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Ten Ways Working Moms Can Spend Quality Time with Their Preschooler

Updated on February 9, 2013
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Does it seem like moms are busier than ever these days or are we just complaining about it more? With the popularity of social media, and other outlets, it is perceived that a day in the life of a mom is oftentimes stressed-filled, and our already limited time is becoming more and more crunched. Sadly, it’s even more difficult to find quality time to spend with our kids, especially for moms who work outside of the home.

According to research, spending quality time with your child is a great way to help bolster their self-esteem, which, in turn, helps them develop confidence. An article in Delicious Living Magazine points out that a good relationship with your children, based on quality time rather than quantity time, helps them reach their potential and grow into well-adjusted and confident adults.

So, how do we make room for “quality time” when it often feels like every minute of our day is already taken? Fortunately, there are many moments throughout the day that busy moms can easily turn into quality time. All it takes is a little imagination and insight. Below are ten inventive ideas on how to plan those quality moments and create lasting memories.

1. Greet Them Warmly When They Wake Up

Even if your little munchkins wake you up too early, or rise to the moody morning blues, express genuine happiness to see them by setting the right atmosphere. Put your little ones in a pleasant frame of mind by having them do some simple stretches in bed, like raising their arms over their heads, or rolling their shoulders back. Spend quality, eye-to-eye time hanging out and talking to them before it’s time to get ready for the day. Ask them how they slept, or if they’re looking forward to school, etc. Set the tone for the day by starting them off on the right foot.

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2. Give Lots of Physical Affection

Give your kids lots of hugs and kisses in the morning, and before leaving for daycare or school. Studies suggest that a mother’s affection toward her child helps them become more open and affectionate and it increases the likelihood that they’ll have more friends. And, keep the warmth going all throughout the day, even when they get home. Allow extra moments for giggles and grins and snuggles and hugs, because a minute or two of laughter goes a long way in the quality time department.

3. Take the Scenic Route

If you drive your kids to or from school, don’t go the same way. Take a left turn, instead of a right; keep straight instead of making a U-turn. Find a route that is different and unique, but close to your destination. Make the drive fun. You can even pretend to be the train conductor and ask them where they want to go. Or, you can make the drive educational. Ask them to count how many trees they see, or how many clouds are in the sky. As you’re enjoying each other’s company you can chat about the day, fitting in your chance to ask tons of open-ended questions that will help you and your little ones bond.

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4. Take Them to Get a Treat

Before heading straight home after school make a quick stop at the Supermarket, or frozen yogurt shop and let them pick out an after-dinner treat. This will be a great time to let them know that they need to eat all of their veggies so they can indulge in the delicacy they just selected.

5. Exercise with Them

We all need it, so why not make it family fun? Find one of the kid’s favorite DVD’s, pop it in and do fun dance exercises together. Take turns showing off your best dance moves. Record the fun on your phone or with a video camera and let them watch themselves in action. Spend 15 minutes working up a hearty appetite before dinner.

6. Make Dinnertime a Special Event

Make dinner an event to look forward to. Let them help you set the table, even if it’s just folding the napkins and setting out plastic ware. Or, perhaps choose one night per week where you pretend you’re at a make-believe restaurant and hand out menus and take their order. This is also another great time to let them talk about the highlights of their day.

7. Make Bath Time Fun Time

It only takes a few extra minutes to turn a bath into a blast of fun. Let them play with toys while getting sudsy. Sing with them; share with them about their day; laugh with them. This is also a good opportunity to praise them. Tell them what a great job they did listening, or how happy you were that they shared with their sister. Find ways to affirm your little darlings, while you’re teaching them how fun it is to get clean.

8. Plan a Fun After-Dinner Game or Activity

Before they go down for the night plan a fun board game or activity to do with them, like coloring or drawing. If you can get the entire family onboard then all the better. These special events are times they won’t forget.

9. Make Prayer Time Impactful

Prayer time is a great way to spend meaningful time with your kids. It’s also a way to teach them to think about other people and their needs. When they’re praying for grandma and grandpa, or their teachers then it allows them to have a different perspective. Adolescents are naturally self-focused so these moments allow them to be selfless, and will help them grow into a more caring adult.

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10. Read to Them before Bed

Research has shown that reading to your child increases their ability to learn, plus they have a higher success rate in school. According to TLC, reading promotes language acquisition, literacy development and achievement in reading comprehension. With all of those wonderful benefits, reading a book to your child is definitely worth its weight in words.

Quality time spent with your children does not have to be a time-constraining production; in fact, there are infinite possibilities on how to fit in fun on a limited schedule. With a little ingenuity you can sprinkle in quality time throughout your child’s day. So, begin now and create special moments, for you and your little ones, that will build a lifetime of memories.

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    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Erin, thanks for your thoughtful comments! Cleaning is also a great idea. I think I'll begin incorporating that immediately!!

    • Erin Trefz profile image

      Erin Trefz 3 years ago from South Dakota

      Great ideas! I think you can make a lot of things fun for a preschooler. We make cleaning fun too. If you are having fun, I think it is quality time. Thanks for the extra ideas.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi PegCole, I think that time before bedtime is invaluable and will create great memories. Thank you for coming my way. Have a great weekend!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Working full time definitely puts a strain on families and limits the amount of free time available to spend with our children. These ideas are truly creative and useful for working parents. The times I consider the most memorable are the times I read a story to my child at bedtime.

    • Bedbugabscond profile image

      Melody Trent 4 years ago from United States

      These are great ideas. I have been feeling guilty about not having enough quality time with my kids. Perhaps I need to look at it from a new angle and get them involved in more normal day to day activities, instead of rushing through them all.

    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi moonlake, thank you for commenting. I must admit, it is difficult working full-time and finding quality time with the kids, but that's why I think it's so important to make concentrated time for it.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      We always read to our kids and had nighttime prayers. I think it is so hard for mom now days because of working I don't know how they get it all done and spend time with their children but you have some good ideas. Voted up.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      DDE, I agree with you, when parents learn something new with their little one it makes such a big difference in their lives and it also builds great memories. Thank you again!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Preschoolers can learn so many great ideas when with their parents or other children of the same age. Activities learned together with parents makes big difference.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi vandynegl, thanks for your kind words. That's great that you are able to be home with your kids. You've got lots of ways to spend quality time with them. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      I like your ideas and admire you for the fact that you are also working with young ones! I've been on both sides of the fence....working and not working with my little ones. With all of the "soul searching" I've done, I am currently back home with them....at least until they are in primary school full time! Like you though, my outlet is my writing. Thank you for sharing!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi torrilynn, thank you for your kind comments. I agree with you wholeheartedly. It is essential as busy mothers to get in as much quality time as possible with our kids. The time just goes by too fast.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      Hi Careermommy,

      really great hub on how moms can spend more time with their children

      I feel that it is important as a mom to spend as much time as you possibly can

      thanks for the great information and Voted up

    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thanks for those ideas kellyteam. My son is going to enter kindergarten this upcoming school year, so i plan to be more active in his class. That's a great suggestion about stopping in to read to his class and/or have lunch with them. I will remember to do that. Great advice!

    • kellyteam profile image

      Willette 4 years ago from Michigan

      Awesome. And even if they are in head start or pre-school take time to stop by and have lunch or read a story to their class. Great ideas. Don't stop as they grow older. Quality time also promotes success in school. good job. Plan to share this one for sure. thumbs up and awesome.

    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thank you sgbrown. Yes, I love spending quality time with my kids, no matter how busy life gets. It's so important and something they will cherish the older they get. Thank you for your kind words.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I am so glad to see that you believe in quality time with your children. You have quite an impressive bio and many times, the busier we are, the less time we spend with our children. You understand the importance of taking time out of your busy schedule to spend with you child and show other parents how to do the same. Bravo! Voting this up, awesome and sharing. Have a wonderful day! :)

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Tonette, thank you for your great feedback. I would love for you to link up your hub to mine. I just read "The Secret of Happy Children" and it's fantastic. I would love to do the same, if you are okay with me doing so!

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 4 years ago from The City of Generals

      Very interesting ideas from a very interesting Mom. Thank you. Would love to link my "The Secret of Happy Children" to this hub, if you don't mind. My readers would love to know another wonderful Mom from hubpage. Cheers to you and your son! :=) Tonette

    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Faith, thank you so much for reading. I love reading to my kids so I hope this is a memory they'll remember when they get older as well.

    • Faith A Mullen profile image

      Faith A Mullen 4 years ago

      Awesome hub! I LOVE the pic of you and your son. So precious. My mom used to read to me and my siblings a lot and it is one of my fondest childhood memories. Voted up!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thank you for your positive comment LongTimeMother and for taking a read.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Another interesting hub, thank you.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Peachpurple, thank you for your feedback and the vote up! Yes, homework time is another great way to get in that quality time.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i love your ideas. My child love to spend some time together during bath time, mealtime and homework time. Voted useful

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thank you JamiJay. We've got to fit in those quality moments where we can!

    • JamiJay profile image

      Jami Johnson 4 years ago from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont.

      Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!