In America, it is becoming more and more customary and necessary for women to raise kids while continuing to flourish in their careers. According to the Women’s Bureau U.S. Department of Labor, nearly 70 percent of mothers with children under 18 years of age are in the workforce, representing over a third (34.2 percent) of the working women cohort. Moreover, nearly 40 percent of American households have working mothers as the primary or the sole bread earners.
Though working moms get lesser time to spend with their toddlers in comparison to stay-at-home moms, research reveals that they can raise more confident and self-dependent kids. In fact, a study presented by the Harvard Business School reveals that working mothers who spend quality time with their kids raise successful daughters and kind-hearted sons.
Being a working mom is not easy! With merely a few free hours in a day (and limited energy, of course!) to bond with your little one, you are probably experiencing mixed feelings of guilt, shame, and inadequacy. However, you can effortlessly connect with your toddler if you plan your day well and follow the simple tactics shared in this post.
Here are five effective tips that will help you spend quality time with your tot, enabling you to nurture a lasting bond with him/her.
Fix a Mommy-Baby Time
Schedule a fixed time each day to spend with your kid and prioritize it over everything else. Even if you plan 30 minutes each day, make sure you only focus on your toddler during this time. Avoid multitasking or checking your mobile phone or office emails when you are with your little one. Listen to all he/she has to share, play a family game, watch a kid’s movie together, or take him/her out for a walk in the park.
Setting time apart each day to chat and connect with him/her will make your child feel loved, strengthening your mother-baby bond.
Involve Your Toddler in the Household Chores
Letting your little one participate in the household chores will help you bond with him/her while raising a self-sufficient and a confident kid. In fact, research indicates when parents involve their kids in the domestic chores they are able to connect with their kids, helping them raise happy children who possess a high self-esteem.
Moreover, your child will feel proud of his/her ability to assist you with the chores, enabling him/her to understand the importance of teamwork and responsibility early on in life.
Involve your kid in simple domestic activities such as shopping for grocery, managing the laundry, making the bed, organizing his/her toys, feeding pets, laying the table for dinner, peeling potatoes, washing vegetables, washing the car, pulling out weeds from the garden, or painting the fence.
You need not devote an entire day to spend quality time with your child. Engaging your kid in regular household tasks will help you nurture your precious bond with him/her, helping you stay connected with your little one as you balance your personal and professional life.
Develop a Hobby Together
Nurturing a hobby together, namely gardening, painting, cooking, baking, or reading will help you both share the same passion, strengthening the lifelong mother-child connection. Regardless of the time involved and the frequency of the leisure activity, sharing a hobby with your little one enables you to spend time with him/her, creating memories that you both can cherish for the rest of your lives.
If you are passionate about something, start by letting your little one hang around when you pursue your interest. For instance, if you love gardening let him/her watch you pull out weeds and add manure to the soil in the garden. If your kid wants to join you, ask him/her to water the plants or sow a few seeds. As you see you kid enjoying this activity, create more experiences by taking him/her to nurseries and plant exhibitions or buying him/her picture books that talk about gardening or plants.
Similarly, you can get involved in activities that interest your little one. This will not only keep them excited but also strengthen your bond with him/her. For instance, if your kid loves playing with dolls, plan a weekend fun project together in which you can make a dollhouse using empty waste cartons or sew doll clothes with waste cloth or old scarves.
It is extremely easy for mothers to take the fact for granted that their kids will always depend on them for love, appreciation, and inspiration. However, failure to remind your little one of your presence and support at regular intervals can negatively affect his/her mental growth and behavior.
Your child is a born explorer who is curious about everything around him/her. Try to keep his/her enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge alive by planning a few surprises during the week. For instance, plan a trip to a local aquarium or a zoo, enabling him/her to see animals and ask you questions. If it’s too late for an outing, plan a surprise play date at your home by inviting his/her playgroup friends. You can also ask your little one to assist you with grocery shopping as you take him/her to a departmental store. Reward him/her with a popsicle or a candy for helping you in the endeavor.
What’s more, you can buy a cute soft toy or a toy car through online shopping, include a little affectionate note, and get it delivered to your home in the name of your toddler. When the consignment arrives, ask your little one to receive it and read your message aloud to him/her.
You do not need to splurge on buying expensive gifts. Simple gestures, like the ones mentioned above, will surprise your little one, making him/her feel happy and connected to you.
Read a Bedtime Story
Bedtimes are by far the best time you can connect with your toddler. Bedtime storytelling is an old family tradition that helps prepare children for a good night’s sleep and foster parent-child bonds.
Pick an interesting story or a rhyme book and read it aloud to him/her. Encourage your child to ask questions and engage in an active conversation with him/her.
Using voice modulation to adapt to the special characters in the storybook can make your story-telling session fun and memorable. For instance, if you are reading a book ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ using different voices for the various characters involved will help you capture your kid’s attention, enabling you to entertain him/her while developing his/her communication, listening abilities, memory, and language recognition skills.
Every woman has the natural potential to become a loving and caring mother. However, despite managing their careers and personal lives effectively, working moms often find themselves living out of the ultimate guilt – the inability to bond with their toddlers amidst their busy schedule!
If you relate to such a feeling, use the above-mentioned tips to foster a strong bond with your tiny tot as you continue pursuing your personal and career goals.
Korie a full-time writer who writes about living and lifestyle, she likes getting perspective on various topics of interest, which range from bullet journaling to creating the perfect terrarium! Find her on @Twitter.