At one time, when three of my children were young, I attended college full time, worked at the college in between classes, and provided daycare before and after school and in between work and classes.
As a conscientious student, I followed the advice of my counselors and diligently spent two hours of homework for every hour of time spent in class.
What happened as a result of spending 36 hours with school work each week, added to the 20 hours I spent at the school working and the 20 hours of daycare I provided – oh, and the time I spent grocery shopping, cleaning, doing laundry and attending the kids' activities, was that I had no time left for anything.
One day my daughter, Lindsey, who was probably around 7 at the time, said, "Mommy, you never spend time with us anymore." She was right. I was so focused on school, homework, work, and daycare, that I spent absolutely no one-on-one time with any of my kids, nor did I spent any time with all of them. Except for our hour and a half drive north every week to see their father and our hour and a half drive north to visit our allergist every month, when we spent time together in the car, we rarely spent time with each other.
How would I find time to spend with them, when I knew that in the back of my head I'd be worrying about a test coming up?
So here's what I did. When I knew I had homework to do, I cleared the table. I created homework for my youngest daughter, Brittney, who wasn't in school yet, and we all did our homework together. When it came time to eat, I threw a blanket on the floor and we all had a picnic together. I carved out time from my busy schedule to play games with them and let them know that when the game was over I had to return to my homework.
We even made up our own games. And we told stories. The time I spent with them was precious and memorable and I was so glad that Lindsey brought to my attention the importance of spending time with my children. While I valued my education, and my conscientiousness required me to spend an inordinate amount of time studying, what I valued even more was family.
Finding time to spend with loved ones isn't a chore. Spending time with family is a joy. And a necessary one at that.
Children are wise. We need to listen to them. Lindsey may have been wanting my attention, but her request was important and I'm glad I listened to her.
More Help For Single Parents
Some GREAT Single Parenting INFO
Find Scholarships for Single Parents *** Meet Other Single Parents *** Government Grants for Single Parents *** The U.S. Department of Education
Favorite Sites For Kids
tlsbooks offers school pages for preschool and grammar school children *** Great preschool GAMES and activities at nickelodeon *** Great GAMES at nick *** Great GAMES at Cartoon Network *** Enchanted Learning *** The Idea Box