"One more minute".
I think it's as bad as a dirty word in my heart. As a working mom, I say it way too many times each and every day.
I'm looking at my phone and my daughter tugs on my shirt - "One more minute" I tell her.
I'm on the computer and my son calls for me - "One more minute" I shoot back.
"Is dinner ready yet?" - "One more minute" is the answer.
Yes, it's ok that I am legitimately busy and we don't have to be at our children's beck and call. But how often do they feel that they are the most important thing if I keep saying "one more minute"? In today's busy world with so many distractions, I think we need to protect time with our kids so that they know they are more important than a text or an email.
Here are some tips that work for me
1) Have specific time set aside for work and for family. My kids know that mommy works from 5:00 - 6:30 a.m. They need to stay in bed or play on their own until that time. After that, I'm all theirs to help get ready for school.
2) Put technology away during family time. It's too easy to get distracted by a text or an email coming in. Put the technology physically away when you are spending time with your family.
3) Take 10. You think you spend so much time with your kids right? I thought so too until I tried this little exercise. I promised each of the kids 100% focused time on them for 10 minutes. I was amazed at how many days they didn't get this even when I was with them a good portion of the day. Each of my kids enjoys their special alone time with mom.
Sometimes I have to physically remove myself from my office so that I can be truly present with my kids. I can take them to the beach or a park and be with them without distraction.
We are the model for our children. I am quite sure that I don't want a teenager who can't look up from his technology to have a conversation with me. If I have any hope of some focused attention from him or her, I better give it myself now.
How do you protect time with your family?