5 Tips to Transform Ordinary Tasks Into Treasured Moments with Your Children

by Susan

Your day is filled with chores, errands and tasks ranging from ordinary to emergency.

The trouble is each day, more piles on and soon the days blur together, pass by and we wonder where it’s gone.

sophia-smilingI’m on a mission to turn some of those ordinary tasks into treasured moments with my kids. (Yes, I said “some”… I’m being realistic.)

I can tend to be easily stressed by all the chores and millions of things we moms have to do, but lately I’m trying to catch myself before I hurry through the moments. Instead of rushing and stressing, I’m trying to pause and add enthusiasm and excitement to allow my girls to really enjoy our time together.

And I’m also taking more time to slow down with them and enjoy just being close. I’ve always snuggled with my girls tons and we all love our nightly story-time. But as Julia gets older, I’m also looking for new ways to relax together.

For instance, washing her face and shampooing her hair has often been a struggle. But the other day, I decided to ask her if she wanted me to give her a “grown-up facial” with Mommy’s special face-wash-cream. I gently and slowly washed her face, calling her “Madame” and pretending we were at a fancy spa. I also have begun to give her a special head-massage while I shampoo her hair, again telling her how that’s what hair dressers do at fancy salons.

I’ve discovered that with a little “spin”, I can turn an errand into an exciting outing for my 3 and 6 year old girls.

The other day I needed to buy a couple new summer dresses, shorts and sandals for my girls. Summer hit here suddenly and I was caught with almost nothing suitable for the girls to wear. Often, I would go on my own or just take my 6 year old with me as it’s usually much quicker and stress-free.

But I decided I’d turn this errand into a “special shopping trip with Mommy”. Julia, who often comes with me, wasn’t on board at first. She started whining that she wanted to play with A.J. (Janice’s dog) instead.

My inner frustration started to build and I said, “Okay, I can call a sitter and have them watch you at Auntie’s and just take Sophia shopping.” Of course, she wasn’t going to go along with that so we continued on our way.

The girls were a little unruly in the store, but I decided to be ultra-relaxed and just go with it. The store was almost empty and I let them pick out one dress each. I then scooped up a bunch of on-sale t-shirts and shorts.

As the girls were losing attention, I suggested in a super-excited voice, “Okay, who wants to be just like a grown-up and TRY-ON their clothes in a CHANGING ROOM?”
(I usually just grab items in their size and trust that it’ll fit.)

After a quick stop into a shoe store to get Julia some “fancy new sandals to wear with her fancy new dress”, I asked the girls if they wanted to continue our “Shopping Date” with “Going Out For Dinner”.

Again I made a big deal saying, “Girls, do you know we are on a Shopping Date. This is what grown-up ladies love to do with their friends… Go shopping for dresses and shoes and stop for a bite to eat.”

Julia’s eyes lit up… “A Shopping Date?”

We ate at a simple little place called “The Pita Pit”, but with a touch of extra enthusiasm from Mommy, the girls felt like this was a huge deal. As Julia finished her food, she proclaimed, “This is the BEST dinner EVER.” She went on to say that she’d had such a fun day that it felt like a weekend day, not a school day.

I smiled and tried to memorize the moment and file it away to remind myself to keep turning simple tasks into special memories with my girls.

5 Tips to Transform Ordinary Tasks Into Treasured Moments with Your Children

 

  1. Instead of rushing through the day, look for ways to add enthusiasm and excitement into everyday tasks.
     
  2. Take an ordinary ritual, such as brushing your child’s hair, and make it a special bonding time.
     
  3. Allow your children to be decision makers, contributing to the choices of the day.
     
  4. Add the mystique of “being like grown ups” to make moments magical.
     
  5. Be flexible and make the best of having to change your plans based on your kids’ needs.
     

How have you turned ordinary tasks into special times with your children?

We’d love to hear your ideas… leave us a comment below.



Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karyn June 10, 2011 at 11:05 am

hey! Love your site. I have been trying to contact you for 2 days, but the link is broken. I would love to have my blogs listed. Thanks!

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2 Susan June 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Thanks Karyn.

So sorry about the link being broken… thanks for letting us know. We are so swamped and behind at the moment as we are between Virtual Assistants right now.

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3 Amanda M. June 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Those are some awesome ideas! It’s amazing what the right attitude (by parent mostly, but kids as well) can do to make the day special. I love special times like that. A lot of mine and my 2 year old little girl’s bonding happens in the kitchen when we make dinner. I always find something for her to do. Last week she even helped me cut mushrooms with a plastic knife. But she loved helping!

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4 Susan June 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Yes our attitudes as parents make so much difference.

Great idea to let kids cut soft things like mushrooms with a plastic knife. I love that!

Thank you.

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5 Amanda Garibay {Enchanting Havoc} June 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm

I really needed to read this! Awesome ideas <3

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6 Susan June 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Thanks Amanda. I’m so happy to hear that.

I’ll say that a key to being able to follow these tips is to have some mom “me” time breaks mixed in. You really need to take care of yourself so that you have more to give when you are playing with your kids.

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7 Mama MOE June 10, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Hi Susan,

Aw, so nice that you had that time with your girls! I remember running out of time for breakfast when bringing my oldest to an art class. After his class I decided to drivethru to get some food, then we went by the water, parked the car, took out a stored blanket and laid it down for an impromtu picnic. He never talked so much! we watched the boats, looked for birds, and just enjoyed each other’s company. He was three at the time and it was lovely. I just love those special moments.

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8 Susan June 10, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Mama MOE, that sounds like a wonderful spontaneous special time with your boy. Sometimes the fact that it wasn’t planned can make it even better.

Thank you for sharing with us.

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9 Tarasview
Twitter:
June 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I needed to read this today Susan… thank-you for sharing :)

*hugs*

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10 Susan June 10, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Awww… Thanks Tara. As I was just saying to Amanda, the key to being able to feel the enthusiasm and excitement of the moment is by taking care of yourself by having some good mom “me” time.

Take care Girl!!!

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11 Mozi Esmes Mom June 11, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Love this post! Thanks for the reminder to treasure and make the most of every moment – and create memories for years to come…

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12 Valerie Wellstead June 13, 2011 at 12:59 am

My daughter has twin premie infants and takes alone time with them everyday. Every new thing they do is such a wonder and delight. Her 5 year son is home for the summer and is sometimes frustrated that he is not the only child anymore We frequently go “power shopping” We walk to the library or go window shopping at the mall. This pleases my grandson to be the center of my attention, It also allows mom to spend 5 minutes with the girls.

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13 Zsa Zsa June 14, 2011 at 1:21 am

I really enjoyed this blog post. Great tips Susan! Loved the “grown up facial” and shopping date ideas. And yes, I totally agree with you about allowing kids to be decision makers. This makes them feel very grown up and responsible. Thanks! :)

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14 Jendi June 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm

So true! So much depends on the mother’s attitude – and mine isn’t always good sad to say. I often use music during clean up times and allow some dancing while cleaning. :) Daddy lets the girls sit on his lap and he combs their wet hair – a treat for me and them!

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15 davina June 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Susan, I adore lists. I love that you summed up your post with 5 ideas. What a great reminder to be creative with our kids. So often we use our creativity in so many ways with business or other outside-the-home-avenues when just a bit of that creativity used at home goes such a long way.

Thank you!

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16 Arlene Marie D June 19, 2011 at 12:36 am

As much as possible, I turn every moment into a game or challenge. Where I can challenge or play with my daughter. I also make sure to let her have a choice in things. I involve her in small decisions. :)

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