Fifteen years ago, hardly any parent or professional talked of “quality time”. Five years ago, everybody talked about “quality time” as though it had just been invented.
Then “quality time” became a cliche and it began to lose its original meaning.
Nowadays, hardly anybody talks about “quality time”, as though it has become a dirty word.
That’s a pity because it is one of the most important aspects of every meaningful parent-baby relationship.
It refers to the time you spend with your little one during which you and she bond – she gets close to you emotionally, and you pay her lots of attention.
It’s important that it happens frequently and regularly because it makes her feel secure, emotionally strong and self-confident.
The weekend is a terrific opportunity for you to strengthen your bond as a family by spending time together.
And quality time is good for you, too – it gives you a warm, comfortable feeling, and puts you at ease.
So don’t crowd weekends with sports and chores. Commit the time to Baby.
Here’s what you can do.
1. MAKE THIS A PRIORITY
There are a million other things you could be doing, so if sharing moments with her is not top of your list – or at least close to the top – other things will take precedence.
Get your priorities right – bonding with your baby counts more than washing the kitchen floor.
2. RELEGATE CHORES TO A SPECIFIC TIME SLOT
For instance, do the washing and cleaning in one sequence early on Saturday morning. It’s amazing how fast you can rush through those sorts of task if you are determined enough.
3. HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
You may make time, but it doesn’t guarantee that she’ll be in a good mood! On the contrary, the change in her routine at the weekend might actually upset her.
But do it anyway – as long as your expectations are realistic and that you accept she may not be fully in tune with you at first, then you’ll have a relaxing time together.
4. NOTICE HER ACHIEVEMENTS
You may have been too busy during the week to notice those subtle changes in her development – for example, her ability to crawl is slightly stronger or she now utters four different sounds instead of three.
Use the weekend to catch up on her latest progress. Just watching her, taking pleasure from her new skills, increases the positive feelings that flow between you.
5. CUT OUT DISTRACTIONS
Unplug your phone, tablet or switch off the TV, so you’re not tempted to check in on social media or watch your favourite programme, instead of concentrating on your bub.
6. PLAN AHEAD
Don’t leave everything to chance. Your non-work time is very precious and should be carefully managed. Plan ahead with your spouse about the family activities you can do together over the weekend.