isn’t always easy, but because it will impact our children forever, we have to give them our undivided attention every chance we get.

What about you? Do you struggle to give your children enough undivided attention?


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  • Larie

    Yes I struggle with this and I appreciate you presenting this subject.   I’ve thought about doing things after my children’s bedtime as well but then I think, well now it’s time for me and hubby to have some time together and before I know it, it’s bedtime for me to ensure I get some rest and be prepared in the morning to get our children ready for school.   It really is hard, (working from home), but it’s also beneficial.


  • Mrsmcphearson

    Yes indeed I struggle with this a lot and the bad part is when I am ready to go to bed it hits me  and that is the worst feeling I think I have felt. and then I get to feel like I am turning in to my mother something I said I will never do. It’s  sooo good to know  that i am not the only  parent  that  going  through    this . but I am going to work on doing everything when the kids go to bed and at school. thanks for the advice you guys :)

  • Kimberly Goodall

    I struggle with this as well. When I save things until they go to bed, then I don’t get to spend time with my husband and he complains. Plus if I stay up late, I’m a bear the next day – just being honest.
    What I’m working on is trying to do some of my work while they’re doing their homework, so we’re all “doing our work” together. I also try to build some fun family times into the day. They’re a lot less likely to complain if I spend 30 minutes playing Uno with them or Just Dance on the Wii before I get back to work.

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