For working moms or special needs moms or really just any overscheduled mom, slowing down during the week to meaningfully connect with your kids can be hard to even imagine, must less make happen—but it doesn’t have to be.
In order to connect with your kids during the week, you first have to find the time to make the connections. Once you’ve found the time, you also have to know what activities to fill that time. If you haven’t done both, it will be harder to make this a normal part of your week.
Here’s the simple process that will lead you to connecting more with your kids:
Step 1: Lay out each person’s week on a weekly planner
The first thing you need to do to find time to connect with your kids during the week is roughly layout what each adult and each child’s schedule looks like for each day after work and school and extracurriculars and therapies are over and everyone is home. This can be done on one piece of paper so that you can see when there is a gap that overlaps for each child.
For instance, in our house Maddie goes to therapy on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons which gives Olivia and I time to have a midweek moment on Tuesdays while Maddie is doing her therapy. I know that it only can happen on Tuesday because on Thursday Olivia does a club after school.
Laying out our weeks in advance helped me realize when we’d have this time together. But, in order to use this time in a way that felt worthwhile, I also needed to have some idea or a list of ideas of what we could do, which leads me to step 2.
Step 2: Keep a list of midweek moment ideas handy
Keep a list handy of all of the midweek moment activities that you can do so that you don’t waste time figuring out what to do with your time. A sample of some quick and easy activities that create connection and lead to conversation without any supplies or materials include:
- reading books and talking about the story
- doing a neighborhood scavenger hunt
- taking a walk
- doing a kids yoga video
Step 3: Prep a few other activities at the start of each month
After you’ve prepped your month and know how many midweek moments you’ll have over the course of the month, you’ll have an idea of how many activities you want to prep. Get our free low-prep activity guide for a list of low-prep, easy activities you can add to your to try list. It includes six activities you can pick from today with mostly things you have around your house.
Batch the prep the activities to save time, and store the bags in the pantry so that you can grab them when you’re ready to use them. You’ll thank yourself when you have easy but meaningful activities on hand and can slow down after a busy day and hang out with your kids doing something you both enjoy to decompress.
Step 4: Create buy in with your kids with checklists and bucket lists
We all know that kids can be fickle and don’t necessarily follow our plans all the time, so one way to create that buy in with your kids (and also to start instilling executive functioning skills in them) is to create a checklist or bucket list for the month.
Create a basic checklist or a colorful bucket list and hang it somewhere that the whole family can see. Include all the activities you could potentially do together so that when the day comes that you can connect during the week, you can point to that list as a way to encourage them.
And if a checklist doesn’t create the buy in you’re hoping for, move on to step 5.
Step 5: Keep it flexible!
Once the day comes that you’ve intended to connect with your kids, use one of your pre-planned activities or no supply activities! But, be flexible. I’d really encourage you not to pre-plan when you’re going to do each activity, as you know that moods and interests vary by day.
If the day comes and something has thrown off your plans, pivot! What you’ll find is that by being consistent with the day/s you have these midweek moments, your children will start looking forward to those times that they know you’re going to be able to connect in the middle of the week.
Feeling overwhelmed but like the idea?
The Working Mom’s Guide to Low-Prep Activities is a great place to start. You’ll get approachable ideas to start implementing into your planning routine.
Comment below with one thing you love to do to connect with your kids in the middle of the week!