Giving the Girls More One - on - one time

A little background before I get to my question- My girls are 3 and 21 months. It has been a long 21 months - little sister had severe reflux, infant migranes - the first year of her life was mainly crying and not sleeping and the last 9 months we have slowly been improving in the not crying all day and some sleep improvement (we even had a few full nights recently - yeah - knock on wood)

This has been hard on all of us - including my 3 year old. generally she mothers her baby sister - but as with any typically 3 year old there has been some normal jealousy and not sharing etc.

I plan on homeschooling both of my girls formally at age 5- 21 month is currently working colors (tot school) and my 3 year old finishing up LOW. They both love their school work and cheer when I say lets go do school work. We will continue to do school work at home on days off and in the afternoon.

Right now I have them both go to Mother’s Day out programs (unfortunately two different ones - that a whole different story). Mainly because I need a break - my husband works long hours and we don’t have family close - so it all on me. Plus I work from home part time. When LOs don’t sleep early morning, night doesn’t really work for work. I end up working in the middle of the nights sometimes.

Today my oldest wasn’t feel well - was up multiple times - so she stayed home with me. She immediately asked to do school work- we sat together for almost 2 hours - I amazed at all she accomplished. We had some great one on one time and then went for a walk/color scavenger hunt. I also got most of my work work done ( kitchen still a mess - oops). Overall it was a positive day - they seem to be playing better this afternoon too.

Because of the MDO schedule I would have to send my 3 year old three days a week MWF and my little one Tuesday Thursday. If they were both twice a week I probably won’t be struggling as much with it. Part of me thinks they would both benefit from one - on - one time - the baby still needs some extra attention and refocusing because she got her way so long because of health stuff. I really felt today my oldest daughter relished our one on one time.

We could try it out through the end of the school year. But I worry I’m making the wrong decision - I’m going to make it worse and/or I’m a awful mother because I can’t handle my kids together.

My concerns:

  • Will seperating them too much make it difficult for them to work together (I was an only child for 16 years so I don’t have experience with siblings while younger)
  • am I teaching them a bad lesson
  • am I going to go nuts - they just started in September - I do value the four hours of no screaming being able to clean and work without having to worry if someone is doing something they shouldn’t if I turn my head for too long.

Any wisdom would be appreciated! Thank you in advance

Hello there! I have been thinking and thinking about this post since you listed it. I really don’t have any great words of wisdom - I have 5 kids ages 10 - 22 months, and I have homeschooled them since day one. So, they have always been together, and never been apart. However!! I totally agree with you - that when I get the other kids working on something, or one wakes up early and the rest are still sleeping and I can have some one on one time with that one kid - they do love that time, and we tend to get more done. I actually wish I could do that more often. I think it would be a good thing.

So!.. I do not think separating them for a few hours everyday will make it more difficult for them to work together when they are together. They will probably love that one on one time, and then also love being back together. A little bit of time apart should make them work better together. Sometimes my kids, when they are with each other constantly, end up irritating each other. So, it is good to separate them sometimes.

I don’t think it is a bad lesson. Everyone needs some alone time sometimes. I love my kids, and I usually stay up really late after they are all asleep so I can have some quiet me time. And I love the early morning when I also have some quiet time. I watched a Vlog the other day where the mom makes the kids take a 1 hour quiet time in their rooms everyday so they can recharge, and she gets some alone time too. She said they all come together refreshed and ready to work together again.

If you continue to take breaks, and give your girls one on one time - I think you will refresh your mind and your spirit, so no, I don’t think you will go nuts!

I really think what you are doing is a good idea, and I wish we had something like that here. But, really, we live in a very rural area already, and then we live 15 miles from the nearest small town! So, not much is offered. :slight_smile:

I hope this helps! It sounds to me like you are doing a great job! Keep it up :slightly_smiling:

Thank you so much for your wisdom! I put my decision on hold for now, but I’m planning on scheduling some summer activities to focus on them individually. Anytime we get one on one time early or late naps, morning etc I’m trying to be more intentional with my one on one time.

I read somewhere of a mom who had more than a dozen children how she gave each of her children one on one time: she would call each child as they were to take their nap/have their quiet time in their bedrooms and do something with each one at a time (read a book, talk, etc).
I think that is a sweet thing to do, our children need time alone with us, even if just 10 - 15 minutes of time dedicated to them alone. That counts, and makes a difference in building and maintaining a relationship with them. :wink: