We’ve been talking lots lately about how we can find the right balance of one-to-one time with our littles. Ensuring we make them feel equal, and as much a a whole unit, but also respecting and connecting with them on their individual interests and needs. So far, we’ve found that finding the right medium can be tricky, especially when they’re all so close in age.
Yve’s is at the age where she thrives on learning, being read to, sat with and helping her learn writing, or counting, making up stories. Halle absolutely loves to get messy & creative with crafting, or sitting quietly in her own little world colouring in while she whispers counting to herself before shouting out that she can count. Phoenix wants to do everything the girls are doing, making sure he’s involved, being nosey, and getting stuck in. Halle is also at the age where she wants to do all the things Yve’s is confidently able to do, and don’t get me wrong, she gives it her best shot with the counting, writing etc but her little age gap kind of sets her back a bit, leaving her feeling frustrated. Both girls love to have our attention one to one, but even more so as a unit, they love to have a huge playtime with everyone involved, after all this is how they’ve had their life so far, a very close togetherness that involves everyone getting stuck in.
In the whirlwind that is life, we find that we sometimes lose the balance of spending that quality time with each child, without feeling guilty for the others. We are such a close family, and always do everything together, but it is only healthy to make sure that everyone has their cup ‘filled’ so to speak.
We love to sit and read to our little ones, theres an example, as much as they all love to listen, Yve’s is that little bit older where she could sit for ages, listening to much longer and complex stories, wanting to question the plot, or admire the illustrations, where as Halle, being that 1.5years younger is quite happy having a whole variety of stories with different endings.
how do you get the right balance, without feeling like you’re failing the others?
I think a lot of things in parenthood is based on timing, especially when you have multiple children, and even more so when they’re close in ages. So take the other day, it was around lunch time, the little two had gone for a nap so I saw that as a golden opportunity to spend my one-to-one time with my biggest girl. We got out one of her learning books and sat for a little while. I loved this, probably even more than she did, watching her learn, snuggling her little feet into the crook of my leg to keep her toes warm, all huddled under the blanket, listening to her questions, her inquisitive brain ticking over, watching her little face light up when she understood the questions in the book – magical feeling as a parent to see your child feeling good about themselves.
The little two woke up and we both felt so much better from spending that little amount of time together – undisturbed. Then we all did lots of baking together and made some things for Daddy for Valentines.
Then yesterday, we were going to take the kids out for a hot chocolate date, then to the park. Lots of rushing around trying to get ready so we had enough time before Daddy had to go to football, the we realised the weather had changed from sunny to absolutely bucketing down so we changed our minds and opted for a relaxed few hours at home, and getting some more ‘focus time’ with our biggest girl who is seeking this the most at the moment. Especially from Daddy as he works all week so this was another golden opportunity, but in this case – it was his turn. Again, this was a beautiful thing to watch, and I couldn’t help catching a couple of photos to remember this beautiful moment of our biggest girl, soaking up the precious weekend time with her hero, gazing at him in delight as she shows him how clever she is.
Heart melt moment thats for sure.
At this point, baby boy was taking a well needed nap, while Halle & i were being silly and she asked to watch “just a little bit of Toy Story please, the one with the train bit”. This was after she thought it would be funny to hide from me in the cupboards!
And as it was Valentines yesterday, we had some delicious tea in our new mugs…