Updated: Apr 9, 2019
Many of us, that find ourselves working, and looking after a young family, have probably been away from them for more than 50% of their little lives. I would have never thought that I needed to bond with my children again….
Bonding may mean different things to everyone, so I had to look it up! The word bond, means to establish a relationship based on shared feelings, interests or experiences, or having a sense of attachment, closeness and love.
Some of these exist naturally up to a point but to keep the closeness they all need to be maintained …it doesn’t just happen.
My kids were 4 and 6 years old at the time I did the toss-up between being home and working. Sometimes, we have no idea of the impact that “the daily grind” has on our home-life and how far removed we are from genuinely bonding with our kids, if, we succumb to an unhealthy daily routine. All those years ago, we would leave home early to beat traffic and return no earlier than when it was dark on most days. To make matters worse there was always something to catchup on or deal with and there, in between it all was the kids. There was also no room for spontaneity.
I believe in making the little time we have with our kids’ quality time whether we are working or not but there comes a time when we need to fully re-evaluate priorities and be honest about whether kids are taking a total backseat.
The investment we make in them today will determine the kind of society we have tomorrow …
We took a long hard look at our lifestyle and realised that this is not working for us…. I mean for goodness sake they were practically being raised by someone else. After a lot of deliberation, prayer and consideration I decided to take a sabbatical from the corporate world. Look out for my blog post of the journey to that decision..... not an easy one by far!
Now, it was my choice to stay home with my kids, and it was through that process, that we got to bond again. That said, I totally get that not everyone can leave work and I’m not suggesting that you do….so if you are a working mum, you don’t have to leave work to bond, there are other ways for you to develop and maintain that closeness with your squad.
You just need to identify where you are at, and what you need to do to make that little shift, that will make all the difference. Whether it’s a half day from work, surprise pickup from school, having a sleepover (in my house that’s sleeping with that kid for the night in their room), or maybe date nights, cut down screen time…I don’t know, choose whatever works for you. It’s a lot harder juggling kids and work but it’s certainly not impossible. My choice was based on what my husband and I found our family needed at the time.
So, I know what you’re thinking…how delightful, there I am everyday, relaxing in my tranquil home with the kids, playdates, lots of hugging and kissing and pleasant exchange of words etc etc, well, let me tell you the truth...
My kids had no experience of mum being around 24/7. And they had no idea what was coming.The first few weeks even months was exciting, but, I was trying to play catchup with the kids, and overcompensating for the time I was not there, and so, it was also so incredibly draining. So much more time yet so little. Everyday went by, like the speed of lightening, between the time I dropped the kids off at school, to when I fetched them, to the time I laid my head on my pillow to at night. My days were so full.,
It took a great deal acquainting myself with everything they do daily, stuff I didn’t get to see when I was at work. Yes, all the naughty stuff, and then also the good stuff! I had to take it all in, and after a few weeks of trying to get them to listen, attempting to turn bad habits that developed, into good ones, chasing them around the house, even shouting at times, and trying to strive for those tranquil days I mentioned above. I realised this is not working.
I decided to draw a line in the sand as one would say, and create a new routine for them and for sure it involved some ground rules. This act was probably the catalyst for starting to set things straight in my newest vocation!.
It took them a while to get used to me and my rules, but then they knew what I expected, and that it was surrounded by all my love, attention, and really being present. I was a less stressed, less preoccupied mum taking control of running the home. The kids needed, and sub consciously wanted the boundaries. Things started to look like how Logan and I would have them flow in our home before long, (actually it took a good few months). There's no overnight fix!. We started to see, not what the nanny or helper or grandparents wanted, not what the kids wanted but as parents of our home, what my husband and I wanted for our home come to life.
This brought us all closer. That was what bonding looked like for me…. setting the rules and the hard stuff early on, which was hard but there were, way more fun times and adventures that came with it, some which included but not limited to lots of hugs and kisses, being present, fun outings, being more involved at the school etc etc.
We still go through cycles of ups and downs, but the ground rules remain. We have become closer through the ups and downs. The kids adore me being home and I love it! Especially since they are in fact still young, 8 and almost 7 now and baby Myles is 8 months.
AND you know what, they still want me around. God knows that will change too over time, but I’ll have to come up with new relevant ways to bond again at each stage. For now, they are my little angels and I want to be with them as much as I can, to influence and love on them. It’s been sacrificial, but I thank God and my husband every day for this opportunity, to be with them. I cherish this time, because one day I may have to work again or make changes to suit the season of life our family finds itself, but for now……I’m savouring every moment.