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Undivided time?

(9 Posts)
clemette Sat 04-Jul-09 21:06:59

The one thing that struck me from the Guardian article today was when she said she rebuilt her relationship with her child by spending undivided time with her.

I read this at the end of a very trying day and it made me cry because I rarely ever spend undivided time with either of mine. I work four days a week and on my days off I play/cook/draw/read with them, and take them on outings etc etc but I am always multi-tasking (eg helping DD play a Cbeebies game whilst sorting the washing, reading a magazine whilst sitting with them watching their favourite TV programme etc etc). If I ever sit down with them I am up within a couple of minutes as I spot something that needs doing.

Anyway, I wondered if you managed it and if you think children suffer by seeing their mum multi-tasking constantly.

booyhoo Sat 04-Jul-09 21:21:31

i think its only a problem if it is unrelenting and they never get your full attention. my mum worked full time when my sister and i were small and i dont think i can recall one time where she spent just being with us and not cleaning/cooking/shopping. i can remember times where we wanted her attention and she would try and give it but it was really just nodding and "hmming" while she got on with whatever she was doing. she was a busy woman and i dont think either of us suffered as a result. we're both independant women now, but it would have been nice to have a few good memories of being with her. were not very close now, but not resentful. its just the way things were. as a result i make the effort to get down on the floor and play trains with my son and saturday evenings ds1 gets to stay up a bit later and watch one of his dvds with me. its our special night.

springlamb Sat 04-Jul-09 21:28:17

I really think some undivided time and solo time does help.
DD(7) and I have always had quite a tempestuous relationship and sometimes the only thing that refocusses us is spending time just the two of us when we can really talk and listen to each other. Mind you, this usually takes place in the bath and it's getting a bit squashy. Don't know why, but she always seem to talk and listen more openly in the tub.
Also, last weekend dh and I had 8 hours just with ds (14). OK we were at a concert but it was lovely talking and laughing together between acts and I think he enjoyed having us to himself as much as the concert.

clemette Sat 04-Jul-09 21:30:34

Does it get easier as they get older? Mine are 4 and 17months.

springlamb Sat 04-Jul-09 21:42:21

Didn't realise yours were so young - you are still at the madness stage (as well as coping with work).
I think you could get by asking your 4 year old to help you pair the socks whilst sitting on the bedroom floor and chat whilst you do it - that would count I think!
Also remember - Guardian journalist needed to 'rebuild' her relationship. If yours ain't broke, don't fix it.

Surfermum Sat 04-Jul-09 21:48:25

I have to make the effort to make sure it happens. On a Tuesday after school I've made it Tuesday the "choose" day, in other words dd gets to choose what she does and if she chooses to do something with me then I do it with no excuses about emptying the washing maching or whatever.

I find the school holidays easier too as we can have trips out, lunch in the cafe, that sort of thing.

And I've taken her to the pub a couple of times blush, once just for a drink after trampolining and the other for a meal after Rainbows. But each time we had a good chat and it was lovely and relaxing.

BottySpottom Sat 04-Jul-09 21:58:32

Clemette - I struggle with our 3 and I'm not even working. It's so hard when they are all around at the same time. DC1 gets me in the day, so that's OK, DC3 gets me when others are in bed, but poor DC2 misses out sad. I took him crazy golfing the other day to get some 1:1 but it's hard to fit everything in.

When DC3 was first born, we made a real effort to continue 1:1 by taking 1 at a time to Starbucks for a hot chocolate, which they love, and is also healthy (ish) as it is a mamouth walk up hill afterwards. Now life has caught up with us though and it's difficult.

It's also harder with 3 as it takes three times as long to have 1:1 as it does when you have only two.

clemette Sun 05-Jul-09 21:37:43

Thank everyone. I did manage five minutes with each of them today so onwards and upwards!

Fennel Sun 05-Jul-09 21:58:36

No, I don't have loads of undivided time with each of my 3, I also work full time and do various other things, and go out on my own quite a lot, and we spend a lot of time as a family doing things together, so really, we can't do it all. We have bits and pieces, but I don't prioritise it. Maybe because I was the middle one of three as a child, and always almost surrounded by other children, and liked it that way, so I don't feel that children miss out by not having loads of 1-1 with their parents.

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