Having six children people often ask (amongst other things) “how do you have time for them all?” I am, obviously, only one person and even with Mr H we still have a ratio of 1:3. There are however an amazing number of opportunities for some quality 1:1 time with each of the children on a daily/weekly basis.
- An evening trip to the supermarket is one of my favourites and this usually sparks an argument about who gets to come (they keep track of whose turn it is now!) It usually involves a cheeky McDonalds or Costa or a treat from the supermarket.
- After dark dog walks – children will talk much more about things when they are walking than if they were in the car. It’s a great way to find out about their day and walk the dog at the same time.
- Most evenings we get the munchies and quite often it ends in a bit of cooking. It’s calm as there’s no pressure on how quickly things need to be ready, perfect! Don’t forget it’s a great life skill too along with increasing confidence and independence – a parenting win, I think!
- A trip to see Nanny and Grandad (or a friend) means that not only do they have you all to themselves but also all the fuss from grandparents.
- Football training/swimming lessons – obviously we don’t all venture out to these (unless we have to). Me and Mr H try to share this (Mr H does more though) and obviously it will involve getting some food on the way home!
- Bedtime story – Every night we read to the children and we take it in turns to put the younger ones to bed so they get Mum and Dad.
- Late night films at home or at the cinema. It’s not very easy for us to get a babysitter so quite often Mr H will take one of the older children to the cinema if there’s a film they want to watch.
- Folding the washing, watching EastEnders, gardening, cleaning out the pigs the list is endless.
There are hundreds of every day moments where you can grab time with the children which we often overlook. Day-to-day life can be hectic and sometimes you find yourself going through the motions and letting these moments pass. All our children have completely different personalities and need different things from us as parents, especially as they get older. It’s vital to us that we spend time with each of them on their own as well as all of them together.