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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Enjoy every configuration of your family

Uploaded: Oct 18, 2018
Last week I read about one mom’s experience about traveling with only one of her two children. She had a wonderful time. While her story didn’t inspire me into taking a solo vacation with any of our three kids soon, one quote rang especially true for me- “Enjoy every configuration of your family.”

As our oldest starts elementary school and our girls grow up, I’m finding myself slowly taking advantage of these new configurations. Reading to our son while he eats breakfast before school. Chatting with our daughter while her little sister cat naps in the car. Taking our girls to classes while brother is in kindergarten. Shopping with baby when both her siblings are at school.

I rarely plan one-on-one or one-on-two time with our kids. I like for it to unfold organically. However, for my birthday this year, I asked my husband for one-on-one time with our two oldest children. I didn’t know how much one-on-one time we would be getting with our new school schedule and I wanted to spend time completely focused on one child (I needed a mental break from constantly dividing my attention between our three kids). I spent 30 minutes each with our oldest two kids. I didn’t make elaborate plans- we spent the time simply talking and playing together. While this is something I’m not planning to repeat soon, it was a wonderful, simple and very memorable birthday treat. Maybe it’ll turn into a yearly birthday tradition.
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 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mother of 4, a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Oct 20, 2018 at 9:36 am

I agree with this and think it is important for Dads to also have one on one time with each of the kids on a regular basis.

I was recently speaking to a grandmother who lives close to her two young grandchildren. She is constantly asking the parents (her son and daughter in law) for one on one time with each of them rather than always being asked to have both for a few hours. Not only is it good for her to be able to do things with each child, but it would give the parents time to do something with the other on a single child basis. She was not asking for less time with both, but rather offering to give more of her time to take each of them separately. I think it is good for grandparents too.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Oct 20, 2018 at 10:48 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4- Thanks for commenting. Good point about expanding this idea to grandparents.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Neglected kid, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Oct 20, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Back in the early 70s, when my parents were making an effort to be better parents, they made the very ambitious goal of taking one child out a week for dinner. They had 5 elementary school children and wanted to spend quality time with each of us to help relieve some of the discord in the family. When it was my turn (I was the number 3 child), they took me out to dinner and then to a violin concert. I still remember that night. I think it was the only time in my parent's 15 year marriage that I was alone with them. I really enjoyed it and even remember what I ate. Sadly, my parents didn't stick with their plan and that one dinner out with them was a solo event. After that it was back to non-stop fighting and ignoring their kids.

If you make a plan, try to stick to it, even if you can't accomplish it every week.

Cheryl, I think you are a wonderful parent and your kids are so lucky to have you.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Oct 20, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Neglected kid - Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your story. Great point about sticking with a plan after your kids hear it.

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