It's hard to be the stay-at-home one. The one that changes diapers all day, that deals with spills and boo-boos and temper tantrums. Been there, done that. But it's also hard to be the one that sneaks out early and gets in late, that looks at a photo all day instead of a real face. This one's for working Mom and Dad, and ways us stay-at-home ones can give them a bit of extra time with the kids:
1. Morning cuddles. Even if you have a hectic morning routine, make the space, slow down enough to let your kids get cuddles, kisses and I love yous in the morning. It only takes a minute and it means so much.
2. In the afternoon - don't dump as soon as they get home. You know the scene. All day the kids have been crazy and you are about to explode. You really, really want someone else to cook dinner/vacuum those Cheerios/change the sheets. But wait. Take a deep breath. Let your significant other go and play with the kids when they get home, especially if they aren't going to be awake much longer. They have probably been dying to see Mom/Dad get through the door too, and you can wait until everyone's in bed to have a parental pow-wow over a glass of wine.
3. Give away bath time! Bath time is a great way to get the working spouse involved with the kids' daily routine while you have a little break. And control-a-holics: be careful to let your spouse do it the way they like, it's their special time with the littlies.
4. Make space on the weekend. Remember back in the good ol' days when Sundays meant lying around on the couch, a drive someplace or even a picnic? Don't fill up the weekends with to-do lists, shopping or scheduled sports. Leave space for family time. Really, isn't it the bestest time of all?
Are you a working Mom or Dad? What's your favorite way to spend time at home with your kids?
(Image: Alison Gerber)