WHEN I GET OFF WORK I'M USUALLY TIRED AND IT IS LATE AND I'M EITHER TRYING TO GET THE HOUSE CLEANED UP AND DON'T REALL SPEND TIME WITH MY DAUGHTER. I WANT TO ATLEAST HAVE ONE ACTIVITY TO DO WITH MY DAUGTHER LIKE A REGULAR ROUTINE THEN NOT DO ANYTHING WITH HER AT ALL INSTEAD OF JUST FEEDING HER AND MAKING HER GO TO BED? I WANT A WEEKDAY ROUTINE WITH HER CAUSE ON THE WEEKENDS SHE'S WITH HER FATHER. PLEASE GIVE ME A PLAN OR SOME IDEAS.
Some ideas I have (that I do with my three year old):
Get her involved in something where you can watch her and cheer her on, like gymnastics, karate, horseback riding lessons, a soccer team, swim lessons, or even piano lessons. Not only can you cheer her on, you get to spend one-on-one time with her in the car to and from the place and talk with her.
Go to a bookstore and pick out a children's chapter book. When you get home at night, read her a chapter each night.
Have her help you make dinner. Let her be responsible for microwaving simple stuff, or something like that. If she's older, you can supervise her for things like getting things into and out of the oven. Or bake cookies, or some special treat, once a week (you can even get the easy bake cookie dough in a tube that take only 30 minutes tops to bake 3 batches).
Go to a hobby store and pick out a bunch of materials to make a project together. Work on it each night for 30 minutes or so. When it's finished, just start another one.
Do a jigsaw puzzle together; work on it for maybe 30 minutes each night.
All of those are great ideas...and keep in mind that the world won't end if you wait until the weekend to do the cleaning when she's gone. Or if she's old enough, you can make it fun and you can pick up clothes & toys together while playing music or something.
I have made it a principle to leave any household chores or work until the wee morning hours and instead spend most of the time between daycare pick-up and bedtime playing with my son. Since we used to spend a lot of time driving home, for a while we made it a habit to explore one new playground each night. Or drive around the neighborhood to see all the Christmas or Halloween decorations before going home or we go straight home but have a picnic in the backyard - just anything that breaks up the routine but is relaxed and quiet enough to let us play and laugh and talk together. Now at age 5 he is mostly surrounded by his little buddies, so while they are playing, I get a lot more chores done on the side. It is a good thought, MIMI, to put quality time before the bare necessities. It is the only way to strengthen the bond with your child. Laundry can wait and cooking can be simplified. Playtime is the most important factor.
Try and think of it this way.... no one ever said they wished they'd kept a cleaner house when they were on their death bed. They did say, however, that they wish they had spent more time with their children when they were young.
You'll find a balance somewhere!
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