Jamaican Mommies by Shanoy Coombs: From Jamaica; for the world
Whew! Its been agess since I last blogged, but the title of this post should certainly give some insights into why this is so…. In this world of demands- work, career, relationships, the humdrum of busy busier and busiest goes on and on a whirling kaleidoscope that often leaves us being flustered, blurred, extra tired and even in some semblance of despair. and boy have I been busy.
As I look on, I need a master plan to make MORE time for the little miss lady in my life. It just gets harder as she gets older and her needs for and with me increases. BUT…It must be done. With that much said, often without even thinking or meaning to, I have somehow managed to make bonding time between work time, me time, his time, their and them time and e-time (you know all the correspondence that occurs via electronic forms).
With the full understanding that there will NEVER be more than 24 hours in a day, UNLESS YOU CHANGE SOMETHING, you’ll never have more time to do more of anything and then there comes my aha moment. Admittedly, it was more prompted by Kai’s constant pleas- “Mommy can I help you”, “But mommy,I want to comb your hair”, “Mommy, I can do it”, “I want to try” on and on and on. Thus the idea begins, why not pair like minded or related activities for effectiveness and efficiency. Now you may be saying that has always been a well known assertion, but over time you learn and unlearn things- hence my re-learning. So for example, How about getting Kai’s hair washed and conditioned the same time as mine (Saw my friend Iriediva with the cutest pics of her and munchkin with their steam caps on). Lil girls just love these things. They love feeling grown up and being just like mommy…So score, two hairs washed and conditioned while you get the joy of listening to your little one go on and on “Mommy this is so nice”.
Score two, bath time *covers face* I’ve never quite appreciated how my mom was able to lump three of us girls in the shower and give us a bath all at once, but now I truly do! Bathing a toddler takes time AND PATIENCE- TIME that you may very well need to be using to- doing whatever million and one stuff your life springs at you; so solution, mother and daughter bath time- kills two birds with one stone right? Not quite! I’m yet to get the full hang of this bath thing, but the routine does warm my heart- the little giggles from Kai as we both get shower caps on, the overly excited squeals when she asked to be lifted so the water can tickle her back, the mimicking my every action, the “Mommy my turn to wash your back” 🙂 and oh lord the questions- you can never imagine the things a 3 year old asks, but more on that another time. But at the end of the day, 2 squeaky clean ladies and voila time spent together.
And this strategy pretty much works for everything- Hairdresser- take her along for shorter trips; Peanut butter and Jelly time, let her spread the butter and jam, snack time, she can hold her cup, while I pour the drinks, hanging clothes, employ the services of one lil miss to pass the clothes pins 🙂 Kids genuinely love to ‘HELP’ and as my memory serves me with my mom- We should definately appreciate and encourage that before they ‘grow out of the helpfulness’- so now the “mommy can I comb your hair” is met with a “Yes you can”, so too the “mommy I want to wash my cup myself” and “Mommy can I taste that”. Cleverly as well, clean up time can become so much easier when your toddler is on your side- a quick sing songy “clean up clean up, everybody clean up” and you have a happy little helper.
Thankfully for me as well, even when I’m not thinking to pair bonding time with whatever else I’m doing, Kai comes to my rescue- like today, I sort of decide to take some ME time (which doesn’t truly exist if your toddler is home with you)to read this Shades of Grey series of books that everyone’s been going on about. While reading, she says “Mommy I want to lay in your lap” so we have some physical contact even as she watches TV and I read my book. Of course, I stop more than occasionally to ask her the sweetest little questions, just so I can hear the animated responses.
And thus it goes, trying to fit your little and not so little ones in to the things you do- especially things that are of mutual interest. So you’ll hardly see me at the beach without Kai as I think her deep love for the beach and just about any watery body is one of the only things she inherited from me. This pairing strategy also easily applies to arts and crafts, play time etc…..
Now as I try to figure out how to do ‘exercise for the busy mom’ i’d appreciate feedback on your favorite bonding tips. Cheers!!!