one of the hardest things about raising a big family is making sure each child gets the one on one attention they need. there are only two of us and five of them! it's probably the biggest issue i worry about daily. inevitably, at the end of each day i can name who probably didn't get as much of me as they needed. this issue is compounded by having a husband that works a lot. one mom can only do so many things in a day!
on the nights where i'm really beating myself up about it, i try to remind myself that i was one of five and don't remember feeling unloved or lacking attention. of course, i was the only girl and a drama queen so who knows :) anyway, we are constantly trying to find creative ways to "sneak in" individual time with each child. for example, they get a dinner out alone with us for their birthdays. no siblings allowed. they love this. they pick the restaurant and have both of our undivided attention. my parents actually do the same for their birthdays and they always remark how different each child is when away from their siblings.
let's be honest, it's constant fighting for airtime over here! and as with most houses, the squeakier wheels get the most attention. and quite frankly, we have two that are really squeaky! i have to be vigilant in remembering the lower maintenance children need me just as much as the one prone to burning the house down.
i try to let one child come with me to run errands or one will get to go with theMr to the "tool store" (Lowe's) to get supplies for a job.
of course this practice has it's downside... like this past weekend when i took the two older girls to the mall for one item to be purchased and ended up shopping at three different stores. tonight the boys need haircuts for their pics this weekend so i'll probably stop and get them a snack on the way home just to make it a little more enjoyable. and i always need some kind of incentive for the little guy to sit for his haircut and not scream like a crazy person. he hates getting his hair cut. it's really fun for all involved! sometimes you just have to wing it and hope they turn out ok. unfortunately the manual is missing. it's probably somewhere under the pile of laundry.
*gratuitous pictures of my kids added for no reason pertinent to this blog post, only because they are so cute!