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MC: Balancing Time & Attention With Multiple Children

I am part of an AWESOME mommy panel with Cassie from Two In Diapers and Julie from Naptime Review.
Each Saturday, we will bring you fresh new ideas and advice about motherhood.
If you enjoyed what you read, we encourage you to tweet about it!
Coming on January 19th, we will discuss:
What is your favorite indoor activity when it's too cold to play outside?
Now on to this week's topic!
Balancing your time and attention with more than one child!
Here is what Mom Connection shared:
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Welcome! I'm Julie over at Naptime Review. I am a mom of two wild, crazy and beautiful girls. My oldest just turned 4 and my baby is 16 months old. This is how I balance my time and attention between my children:
When my first child came into my world she became my world. I put my career on hold and wanted nothing more than to be with her. She got all my time and attention. When Alice came, I was very worried about how her arrival would affect the oldest. I also worried about being able to give Alice everything I gave Averie. I tried very hard to make Averie feel special knowing that babies can be very demanding. I think I focused my attention more on Averie. I am trying to shift that attention and make it more equally balanced now that Alice is getting older.
When the oldest is at preschool or at a friends house, I give the baby FULL attention. Meaning, I have weekly play dates at Little Gym. Even if Averie’s schedule changes, I still keep our Little Gym time. I drop Averie off at Grandma’s and enjoy my time with Alice. When Averie isn’t around, I try to get on the floor and read stories and play with Alice. In fact, Averie had a play date last weekend, and instead of cleaning the house, I just played with Alice. It was fun! I knew my house could wait until tomorrow but when would be the next time for the baby to get some QT with Mommy!
With Averie, I try to schedule our quality time. I really have noticed that when Averie and I do something special without the baby, she really shines and enjoys that one-on-one time. Therefore, once a month I try to take Averie somewhere special and fun. We go on “Mommy dates.” So far we have enjoyed, Tea with Cinderella at the Magic House, lunch outings, tea parties with other friends, and just running errands alone. Those are the moments, I think are very special and memorable for both mommy and Averie.
So when the baby gets older, I plan on dating both my kids regularly. In fact, I am enlisting the help of my husband for this mission. We will each date and swap with children monthly. I think it is very important for Daddy’s, especially with girls to get that quality one-on-one time. I am sure my children will enjoy Home Depot and the Golf Galaxy right?
So my answer to balancing time and attention is to schedule one-on-one dates with your children!
Hi! I'm Cassie from Two In Diapers, and I'm a mommy to three sweet babies, ages 4, 3, and 18 months.
This is how I balance my time and attention between my children:
Wow… this topic is very close and personal with my life! With my three babies spaced 19 months apart each in age and a hope for one or two more in the future, this is something that I have to be conscious of daily.
My answer is… there is no way to do it perfectly. There’s just not, no matter how hard you try. But I believe it’s possible to do it well, and that is my daily goal. I strive to give special time and attention to each child in a way that fits their own unique needs. Whether this means a daily post-nap snuggle with three-year-old Bentley, 10 minutes to read Emily a book while the boys play, grabbing just one child for a trip to the grocery store, or taking advantage of a neighborhood babysitter occasionally to pick Emily up from school and enjoy her bear hug with both arms and really listen to her chatter on the way home.
So I suppose my answer is… it’s different with each family and each child each day, but I think sneaking in those moments of undivided attention randomly throughout the day when they are needed is the key to making each child feel loved, special and unique. I heard/read somewhere that the sign of a good mom is when each of her children is absolutely sure that he or she is her favorite. I’m really not sure who I heard this from, but I think it’s adorable and definitely one of my goals – to make each child feel uniquely special to and loved by me.
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My name is Alexa from No Holding Back. I am the mom of Nayner Bug (male, 5), Jelly Bean, (female, 3) and Tiny (female, 1). This is how I balance my time and attention between my children:
When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I was scared because of this very topic. I was afraid I would never be able to love a child as much as I loved the first one and that I'd never have any quality time with my children. Well I was definitely wrong on the first account - who knew one person could hold so much love in their heart??? But the second one requires constant awareness. Originally the word that came to mind was "effort" but I don't want to use that word with relation to spending time with my kids. So awareness is a better word choice.
It is so easy to get caught up in everything going on around us, especially now with three kids. School schedules, appointments, dance lessons, playdates, and all of the other things taking up time in our lives with small children. Honestly, I am still working on the balancing act. Not only do I have three children to balance, I have my duties as CEO of the household, and my writing. And my spiritual life and my social life, which are also both very important to me. I do have some dedicated one on one time. I take the 3 year old with me to run errands on the weekends so that we have some girl time. Every night before bed I say prayers with each child individually and I read for about 20 minutes with the two older children. Usually separately so it is their own time with me. We have dinner as a family each night and the 5 year old tells us all about his adventures and his day. I'm sad to say at this point, that's about where it stops. I am terrible at balancing in general! I am focusing on doing projects with the kids, but we usually do them as a group. But even though I'm not able to spend a large amount of individual one on one time with them, I do make sure to pay them each individual attention. We get into tickle fights, play hide and seek, dance, or I just snuggle with them and tell them I love them a million times a day. Black Dots page break divider
My name is Fotini! I blog over at Glamorous Affordable Life. I am the mom of (Isabella 19 months and Christian 6 years). This is how I balance my time and attention between my children:
For the most part, I would really like to think I share my time and attention evenly between my children, husband and home. But, it's something I tend to get too comfortable with. It's been a big adjustment for Christian having a little sister. He was the "baby" for five years before Isabella came along, so that is something we're all still getting used to. He is an amazing big brother in so many ways but at times I can see he's getting jealous of how I talk to her or how much time I still spend holding her and loving on her. It's really important for me to give him the same attention I give her! He was my first baby and is growing into such a smart, loving little boy! I make it a part to spend one-on-one time with Christian while Isabella naps during the day (for 1-2 hours) and once Isabella is in bed each evening. We play games, watch movies and cuddle. Throughout the day, I try my best to get us involved in activities we can all enjoy so he can "enjoy" Isabella and love her more than resent her.
One Saturday, at least once a month, I have my husband watch Isabella so Christian and I can go out and do something of his choice. Sometimes it's just going to Barnes and Noble to look at books and play, or go to the movies or out to lunch at his favorite restaurant! No matter what he chooses that day, it gives us the chance to live in the moment and have fun with each other!
Spending extra time with Isabella comes when Christian spends the night with family members. She's really girly, so we play with my makeup, fingernail polish and she likes to dress up in my clothes! The kids playroom is upstairs, so we spend as much time up there as possible and she just runs the halls having a good time! By the end of the night, though, she's asking for her brother!
How do you spend one-on-one time with each of your kids?
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My name is Kristen from The Mrs. & The Momma. I'm the momma of three girls (ages 7, 5, & 3) and a little boy (18 months). This is how I balance my time and attention between my children:
Ensuring that each of our four children gets the love, time, and attention they need and deserve has become almost a science in our household. On a logistic level, having my two older ones are in school allows for a better balance at home during the day, especially during nap time. One they're home from school is when it gets tricky. One thing I try to do is get down on their level when they speak to me so that I am both eye to eye with them and they understand that I am listening to only them.
My husband and I make it a habit to discuss each one of our children's needs on a weekly basis....and we then adjust our time depending on who might need more of our attention that week by doing various activities such as a daddy/daughter dates, quiet one-on-one reading, or simply treating them to something I normally don't allow, such as putting on Momma's make-up. :)
Making sure our children are feeling loved enough and heard enough is our biggest and most important job....and something I struggle with on a daily basis. I mean, not only do my older two notice if they're not getting their fair share of my time, but they crave it. Attention is love to them. And children who don't feel loved at these young ages are susceptible to all sort of issues later on in life that I sure wouldn't want to be responsible for causing. As parents, it is our job to make sure each one of our children do not ever feel slighted in the least. Dividing time between multiple children takes effort and organization...but it's critical to our children's thriving and absolutely worth it!
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Your Turn:

How do you balance your time and attention between your children?
Leave us a comment; we love to read your tips and advice!
Need advice? Check out these previous Mom Connection topics:

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