God is really working on my heart in this area...especially when it applies to Evan (and Jay, but more Evan). I am learning that when I'm doing things with Evan (reading, playing, eating together) I need to be there both physically and mentally. Too many times I'm guilty of trying to get a zillion other things done (especially on the computer) while still "playing" with Evan. IT DOESN'T WORK!! Evan starts getting bored, then getting into things, then getting grumpy because I'm getting mad. This does not sound like a fun day. I knew something had to change when the other day Evan came and "pushed" me out of my computer chair so I would get on the floor and play with him :( Is this what I want to teach my child? That relationships are of such minor importance that they can be attended to while doing multiple other things? Not really. So I'm making some changes.
1/ I need to separate Jennifer time from Mommy time. This might mean getting up early (or going to bed later if that works better for you). If I get up before he does, I can spend time doing my stuff without distraction or guilt.
2/ When Evan wants to play, I need to stop what I'm doing and devote my attention to him. I know, we all have important things to get done. But seriously, what could be more important than confirming to your children that they are loved and cared for. For me, this means turning off the computer, turning off the TV and getting down on the floor so I can play at his level. This may not be the most exciting part of my day, but I know it makes Evan feel like the most loved kid in the world.
3/ I will enlist the help of others when I need a break. I'm guilty of giving and giving and giving and never taking time to rejuvenate. Maybe it's asking my hubby to take bath time for a night. Maybe it's going out to eat so I don't have to clean up dishes (dollar menu anyone?). Maybe it's finding a playmate to go to the park with. During those small breaks and changes of routine, I can take a deep breath and refocus.
It won't be easy to change how I live...but I truly believe it will be worth it. One day not long from now I imagine it will be the other way around. I'll want to play and Evan will want nothing to do with me. So I better savor it while I can!