photo credit: Daddy
Spending time with all the children is a such a delight to my soul, and I am grateful that I have the opportunity to be home with them. I’ve found that, just like any other relationship, spending time together fosters closeness. Over the years, I have found different approaches which have helped enable getting to know each child better.
Even though for the past…seems like forever…years we’ve had a baby, a toddler, and a couple school aged children; because we homeschool, spending individual time with the older children has not been difficult. We’ve worked on reading, memorization, writing, etc. on a regular basis and often in a different room focused from the other children. Of course, the way homeschooling goes, this time was often more than just schoolwork and would include conversations, prayer, instruction, and yes, correction.
In addition, one rewarding activity that I have grown to love is playing a board game on my bed with one child at a time. When Nathan works in the evenings on this old farmhouse’s aches, I invite one school age child to pick their favorite game. We play on my bed, where it’s just us, but only on the nights that Daddy’s working and usually for about 30-45 minutes.
With the toddlers, there is always much time spent daily in discipline or instruction. These times of correction are spread throughout the day and require my undivided attention. These are not always “happy” moments (as you can imagine), so I have always loved dedicating some moments for sitting on the floor in their room with them on my lap, reading board books just before laying them down for afternoon nap. As parenting goes, most of them may never remember these moments, but the joy is mine, and I cherish the memories!
I’ve always been able to nurse our babies, and one benefit I’ve enjoyed, is that I get to spend lots of restful times sitting and holding them and talking or singing while I change them. My babies have usually had their last feeding after the other children are in bed – this has worked great for Nathan and I to get special one-on-one time with the baby and enjoy this fleeting stage of togetherness.
I’ve left my most favorite family time for last! For the last several years, Monday night has been family read aloud night after dinner. We have read through poetry books, kid’s classics, but most often Nathan reads Christian biographies. Mostly I fold laundry while he reads; curled up in their pajamas, the children hang on every word!
with love. Damaris