When there was one child I was able to spend maybe ten or twenty minutes before bed time reading to them and teaching them numbers and letters, several songs. But with two children when the baby is wailing current strategy is to get the older one settled as fast as possible before attending to the baby. The reasoning I’ve put behind this is that (regardless of what I do) a baby is going to cry, but if a three year old child starts crying to exhaustion then
b) I’ll have two crying children trying to get to sleep.
Bedtime and morning routines aside, what time is there to spend with them during the weekdays?
When there was just one child I started getting up earlier and when I felt brave enough I’d wake the older child up early and get him ready with a view to read a book to him and teach him some letters and numbers. When the second child came along, the chances of reading have gone out of the window. Now even if I do get an opportunity to read to them, I’m struggling holding two kids and several books, I’m not able to give either of them the reading time they need.
I balance a toddler who is climbing all over the place and snatching books away from the other child.
The wider question is how do you manage to spend time with your kids during the working week or if you are currently job hunting how do you manage to spend time, quality time doing valuable things with your kids. I’ve considered a lunchtime phone/skype call when I have a chance or phoning them when I’m walking to the station.
When I was working abroad, I did use Skype in the mornings, there was a five hour time difference between Canada and the UK.
I would Skype at 8am in the morning, I could take my iPad out onto the porch and show them what Canada looked like, the older boy really loved it. When I was away in Bristol for ten months I would phone every evening and teach my boy to count, I managed to get him to count up to twenty over the phone.
Please share your stories of if/how you manage to spend time during the weekdays in the comment box below. Do you spend time together early before going to work, do you get home early, do you have a phone call during the day or like me do you save it all up and make sure they have a fantastic event filled weekend? I’d love to know.