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1/6/15

Engaging Little Ones When Life Is Busy

What I am loving most about January this year, is the fact that there is literally nothing going on.  I love this because after coming off a very busy two months of a newborn baby, followed by the busiest holiday season of the year, it's nice to have nothing more to do than stay on stop of laundry, try to shower occasionally and of course keep two babies.

Even though we are in a slow season of life right now, life is always cyclical and busier days will return.  Whenever my schedule gets full and I feel like I'm running ten steps behind by nine in the morning, my greatest fear is valuing my to-do list over my relationship with our little guys.

While I am definitely no expert at motherhood or juggling life well, here are three tips that help me stay engaged with Emmett on my busiest days.
// Bring Them Into Your Activities
I remember the day before 'The Village Gathering' event that I hosted at Christmas, rather I remember my carefully organized list of things to complete in the following 24 hours before my guests would arrive.  There were burlap swag bags to sew, sugar cookies to make, soups to prepare and of course a gnarly bathroom that needing a good bleaching.  I felt the day slipping away with this statement on repeat, Hang on buddy.  Let me finish _____ and then I'll help you.

That's when I realized that my day was inevitably busy.  I had no choice but to prepare for the party.  But I could give him his safety kid scissors to help me 'cut' the burlap.  I could let him sit on my lap for a few minutes while I sewed.  I could pull a chair up to the counter so he could stir the cookies with me.  I may not have been able to play with him all day, but I could engage him by bringing him into the activities with me.
// Take 15 Minute Play Breaks
When you are working against the clock to complete a project or prepare for an event, the hours in the slip by faster than you realize.  I noticed that when Emmett start acting up, he usually needs me to stop and give him my undivided attention for even just a few minutes.  Maybe he's feeling ignored or forgotten and it may be the only way he knows to get my attention.

On busy days, I have found that even putting my work aside for 15 minutes to play trains or paint in a coloring book can make all the different in the world before you go back to completing my tasks.
// Grant Yourself Grace
No matter how many activities you do together and play breaks you take, there are the moments when it's okay to ask Curious George for help.  I can easily beat myself up on days when my schedule is crazy because I feel like I'm not doing enough to be intentional with my babies.  I have to remember to give myself grace.  Remind myself that while today might require a little extra screen time, tomorrow can be full of more stories and chase games around the house.  Granting ourselves grace is something every mama needs more of.  Because we are doing a great job and three seasons episodes of Curious George never killed anyone.

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What are your favorite tips for staying engaged with your little ones when life gets busy?!  Please be sure to share in the comments below!

3 comments:

  1. Love this! Thank you for the great reminders and tips! A Miller

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  2. I really love these. I think the last one is SO KEY in any part of life, no matter what you do :)

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  3. I agree completely with this, and it is totally my daily struggle. Some days it's hard to find the right balance. But incorporating them into the project, and giving them periods of undivided attention is definitely the key. Now Im learning how to do it with a newborn thrown into the mix. Figuring out the new normal.

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