Do you have a busy life? A life of cold coffees, looking forward to a glass of wine after bedtime? Do you always seem on the go? Practices, extracurriculars, errands, endless play dates? Then, as a result, you don’t always feel connected, with your kiddos, in a meaningful way?
That described me. After reading Brene Brown, and examining my day to day, she made me realize even though I was busy, with two active kids and an infant, I could find ways to connect. She even provided some tips. Here is how I figured out, ways to do it. Hopefully they inspire you, as she inspired me.
1) Making use of car time. This one was pulled from her book Gifts of Imperfection. So, what did this mean to me? My family spends, so much time in the car. This gives us a chance to talk about their day, thoughts, feelings, maybe play some car games. Some drives we let them sit in silence, on their tablets. Other times, we take them away, and try to connect. They roll eyes at first, but then the laughs begin. Our favourite game is trying to make up what the letters, on license plates, stand for. The one time, my middle cub, came up with “Brown moose likes cheese” for BMLC. He laughed so hard, and then talked about it for days. It may totally sound silly, but the laughs are the memories I love.
2) Short Bursts of Undivided Attention. This one is also inspired from Gifts of Imperfection. What does this mean to me? How do I do it? It is certainly hard, with 3 boys of all ages. But, I have found making an effort has helped, my middle cub, not feel lost between a special needs brother and an infant brother. When I have a chance to sneak away, from my youngest cub (think nap time, or putting Baby Bear in his jumper), I ask H-Bear to join me while I drink my coffee, or to just sit outside. Our talks range from Roblox games, how he wants to work in a zoo, and his birthday (which isn’t for months!). I have started to see such a change in his eyes, and how much he shares with me. Who knew 5-10 minutes, could totally help me connect! Not me, but I’m so thankful to Brene Brown for writing of it!
3) Try to Include Them in Your Day to Day. Since Covid started, we’ve been pretty much house bound. Our day to day was homeschooling, changing diapers, and nursing. I really had to work to find ways to include them. Due to my epilepsy, I am not supposed to bathe my littlest cub alone. It’s for safety reasons. So, as long as my husband is home, one of the other two will help. If a seizure was to happen, they are old enough to make sure Ian is safe, and yell for my husband. They both then become involved, we get to talk, they feel needed, and a part of my day. The same can be done while cooking (“can you grab me the pepper”). Small little things, is what I have discovered can make them feel that way.
I had to throw all the shame I felt, towards only getting “ I dunno” or “whatever” answers. And open up to suggestions I was reading. Thank you Brene Brown, for inspiring me! Now I’m starting to let go of what feels like failing, and being too busy, and starting form connections.
Maybe once the cubs feel connected, instead of forcing answers, I might avoid getting the “I dunno” answers!