Blue Suit Mom

Finding time to re-connect with your kids everyday!

You are a busy mom, in fact, a working mom. A mom who is an employee by day (of someone else or even yourself) and a mom the rest of the hours of the day. Your job is never done. You have a running log of what’s next in the routine and what has to get done before the night’s end.

Being a mom of 3, I struggle to find time to connect with my kids, ages 7, 4 and 6 months! The baby gets my immediate attention, and the older ones aren’t too happy about this.  My 4 year old daughter started acting out a great deal since the baby was born. She noticed how little time we spent together after having a whole lot more of my attention before the baby was born.  My 7 year old became quiet and weepy.  As a Psychologist, I thought, I should really know what to do here. But, I was too emotionally involved, and let’s face it – exhausted!!

One afternoon, while the baby happened to take a nap longer than usual, I initiated working on a puzzle with both of my kids. It was such a pleasant 15 minutes where nobody was fighting, I wasn’t yelling, and we were actually laughing! For the rest of the evening, I found that I was less reactive to them and they responded more positively to me. Bedtime routine wasn’t too painful that night either.  I thought I was on to something here…..

Despite my sleep deprived haze, I had a coherent thought – what if I did this every day,  5-10-15, minutes, morning and/or evening? Would that help this bad cycle we were in where I was yelling and they were not listening? I tried again the next morning. I went in to wish each child a ‘happy morning’ and asked them how they slept. I was received with big smiles, hugs and kisses.  I insisted that we sit together to have breakfast, even if for only 10 minutes, no television, no IPOD or other electrical devices… for me or them!

So there, I did it. I accomplished something that saved my relationship with my kids! I found that by reconnecting with them on a daily basis, for just a few minutes, without any interruption, there was an improvement in their behavior and an overall calmer home environment for all of us.  For moms who travel or are on the bus or train, perhaps you can text or skype with your child on your ride home. I know, it’s not face to face, but you are at least connecting.  At dinner and before bed, a few minutes of undivided, unconditional attention and time can help your child feel bonded with you. This will likely result in a lot less argument about nothing, when your child is trying to tell you ‘I miss you, and I want to spend time with you.’  It’s not about quantity but rather quality of the time.

About the Author:
Dr. Liz Matheis is a clinical psychologist and school psychologist in Parsippany, NJ who provides assessment, psychotherapy, consulting, and advocacy for children and families managing autism spectrum disorders, ADHD and learning disabilities ( She is also a contributor to several popular press magazines.

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