How to Schedule Bonding Time
As a busy, SAHM/W(ish)FHM sometimes I find it difficult to make sure I get quality one-on-one bonding time with my daughter. Sure we’re together all day, everyday but some of that time is spent cleaning, getting ready, working, cooking, driving, grocery shopping… you get the gist. There’s a lot of “stuff” to do in a day, even for a SAHM. And all that stuff can sometimes get in the way of just mommy/ Maddie time. So how do I make sure we get the bonding time each day? I schedule. I know, it seems rigid, but as a SAHM a schedule is integral to keep the day moving forward and feeling productive.
I usually fill our morning with as much as possible. I like to get things done, with Maddie’s help, so she can not only learn to care for her environment, but also because it means more work time for me in the afternoons when she naps.
I usually start getting ready to leave the house closer to an hour and 15 minutes before we leave. As Maddie gets older we spend more time having to brush her teeth, brush her hair, sit on the potty, and throw 87459 fit,s so I have to make sure we have plenty of time for all that. And, to be honest, it usually takes me a little less than an hour to feel put together enough to leave the house. As I’ve gotten older I spend more time on makeup, but its important to me that I feel good about myself when I leave the house.
The gym is what takes up so much of the day. It’s about a 20 minute drive to and from, and then I usually spend up to 2 hours at the gym. This may seem selfish, but its good for both myself and my daughter. She gets to spend time at the Clubhouse, which she LOVES and has learned so much from; and I get a little “me time” that also instills an idea of a healthy lifestyle for my daughter.
Then it’s an onslaught of errands, lunch, and nap. Where does this leave me with one-on-one bonding and learning time for Maddie?
First, I’ve learned to accept that each day will be a little different and I have to be flexible with that. Second, I’ve learned bonding can happen in many ways, even if I don’t feel like I’ve spent the adequate one on one time with my daughter that I should; as long as I am loving, patient, listen to her needs, encouraging (basically a good mom) she gets what she needs from me. Just because I can’t play right now, doesn’t mean she thinks I’ll never love her. And in return she’s learning to entertain herself and practice her patience when I say, “five more minutes.”
I know we’re not all SAHM’s, so this isn’t meant to make you feel like a horrible mom if you work. Everyone has different responsibilities and I get that. So, if you can’t relate to my time management struggles you should check out another how my horrible mom friend Tierney schedules her days.
// Monday is probably the closest to the “General Schedule” that we get.
// One of my new favorite bonding times is getting ready in the morning. Maddie will sit on the counter and play with my brushes and accessories while I put on makeup. It’s so cute and so much fun!
// We do curbside pickup to save time and decrease stress. I try to avoid stressful situations as much as possible.
// Yes, I workout twice on some days. I find I get bored of my gym workout so I throw in a little boost in the mornings when I have time. Currently I’m doing BBG.
//Tuesdays are THE.WORST days for me, but THE.BEST days for Maddie. We have swim, and while getting out the door never fails so be insanely hectic and stressful on the Mama end- the result is ALL THE FUN on the Maddie end. Swim lessons are the quintessential bonding time for us. They’re not only fun, but help us to learn to trust one another in the water, and trust that extends into our daily lives.
// I’ve started skipping the gyms on these days. Swim immediately to gym seems a little stressful on Madeline, so why put ourselves through it? Especially when Tuesdays are cardio days, and I can just take Maddie (and Blitzen- bonus: it’s a favorite day for him too) on a walk and, inevitably, to the park! Guess what, I typically burn more calories on a walk anyway!
// This is also a day I schedule some of our biggest learning activities so our focus is always Math, Language, Science.
// Wednesday might be my most flexible day of the week. We don’t always go to story time. When we don’t our day is basically a repeat of Monday. But story time is great for Maddie to see me having fun in a different environment. We sing songs, listen to stories, and play with other kids. All so important for her development.
// Since Thursdays are cardio days and I have no other commitments I save the mornings for whatever we didn’t finish on Tuesday. We also use the time after the gym for errands and shopping.
// Fridays are our playdate days. Maddie has two friends we do this regularly with. It’s good to socialize her and GREAT to social me.
As summer rolls around and the days get hotter, I’ll switch things up even more changing afternoon walks to early morning walks, and adding a couple trips to the pool. Like I said before, it has to be all about flexibility.
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