Yesterday I had the same conversation with two different, remarkable and brilliant women. The topic was how to juggle workload and kids and life in general. Both of these ladies are committed to their work, have important positions within their respective organizations and have it all together. So, the fact they were both feeling the same way I do most of the time was comforting and made me think there must be lots of women out there who struggle daily with the push and pull of how to cope and leave work at the office. The sound bytes went something like,
“Why did women want this anyway?”
“Wouldn’t it have been easier in the old days.”
“I don’t think I’d feel needed enough if I didn’t have a job outside the home.”
“My kids complain I’m always working.”
“Why can’t I stop thinking about work?”
“Men have it so easy.” (Ok, I made that one up.)
While I was scooping kitty litter this morning, something came to me from my parenting classes last year. The concept is simple. Spend 5-10 minutes a day with your child, just observing them. Not directing or correcting them in any way, just being with them, describing what they are doing.
We call it Time In. When I first started we set the timer and I shared 5 minutes with each of them. Now, I try to grab these moments as they happen. If my son is drawing a picture, I’ll say, “I like that colour…oooh you’re making that circle so big…I love when the sun is purple.” You get the drift, just give them your undivided attention.
They LOVE it and it makes a big difference in their mood, ability to focus, self-esteem and your relationship with them and yourself.
Five minutes isn’t a long time, but children have short attention spans, so the fact that you have spent “time” with them, means so much. It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality and these days we need that more than ever.
Have any coping tips to share?