Editors note: This is a guest post from Eva Lewis. It is part of the series Choosing to Connect. If you would like to participate click here for details.
The other day I was thinking about how much time I get to spend with my son Elliott compared to my husband, Mr. G, and there’s a BIG difference. Mr. G leaves the house at 7am every morning to return anywhere between 5.30 and 6pm. Elliott is in bed at 7pm, which leaves just over one hour for ‘bonding’ time in the evening. Mornings are usually taken up by breakfast and by Mr. G getting ready. In the evening I try to have either dinner or bath done so when Mr. G comes home so he can spend time either dealing with a cranky & tired child bathing or feeding Elliott. And the weekends, well amongst things that need doing around the house, the grandparents also want visits too, making it even more difficult for Mr. G to squeeze in ‘father and son’ time, but there’s always time.
It can be easy for Mr. G to forget the limited amount of time he has available to spend with Elliott and as much as I’m sure he’d love to come home and chill out (I would after a big day at work), prioritising time with Elliott is essential. Until Elliott was 18 months old, Mummy was flavour of the month, but since then, Daddy has been the shining star and therefore allowing time for him to connect with Elliott has been especially important, it’s quite lovely to watch. In Steve Biddulph’s Book ‘Raising Boys’, he emphasises the importance of fathers making time with their children and that work should not take over otherwise leading to self-esteem issues in daughters and problems in life for sons. This is why time Mr. G spends with Elliott is more important now than ever, starting early is the key.
I sat down with Mr. G the other day and asked him what things he enjoys doing with Elliott in order to connect during the precious moments he has. This is what he told me (while in some instances I stand gritting my teeth when watching the somewhat ‘rough’ play that Elliott seems to enjoy):
- Wrestling, tickling and laughing
- Playing cars
- Making obstacle courses for cars out of cardboard boxes
- Playing Soccer on Saturday Mornings
- Going to the park (without Mummy)
- Building things around the house e.g. furniture from IKEA (although frustrating at times with Elliott running away with parts, Elliott loves the intricacies of connecting things together, putting in screws. Involving Elliott in this shows him the process of how things are made)
- Having turns on Daddy’s lap while he drives the car into the garage
- Helping with the mowing
After talking with Mr. G about this, it makes me realise the huge responsibilities of working Mums and Dads and I really do admire parents who have to balance work and home life with that of their children.
What type of activities does your partner/husband do to connect with your children?
Eva Lewis is the Creator and Blogger at The Multitasking Mummy. Residing in Queensland, Australia, Eva is a wife, a mother and recently turned Stay at Home Mum after life as a career focused woman. Eva shares her trials and tribulations of her parenting adventure, toddler activities, arts and crafts, cooking, home improvement ideas and other various tips with a focus on connecting with other parents on the same life journey.