Posted: Feb 19, 2013 12:00 PM
 
While every working mom wishes she had more time to spare, sometimes it's what you do with your spare time that matters most. When you're feeling pinched between work and family time, with the right frame of mind you can turn even the shortest stint of time into quality time with your kids.

Good morning, sunshine

In the morning, before all of the distractions hit and the day starts to feel hurried, make time to bond with your kids. Establish wake-up routines that take very little time but can make for some pretty powerful memories — like sitting by their bed and gently tickling their back as you talk to them about the day ahead, or letting them snuggle with you in your bed every morning before everyone tackles their respective days. Not only will you get some important one-on-one time but you'll also start each day with a reality check on what matters most in life!

Good night, moon

Bedtime is meant for bonding. Instead of rushing through the routine so you can get back to all the things you need to do to wrap-up your day, make bed time your special time. Make time for a longer bath, hang out with them while they brush their teeth, pick out clothes for the next day together and make tucking-in a chance to tell your kids how much they're loved. You'll all benefit from a little extra time to unwind before you settle in for the night!

Communicate while you commute

When you're in the car, keep the radio off, ignore your phone and make that time all about your kids. Ask them about school, about their social life and relationships. Just like dinnertime around the dining room table, car rides are a great opportunity to really connect with your kids, without technology interfering with your conversations. When I was younger and my mom was a busy single mom who didn't have a ton of time to spare, we always bonded in the car. As I grew older, I counted on that uninterrupted time in the car to bring up things that were on my mind, or confide in her about things happening in my life with friends, boyfriends and school. Some of my best memories are the conversations we shared in the car.

Hangout over housework

Let's face it, when you're a working mom and trying to cram 101 things into your day, something usually has to give. Instead of sacrificing quality time because your household chores keep taking a backseat, find a way to do both. While it's tempting to lock yourself in the laundry room for a little peace and some long-overdue folding, take the laundry into the living room, line the kids up on the couch with a little pile to work on and bond over folding. No TV, just folding and talking. That way, the housework gets done, they learn that pitching-in can be fun, and you get distraction-free time with them.

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