Sometimes it can feel like life gets so busy I lose track of my daughter in all the chaos.
I am a busy mom but it wasn’t always that way.
It used to be just us all day every day, but then I opened a home daycare and life got exponentially busier. It started to feel like I was disconnected from her, like we lived on different planets.
That feeling was really yucky and I wanted to fix it.
Although I realized that this disconnect had something to do with extra kids in the house that required just as much time and attention as she did.
And also because she really wasn’t used to sharing me with anyone – and she really didn’t want to. Even though I knew this, it didn’t stop the question of “how did this happen” from finding its way into my brain.
After some reflection, I decided that I needed to be a more mindful parent for any reestablishment of a connection with her to happen.
It occurred to me that what I had missed was to deliberately set time aside to bond with her after all the kids went home and she could have me all to herself.
With that knowledge and agreement to set time aside, I came up with a mental action plan to reconnect, and here are some of the ways I found to be effective.
Before Anything Else – Take a Time Out
Perhaps it is a global truth, universally mothers struggle with taking “me time”.
Since it is our job to nurture and care for our babies, doesn’t it also make sense that we should nurture ourselves? And a big part of that is to recognize that it is time to take a break.
You know how it goes: After a busy day, you feel drained, not sure if you can muster enough energy together for anything else. The exhaustion is next level.
Obviously, this is a pretty solid sign that you need to recharge.
Remember that all the things you think you need to do right this second aren’t gonna go anywhere, and they most definitely will still be there in 10 minutes.
Leave the dishes and the laundry and go take a break! You are a busy mom and you need to pause!
If you are like me and you can usually only squeeze out small pockets of time throughout the day, then you need to have quick, yet very rejuvenating, breaks.
Under those circumstances, you have to get the biggest benefit out of whatever you decide to do for your break, some ways that I have found that have been effective for me are:
A Quick 5 Minute Meditation
Grab a soft cushion to sit on and find a quiet corner in the house.
Bear in mind that this “alone time” comes with strict orders to not be disturbed.
If you can find a quiet place for 5 minutes this exercise is probably most advantageous to restoring your balance.
If you can’t find silence after finding your space, noise-canceling headphones do a wonderful job at creating this for you.
A Short 10 Minute Walk
There are so many great benefits you can get from a short walk. Not only is it great for your physical self, but also for your mind. Even if it is just a little one.
Personally, I love to go for a walk by myself for ten minutes.
Perhaps the benefit could be that I simply physically leave the house and the property behind me. Maybe it is simply the fresh air.
Whatever it is, walks are a fantastic way to recharge and regain a sense of calm to the chaos.
A Warm 15 Minute Shower
Could there be anything more restorative than a nice warm shower? Sometimes it is just enough to stand in the water and imagine all the stress from the day washed down the drain with the water.
If you are into aromatherapy then you could throw a shower steamer in to help recharge. Some great essential oils for restoring energy include sweet orange and peppermint.
So, if you can, get your hands on steamers that have those oils in them.
Take the Time Together
After the self-love cup has been filled it is now time to reconnect.
First, all distractions must be put away – this is mommy and tot time and the less that time is interrupted the more beneficial it is.
Second, initiate reconnection time with your child. I see this as time for me to spend in my daughter’s world instead of her inside mine – which is really no fun and full of schedules and school.
Because I am coming into her world I will join her with whatever she is doing. Some of the great activities I found to be great ways to reconnect are:
Color or Draw Together
Do you remember when coloring books for adults became a thing? Do you remember how excited everyone was that they didn’t have to sneak pages out of their kid’s coloring books anymore?
Or was that just me?
The point I am making is coloring is a fun activity no matter how old you are.
For us, we love to use the giant coloring books that Crayola has put out.
Not only does the time we spend coloring serve as a means of reconnection, but also this time gives me an opportunity to teach some life skills.
During the time we spend coloring together, I can model how to share and also how to ask for things, problems solve and be aware of space, etc.
If you ask me, I’d call coloring a win-win-win. Because we get to have an excuse to color, you get to take time to reconnect, and you can instill some important lessons.
Kids can learn a lot through play, so this time spent together is not only valuable time to reconnect, but it also can be a chance to discipline (by which I mean teach life lessons).
You may have noticed that your tot has a favorite toy to play with. For us in this house it’s dollies.
While I can’t say that dollies are on the top ten list of toys I like to play with my daughter, it does open all sorts of doors to reconnect and teach.
Go On An Adventure Together
Sometimes we don’t leave the house for a couple of days, or weeks, so we have to make a point to leave for adventures.
Our adventure could simply be a trip to a park, or to the beach in the summer. Or, in the winter, we go on nature walks.
And there are so many happy moments created in our adventures that will stay with us for our lives.
Perhaps because the adventures we take are special to us – in the way that we are the only participants of the adventure, and that they will create a lifetime of good memories for us, means simply that this time together is sacred for our connection.
Therefore, we need these adventures of just her and me to establish, reestablish, and then strengthen our bond.
If you have something like our adventures between yourself and your child then make a point of doing it as often as you can. Whatever that may be for you it is the equivalent of filling two cups with one water bottle.
Appreciate and Love
I look at it this way – today was a gift and tomorrow is not a promise. Appreciate what you have right now and make it known.
All of that expressed appreciation not only strengthens the connection but also gives a sense of security and comfort. Which, in the long run, equals more confidence.
Finding That Connection
I literally do feel like I am the luckiest mommy in the world that I get to raise this little human being and that she chose me to be her mom.
When I find my daughter has crawled into my lap and we are in a snuggle, I tell her how lucky I am. I think all of those little components to those moments, the snuggle and the words, is when we connect the most.
The conclusion here is that sometimes in the overwhelming chaos that a day can be it can be easy to put reconnection on the back burner.
My experience here taught me that a mindful reconnection with my daughter throughout the day certainly goes a long way. But it always starts with me initiating contact through a gentle touch.