Time alone

Time alone – just one kid and one parent – is so valuable to children and families, but it can be so hard to come by. I know that on the rare occasion we manage to achieve this holy grail of parenting, the benefits are felt for several days – that child is happier and more relaxed, which then rubs off on the family as a whole. We have never programmed in time alone with the kids, but it is something I think we need to do.

With three kids with very busy schedules and two parents, one of whom works long hours, time alone is hard to come by. My younger son has time alone with Daddy on a Saturday morning. Sort of. Daddy is the football coach and my son is sharing him with around 10 other boys. I get time alone with my daughter in the short time it takes to drive to and from her many dance classes, but although it’s nice to chat for a few minutes without interruption from the boys, it’s not exactly quality time.

Recently my daughter was lucky enough to have a whole weekend with Mummy and Daddy  while her brothers were on Scout camp. It wasn’t just any old weekend, either. We made sure it was a special weekend. When Mummy was at Britmums Live  and the boys were on yet another Scout camp she had a nice trip to TGI Friday’s with Daddy. She’s also been to eat at her favourite fish and chip shop with Grandma and Grandpa recently.

My eldest was taken to Yo! Sushi by Grandma and Grandpa and he got his special birthday meal out with Mummy and Daddy Mum and Dad recently. So he got his little bit of time alone.

There was just one person who didn’t get his time alone. The person who doesn’t shout so loudly, the person who doesn’t fight for everything, the person who is happy to go along with the majority. My younger son. In the past, he may not have noticed that his brother and sister were getting treats when he wasn’t. But he has noticed. Because his brother and sister have had treats from both Mummy and Daddy AND Grandma and Grandpa. It was important that he got his treat – and soon!

By some miracle, my eldest going out to celebrate his birthday with his friends coincided with my daughter being at a birthday party. For once in his life, my son was going to be at home with just his parents and no siblings. It would have been so easy to just have toast for lunch, but it was important that we did something for my son. So we let him choose where he wanted to go for lunch and what he wanted to eat. He chose a busy new cafe that none of us had visited before (but we will be visiting again), an all-day breakfast and the forbidden fruit of a bottle of Coke. The slow service would usually have been a pain, but on this occasion was a blessing. We got a whole hour and a half just with my younger son.

Two parents, one child and an all-day breakfast. Priceless.

 

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

Share This Post On

28 Comments

  1. I’ve been really feeling the need for this recently. I love time individually with my kids, though it’s incredibly hard to get! But you’re right, they do thrive from it.

    Post a Reply
  2. I think time alone with one of your kids is very special indeed. As the mother of twins this was so hard to come by, but I always cherished the moment when it did happen.

    Post a Reply
  3. I think it’s definitely important although I’ve no idea how people do it with so much other stuff going on, mainly just rushing around trying to get to and from things. It sounds like a really nice trip though and you can’t beat an all day brekkie!

    Post a Reply
    • It really was lovely just to take a few minutes with him 🙂

      Post a Reply
  4. It’s great you’ve managed to spend time alone with all your kids recently! It must feel amazing for you and for them!! It’s nice that your special time is somewhere out to eat too so that there’s plenary of time to really talk and connect….just lovely! X#PoCoLo

    Post a Reply
  5. Well done on getting that time- it certainly is a jugglling act when each family member is so busy! My tween daughter and I have just arranged a movie night – she wants to see ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ so we are going to have a few hours away = just us. It’ll be lovely! #PoCoLo

    Post a Reply
    • How lovely! We love the cinema, but I always take all three of mine together. I’m waiting for that to get more problematic as my eldest starts wanting to watch more grown up films, not the animations we’ve always enjoyed.

      Post a Reply
  6. as awful as it sounds i would love to have some one on one with Beth she seems rather distant at present and i would love to use it to reconnect x

    Post a Reply
    • I really hope you get the chance to do that, it can be hard connecting with teens.

      Post a Reply
  7. It can be so hard to achieve that one-on-one time but it is so vital. My daughter desperately needs some time with me, she’s struggling at the moment. Good post. #PoCoLo

    Post a Reply
  8. How fab you got that opportunity. I love reading your posts and each week it amazes me how you manage to treat each child so individually, and are so tuned into their needs. Love reading your blog so much xx #pocolo

    Post a Reply
    • That’s such a lovely thing to say! Thank you, I really appreciate it. x

      Post a Reply
  9. Lucas says – AWESOME choice of a place to eat to spend some time with your Mother and Dad. I love it when I get to spend time with my family without anyone else around. Even though I’m an only child, with the hours that the Mother and Dad work, it’s not always easy so they like to arrage little treats like this for me too. High-5’s dude 🙂 #pocolo

    Post a Reply
  10. I so know where you are coming from with this. I have five children and even though the older ones are adults they still seem to need their time alone with me (and Dad when they see him, about once a year!) I have lunches out and shopping trips with my eldest daughter, and have time alone with my eldest son as I am his carer and generally have to be with him whenever he goes out. My 8 year daughter gets me the most to herself as she is always at the hospital. Then the Little man only does half days at nursery so I often go and pick him up and take him out occasionally. It’s my little Boo who misses out, she’s the only one full time at school and we rarely get time alone, so I have to make a special effort. Of course, all of this means that I rarely get any time alone with myself!!

    Post a Reply
    • That must be so hard to balance so many kids. I guess I hadn’t realised that adults would still need that time too, but I guess I still enjoy speeding time with my mum, so I should have guessed.

      Post a Reply
  11. As you know, I too think that prioritising one on one time is vital. I’ve got a day out in London with my eldest on Sunday and we’re going up The Shard – something she will enjoy and so will I. I will let her choose where we go for lunch and as you say, it really creates for a much happier home all round. Well done x

    Post a Reply
    • That sounds lovely! Hope you both have a brilliant day. I suggested a trip up The Shard to my husband for our wedding anniversary, but surprisingly he wasn’t that bothered.

      Post a Reply
  12. So true. Just a simple breakfast can be priceless. I am glad that he got his time alone with you guys. I can already imagine how happy he is to have you for himself =) #PoCoLo

    Post a Reply
  13. Aww I know what you mean. I need to have more alone time but now my 20 year old is back from uni the kids are all him 🙂 I have had some alone time with my youngest son though, he as taken to hospital at school the other day as he cut his knee badly. Been off school so he his all , mum can you get,mum can you do …

    Thanks for sharing over at the #weekendbloghop

    Post a Reply
    • Your poor son, hope he is feeling better soon. It must be lovely for your kids to get time with their biggest brother 🙂

      Post a Reply
  14. It’s hard to find one to one time, even with two children we struggle. It sounds like a lovely way to spend some special time.

    Post a Reply
  15. I love getting a bit of time on my own with the elder two – of course Syd gets plenty of solo time when the others are at school/college, but I try to make sure I do something one to one with the elder two each month. Betsy and I have a spa day booked for her 18th in a few weeks, and Max and I have a day out in Bristol planned for the school hols as our next adventures!

    Post a Reply
    • I think it’s lovely that you make that time every month for your kids. I’d love to do that, but we are completely held back by the kids’ activities. We just don’t have any free time! 🙁

      Post a Reply
  16. Yes this is so true and it is so important to try and have one to one time with them. I used to watch all of the Super Nanny type programs a few years ago where they often talked about the importance of making one to on time with each child and in an ideal world it would be great but as you say, when you have so much to do all of the time, it is really difficult to manage it.

    Post a Reply
  17. It must have been so special for your son to get both his parents to himself for the whole day. We only have 1 at the moment, so a lot easier. Also, thank you for stopping by my blog.

    Post a Reply
  18. Ah that’s lovely Sara. It must be so difficult with three children – it’s hard enough with two! I recently wrote a post about going out for a bit of shopping and cake with my four year old and that wasn’t even planned so it was a bit of a revelation to me. I felt like he had developed and changed into a proper little person without me even really noticing up to that point. X

    Post a Reply
  19. I absolutely agree that it is so important to find time to spend one on one with the children without the constant interruptions from the others. Sounds like you’ve had some really special times doing just that recently and this is a great reminder to do something similar. #PoCoLo

    Post a Reply
  20. Thanks very much, it’s definitely worth making the effort if you can 🙂

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: