3 Obstacles to Enjoying Your Children


My husband could clearly see I needed a break. He began to gather the kids to take them out, so that I could have some time alone. “Where are you going?” “What will I do while you’re gone?” “Are you gonna do something fun without me?”

Why is it that when I am with the children all day, I sometimes fail to consider how to spend that time enjoying them? And, when they leave my presence, I feel like I’m missing out on something?

Because of the fact that they are with me most of my waking hours, I can sometimes take for granted that small window of time (yes, it is a small window even though it feels like forever) that I have with them. Can you relate?

Here are 3 things that we can allow to get in the way of enjoying our children.



PBSkids got me through some rough adjustment periods of being a mom of three children under 4 years old. But just as it can get quite addicting to watch TV, it can be equally addicting to continually turn it on for your kids just to get some peace and quiet.

Perhaps during those few hours they are glued to the tube, you can clean your whole house, make a fancy dinner, pay the bills, and return some phone calls. You may even feel quite productive, but the time you could have spent playing with the little ones or listening to all their funny talk has been replaced by Elmo and Mickey Mouse.


Spending quality family time together ...

When we have a chance to splurge a bit and go out to eat, it’s not uncommon for us to notice scenes like the one above. Unless they all happen to be texting each other, I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to assume they’re not really having too much bonding time.

Though my kids don’t have their own devices, I’ve been guilty of allowing my own access to technology to get in the way of noticing my children.

“Mommy, did you see me go across the monkey bars?”

Or, did we find our Facebook newsfeed more interesting than our child’s latest playground accomplishment?

Surely, Facebook can wait. Set the phone aside. And, try to have fun with your kids sometimes without thinking about sharing that moment with the whole social media world.

To Do Lists

5/4/2010: To-Do List

This is probably my biggest obstacle. I’m so task-oriented that I run into the danger of seeing time spent with the kids as another duty to check off my list. Or worse, I see it as something that hinders me from completing that checklist.

If, at the end of the day, you failed to cross off even one thing on your agenda, but you read to your toddler, made some rainbow loom bracelets with your daughter, and taught your boy how to dribble a ball, then you accomplished way more than can be quantified by a written set of goals.

Let’s identify those distractions, steer clear of them, and start savoring the simple joys of parenthood!

What keeps you from enjoying your children?


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19 thoughts on “3 Obstacles to Enjoying Your Children

  1. I’m a stickler on putting the cellphones away for date night. I keep it near in case the baby sitter needs to get a hold of us, but other than that they are a no no. I get distracted away from my kids sometimes with Pinterest. 🙂

    1. Yes, committing to put the phone away unless it’s an emergency is a good idea. And I agree that Pinterest can get distracting. 🙂 I can be looking up something specific on Pinterest, but then other things always catch my eye!

  2. Everything keeps me from enjoying my son but I’m really trying to put focused effort into “just being” with him every day. And he’s shown an interest in cooking, which has been fun. Dangerous, but fun.

  3. Oh, yes! There are so many things to distract us these days. Now that my boys are both in school all day I try to do all the things that distract me while they’re gone, so I can focus on them when they get home.

    1. I homeschool, so the time to do my stuff when the kids aren’t around me has been in the mornings before they wake up or during afternoon nap times. You make a good point that it’s good to reserve for a different time in the day all that stuff on your to do list that can distract you from being with the kids.

  4. I’m 100% the same way. I never want my family to leave me at home alone. I don’t want to miss anything, and yet I’ve allowed each of these three things to cause me to miss different parts of my children. When life is overwhelming I need to remember to give thanks for this time that won’t last forever. Thank you for the loving reminder.

    1. I know what you mean … it won’t be forever. And I don’t want to have any regrets in the end or wish I could have a do-over. My oldest is almost 10, so I can’t believe how quickly that time has passed already.

    1. TV became a huge thing for me when the kids were young. I felt like it was the only thing that helped me to get anything done around the house. It was a blessing to have other seasoned moms around me, who modeled how they limited TV use in their homes.

  5. Great tips, Ai. Moms, enjoy your moments with the kids. Like Ai says it’s a brief window of time & whoosh, they’re gone! My oldest granddaughter is 16 now. How did that happen? It seems like yesterday her mom was only 6!!

    1. Aww, thank you, Sheila! Everyone tells you when you have your first child how fast it goes, but it is quite another thing to experience it yourself. My oldest is almost 10 … only a few years from being a teenager!

  6. Technology is my big struggle. I find myself always having my phone near (especially since I work part time from home) and checking email at all hours of the day. My now 2 year old has taken my phone off of me several times so that I would play with her. I feel really bad about that and am trying to set aside special times when mommy works and mommy plays so I don’t mix the two.

    1. It is hard not to mix, especially when you’re tendency is to multi-task and feel like it’s more efficient that way. That’s how I am, at least.

  7. My phone for sure, which is why it’s put away for the majority of the day. I realised I was missing out too much, there was no need for me to check fb whilst playing cars and only halve paying attention to my son. It wasn’t fair. Now it’s allot better and allot more fun 🙂

    1. Kids can totally tell if you’re not fullly paying attention to them! I’ve been “caught” many times!

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