One-on-one time with your kids? What’s that??
First let me say that I’ve learned that finding one-on-one time with my spouse during these intense parenting years is even more important than finding individual time with my kids. Both are needed, of course. But we are better parents when we’ve set our marriage on a firm foundation, together, on purpose.
So here we are, my husband and me, juggling lots of kids and lots of life and lots of God’s goodness. God has been teaching us how to truly “love our neighbor,” which has provided countless, beautiful opportunities to serve people while striving to keep in step with the Spirit and seek the will of God. Our kids join us in these endeavors and hmm, did I mention that we homeschool? We also work for a living. Details, details.
Instead of saying, “We are SO BUSY!” we like to say, “We live a full, blessed life!” God is perfectly good and faithful. I can’t stop being overjoyed about His provision in our lives.
In the midst of it all, we have two adult sons in college and two teens still living at home. There’s a lot of coming and going and going and coming. (I’m talking about both food and schedules, of course, as it all comes and goes at a rapid rate at our house.)
So one-on-one time with our kids?
How is it even possible? Why is it actually necessary?
I’ve been privileged to be with my kids for many hours of the day for their entire lives, thanks to the blessing of homeschooling and working from home. But even with that, it’s very easy to let busyness create a disconnect. Our schedules can be so hectic that sometimes we look back and realize we haven’t sat down as a family to eat a meal at the table together for over two weeks. Or maybe we have, but we’ve had guests and while that’s a beautiful thing, we still must take a few steps back in order to regroup and check in with one another.
One-on-one time with our kids? It’s a special zone. It’s extra comfortable. It’s relaxed. Fun.
It’s the place where no one has to wait their turn, share the attention, vie for position, or talk louder in an effort to be heard. Learning to share space is necessary for building character and preparing for a life of unselfish living. But sometimes, it’s truly good to be able to look one another in the eye and be heard without a, “Hold on, I’ll get to you as soon as I can.”
I’ve found that my relationship with each of my sons is better because of one-on-one time we’ve been able to eek out through the years. When they were little, it meant going out on special dates once every few months.
Sometimes it meant kicking everyone else out of the kitchen so we could bake something special together. After all, there’s no need to spend extra money – just extra time.
Sometimes it meant that only one boy got to go grocery shopping with me that day.
As our lives evolve and our children launch, I’m more convinced than ever that being available for our kids and being open to one-on-one conversation produces rich and safe relationships.
So we’ll grab a cup of coffee together every chance we get, even if it’s in a chipped mug at our own crumb-covered table. This mom needs it and I’m pretty sure my long-legged sons do too.
Here’s to rich, precious, God-filled one-on-one moments with our kids, no matter their age, no matter our season.