As every parent knows, it can be difficult to find enough time to spend with your children and to fulfill all your duties as an adult. After all, there are only 940 Saturdays between your baby’s birth and his eighteenth birthday!
Brand new mother Stephanie Shestakow from Horsham, Pennsylvania has come up with a unique approach that allows her to have plenty of time for her baby despite her busy schedule.
“When my son was just born, I put him in his bouncer and got going – preparing dinner, warming up his bottles, doing the dishes, and so on. I turned my back on him, under the spell of my endless list of tasks. Until all of a sudden I thought, wait a minute – I can also give my child attention by involving him in my daily tasks. So I started to show him different utensils, how to turn on the tap, how to wash the dishes, dry and put them away. I made his bottles, showed them to him and made him shake the bottle. While shopping, I showed him the products in the shop, feeling and smelling them.
Of course this is all quite a lot of work. It would be easier to leave him in his chair, or put him in his crib so I can finish my tasks quietly. But I chose to change my attitude, from ‘he’s just a baby’, as if I couldn’t do much with him, to ‘I involve my baby in everything’. There are so many ways you can enjoy everyday things together. It may take more effort, but it’s definitely worth it. The day feels fuller and richer and goes less quickly. He’s a couple of three and a half months old, but I’m already worried that time is passing so fast.”
Stephanie has another tip to sincerely enjoy every moment with your child: “I try to have a ‘holiday mentality’ in everyday life, too. I realized that when I’m on vacation, I put everything aside and really concentrate on the moment. I make sure that I am not distracted by negative thoughts, judgements or conflict. Do I worry about my problems every day during a holiday? No, you don’t. Am I upset every day during the holidays because time goes by so fast? No. I get up in the moment and look at everything through new glasses. I think this is difficult for a lot of people because a ‘holiday mentality’ looks like a hedonistic or non-targeted attitude, but it really is not. I keep asking myself, ‘how come people can put everything aside and truly enjoy when they know the moment is coming to an end?'”