CaseyLand: Mommy Style Monday: Connecting with Kids

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Mommy Style Monday: Connecting with Kids

The thing I was most afraid of before I had Amelia was losing my connection with Nathan. Nathan and I were a well oiled machine. I knew what he was thinking every minute, and he was happy to go along with whatever I had planned. He had all the attention every day all day long and tantrums and miscommunications rarely happened. I was really afraid of losing that. I was terrified that he would feel neglected and left behind by me while I was busy taking care of a baby.

Guess what? Some of that happened. Nathan had a hard time without my 24/7 attention in the beginning. He had more tantrums. He started deliberately disobeying me. He developed a little "attitude". I think a lot of this has to do with him being two years old, but some of it was growing pains with a new baby in the house. I knew that finding time to give him meaningful attention would make all the difference! 

And guess what? It did. For the most part, haha.

It took a while for Nathan to understand that if he was quiet while I put Amelia down for a nap, that meant more time for him to have one-on-one time with me. He gets it now! When Mia is sleeping I try to make a special effort to get on the floor with Nathan and play whatever he wants to play. I put my phone across the room and have conversations with him. We play games, practice numbers and letters, watch a show together, read books, or he helps me with whatever chore I need to finish. Some days I only have 10 minutes to devote to him solely, and some days I have hours. Just part of dealing with a baby! But Nathan is getting much better at playing on his own, and I think he also cherishes the time we have together just the two of us. The other thing I've made sure to do is I still rock him before he goes to sleep every day, at least for his naps. He loves this special attention and is getting very good at stalling bed time by asking me for more songs haha.

The other thing I've made a better effort to do for him is get him out of the house. He is a really good sleeper, and will often sleep in until 10 or 10:30 in the morning. This was relaxing for me, but our mornings ended up being wasted most days. I decided to get him up at 9 if he wasn't already awake and always have something to do in the mornings. On Mondays we go to his gym class, Tuesdays we go to free time at the gym or go to the park or local museum, Wednesdays are library day, Thursdays are friend days, and Fridays we are starting to go on walks at a local park with some friends! (If it would warm up 10 degrees or more that would be awesome haha.) Having these activities geared toward him make a huge difference in his overall attitude, and he gets excited to see what we are going to do each day! Luckily Amelia is still at the age where she can nap on the go. I just wear her in the carrier and she sleeps through the morning activities most times!

Speaking of Amelia, connecting with her can be equally as difficult with a demanding two year old! She's only five months, so there isn't a ton to be done with her, but I try to hold her as often as I can, and make lots of eye contact with her. She loves staring at me and smiling and touching my face, so I let her do that as often as I can. I take her from room to room with me so she's always involved in what I'm doing. When Nathan is napping and she is awake, I cuddle with her or have her do tummy time and show her some new toys. Every now and then I get the chance to hold her while she's asleep, and while this often makes me feel a little like I'm wasting time and should be getting household stuff done, I remind myself that really the most important thing I could be doing is helping my little girl feel loved. The dishes and vacuuming can wait. Amelia is getting bigger every day, and I cherish every minute I get with her alone. With Nathan at that age I was holding him all day long, cuddling him, letting him sleep on me... she's a lot more easy going than he was, but I try to give her the same attention whenever I can!

I think the best thing for kids is to just make sure that you give them even five minutes of your undivided attention. They just want to feel loved and important!

I'm excited to see what other moms do with their kids! Click the links below to see what they are up to! And fill out this form if you want to join in the next Mommy Style Monday!

Kiana at Glitter&Donuts
Madeline at CaseyLand
Lauren at The Andrew Life

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