Dinner time, by far, is the most challenging time since having a second child. During the day isn’t as crazy because Ella is in school and I can at least take it easy. However, at dinner time, all things come colliding together into a crazy mess.
I came across this article from Dr Laura Markham, a leading expert in Attachment theory, called “Surviving Arsenic Hour.” I found a lot of her suggestions helpful reminders to keep me on the path of attachment and connection.
I particularly liked the second suggestion:
“Before you pick up your kids, sit in the car for five minutes by yourself.
Put on some soothing music. Breathe deeply. Notice the sensations in your body. Acknowledge how you’re feeling…Tell yourself what a good job you did all day. Think of one nice thing you can do for yourself this evening and promise yourself that present tonight. Acknowledge that after the kids go to sleep is your time, this next few hours is “kid time.” Then, get in touch with how much you love your kids and how much you want a nice connection with them. Once you’ve filled your own cup, you’ll find you have a lot more to offer your kids.”
I find this suggestion centers me and reminds me of what I value. I so often get caught up in the activities of the day and all the things I “think” I need to do. Making the priority to be present with my children helps me put aside my agenda and realigns me with what really matters.
Furthermore, I am encouraged to get in touch with how much I love my children. To be honest, I have been struggling with my attachment to Ella (I plan to share more about this later). But for now, creating the opportunity to mediate on my love for her allows me to be more present rather than distracted.
Lastly, this suggestion acknowledges the good things I have done today and honors the need to take care of myself after the kids are in bed. It is so true: when my bucket is full, I have more emotional capacity for my kids.
Here are some books by Dr. Laura Markham that I would love to read: