In the rush of day-to-day chores, it can be hard to find the fun in the mundane moments of being a mum. But make a few minor tweaks to your outlook and routine, and you’ll reap the rewards: It’s not just your little one’s giggles that you’ll enjoy, but also a revitalised view of your role as a mother.
All you have to do is take the time in your daily routine to build happy memories with your tot. It’s simply a matter of stopping for a few minutes — or even a few seconds — and enjoying togetherness!
1) Sing a morning song
As you open the curtains each morning, sing a cheery song to start the day on a good note. You may not feel like doing it after a sleepless night, but this will lift your spirits, as well as your baby’s. The song doesn’t need to be long. “Good morning, my sweetpea” repeated a couple of times is just fine...
Sing “Good morning, my sweetpea” a couple of times… Your child will love it!
2) Make the most of mail/sorting your recycling
Make a mini-date out of collecting the post: Fetch the letters with your little one, open the junk mail and look through it — you’ll be chatting about door and window frames one day, and stray cats the next. Or when you’re tossing plastics into one bin and cans in another, chatting to your child can make it less routine…
3) Slow down your mornings
There are a lot of chores to get done between getting up and breakfast and it’s all too easy to focus on them rather than on baby. Give yourself a small goal: Remind yourself to make time for them when they’re still a little sleepy and very receptive to you.
“I aim to kiss my children’s foreheads at least three times before breakfast,” says parenting expert Leah Spina.
Want more bonding moments? Try the following ideas…
4) Have a car-seat kiss
Strapping your little one into their car seat can be a real chore that often happens when you’re stressed. Make showing your affection a part of this routine and you’ll cheer up your baby and give yourself a chance to be calm. It’ll also help you pause and appreciate your little darling in the middle of dull errands.
5) Say cheers!
When you and your child are having a drink at the same time, make a toast to togetherness. Raise your coffee mug to your child’s sippy cup, smile and say, “Cheers!” They’ll learn to pipe up with “Cheers!” in return.
6) Add moments to meals
Mealtimes with babies and toddlers are stressful — there’s no getting away from the mess of getting junior to eat to ensure that they are strong inside to experience more together and the fuss of trying to establish basic table manners. But mealtimes give you a too-good-to-be-missed opportunity, three times a day, to enjoy some together time.
Make a point of talking to them about a happy thing that’s happened or is happening that day. Ask your little one questions to prompt them to respond and you’ll soon find they learn to return the compliment and you’re having a conversation!
And don’t be in a rush to clear up straight afterwards. Go relax in the living room and curl up your kewpie and a book after your meal. The washing-up can wait another 10 minutes...
“Raise your coffee mug to your child’s sippy cup, smile and say, “Cheers!” They’ll learn to pipe up with “Cheers!” in return.
7) Reading aloud (newspapers, Facebook posts…)
Reading to bubba helps with bonding as it is a one-on-one activity, which will give you more time with them. Actually, if you started doing it while pregnant, the constant sound of your voice will have become a source of comfort for your little one! Another advantage of this is, it will also help to develop bubba’s brain.
8) Make eye contact
“Learn how to engage with your little one in their quiet zone by maintaining eye-contact during interactions. What parents don't realise is that something so simple can have lifelong effects,” says Ginny Phang, a doula at Four Trimesters
Having constant eye-to-eye contact with bubba provides a chance to have meaningful communication with them. You can maintain eye contact with bubba while doing almost anything, but it can be done best during feeding.