When the chaos of my daily life slows down at nighttime and I sneak into my kid's rooms one last time to check on them while they sleep, I start to worry if I was a good enough mom that day. Did I yell too much? Did I tell them I loved them enough? Did I connect with them enough today? If you have these same worries as a mom, you're not alone. But, luckily, you can make yourself feel better by finding ways to get closer to your kid in a mere 24 hours.
These don't need to be grand gestures of affection and love, cost you a single penny, or require you to find space for one more huge toy. There are just small things you can do every day that will make a big difference in your connection to your child.
So even when you have a million things left on your to-do list, someone is throwing another tantrum, and you have no idea what's for dinner, you can end your day knowing you found ways to connect with your little ones. So go ahead and take a deep breath at night, mama. You did a good job.
1. Have The Right Reaction
Imagine if every time you walked into a room, someone greeted you with a big smile. Can you imagine how amazing that would make you feel every single day? Think of that every time you see your child's face and how your smile could make them feel so good about themselves and you.
2. Stay Close
Choose activities that ensure you and your kid can be right next to each other: reading books, snuggling during a show, coloring together. They will love the physical closeness, and you get lots of extra snuggles all day. A win/win for everyone
3. Ask The Right Questions
Skip the typical "how was your day?" and ask them real questions so you get real answers. What made you laugh today? What made you proud today? If you had three wishes, what would you want? What was the silliest thing you saw today? These will show that you're actually interested in what they have to say, and give you a lot to talk about.
4. Really Listen To Them
Stop multi-tasking! When you ask them questions or they are telling you a story, stop what you are doing, get on their level, and really listen to them. All the other stuff can wait.
4. Share To Show You Care
Share with your child stories about when you were their age or about times you went through similar situations they are going through. Let them know every day that you can relate and understand them.
5. Say Yes
Do you ever feel that as a mom all you do is say no? No, you can't have candy for breakfast. No, you can't climb on that wall. No, you can't wear a bathing suit to school. Maybe say yes to some of your child's easier requests, like a nother book at bedtime or playing a game after dinner.
7. Leave Love Notes
Even when you aren't with them, you can still let your kids know you love them. Leave little love notes in their lunchbox or on their favorite toy. If they can't read, leave a note with hearts.
8. Be Silly
Stop being so serious all the time! Let your kids know you can be silly with them.
9. Give Yourself A Break
If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone. So take a few minutes every single day to give yourself a break. This what, when it's time to be mom again, you are ready to go.
10. Practice Patience
I know you told your son to get his shoes on approximately 375 times and asked your daughter to stop feeding the dog cookies. But instead of yelling and losing your cool, take a deep breath and a find a little patience.
11. Embrace Bedtime
You are exhausted, you have a million things to do, and no one will put on their pajamas. The normal bedtime routine already seems way too long, but instead of just turning out the lights and saying goodnight, stick around a little longer. Read a few more books, tell a few more stories, and snuggle a little longer. Rather than rushing the bedtime routine, embrace the chance to connect with your kids before they fall asleep.