How to Give Your Kids Quality Time--Even If You're Busy and Tired

I've always wanted lots of kids, but I feel like when we welcomed our sixth child, we reached critical mass. There was no longer enough of me to go around! I would see one of my kids looking 'lost' and just know they needed more "Mommy Time" but I wasn't sure where to find it! 

  • Maybe you feel that way with three kids--or even one!
  • Maybe you've always said you'd be the kind of mom who connected with her kids, not just shuttled them through life. 
  • Maybe you used to have this dialed in, but lately one or more of your kids are showing signs they need a little more of you.

    Good news. I've been there (oh boy, have I been there!) and I have three easy ways to find quality time with your kids, even if you feel like you don't have a spare minute.
You may already do these things! Or, you might need a reminder of where to find those pockets of time.  

Whenever one of my kids is showing signs of needing some "mommy time" as we call it, and I'm super busy, I do one (or more) of these things:

1. Take them on an errand. (And talk to them while you drive).  

Don't miss that last part...I know I tend to get caught up on marco polos, listen to a podcast, or have thinking time while driving. But none of that is as important as my child's heart and having a safe adult to help them process something they're going through or to hear their ideas and dreams. 

If you don't have the freedom to take just one kid with you, give the child who needs "mommy time" the front seat or the child-safe seat nearest you. Tell them this trip they get to be your co-pilot and let them talk about whatever is on their heart, with their siblings giving them the talking stick for the drive. 

2. Choose a book to read aloud together. 

You are spending a certain amount of chill time on the couch each day, right? Like during afternoon quiet time (you do this at your house, right?) or veg time after dinner?

This is where screen time is common, because it's something mindless and relaxing when our brains just need to not think. But I'm gonna challenge you that if you have time to sit on the couch and scroll, you have time to connect with your kids. And a way I do that even when my brain is stick-a-fork-in-me-DONE at the end of the day? Reading aloud. 

You connect with all your kids at the same time with a well chosen read aloud, but if you have one child that is really needing more mommy time--consider letting that child choose a book and make that their special read aloud book. They can bring it to you whenever you are chilling on the couch and this is a simple way to remember to keep connection priority, even when you're tired. 

3. Cook together. 

Again--something you're doing every day anyway, and if you invite them to join you in a mundane task such as chopping veggies or stirring or rolling out dough...they can get their little hearts full while you're working to fill their bellies.

Word of caution: this doesn't work when you're trying a new recipe or multitasking with your phone and three other tasks while cooking. It should just be you, them, and a task that doesn't require a lot of brain juice--so you can focus on them.

My toddlers especially love the invitation to come cook with me, and with proper guidance, this is actually some of our best times together in our week. 

Do you do any of these things? Do you have tips for other tasks or times that can double as quality time with your kids? Share in the comments!

Oh, and if the idea of inviting your kids into your kitchen gives you an anxiety attack, I can help.  In my Kitchen Freedom System I not only teach you how to get your kitchen running on auto-pilot, but also walk you through step-by-step how to train your kids to actually be helpful in the kitchen. 

If you're ready to invite your child into the kitchen instead of chasing them out...find out more here.