Making Time for Just One

By Sarah McDonald

As I have written about before, we have five children; a pretty large family by today’s standards though it is perfectly normal for me having grown-up the oldest of five.

I had an incredible childhood filled with opportunity and never wanting for anything.

 My parents formed us in faith and always encouraged us to be the best we could be.

The greatest thing and, at the same time, the hardest thing about growing up in a big family is that you share everything, including time with your parents.

I told my mom recently that one of my favorite childhood memories was a special day that she took just me shopping for my first Communion dress. Getting to go shopping or do anything alone with one of my parents (except maybe the ride to ballet class, which even then was usually two of us) was a rarity.

I can recall details of that day vividly and remember feeling so excited to get to spend the day with just my mom. Even though I never doubted her love and attention, that one-on-one time made a huge impact.

The memory of that special shopping trip stands out to me even more now that I have my five babies. So much so that I try, as often as possible, to make special time with just one of them (and it is not always possible).

Whether it is the special celebration of a birthday for my oldest, making a special lunch date followed by a grocery run with my older daughter, chaperoning the PreK-4 field trip or making sure I am there to watch my 2-year-old’s fun run, I make it a priority that my children know they are loved and have my complete attention, for even just a little while.

I love my big family. In the evenings as we are calming down before bedtime and everyone is cuddled or huddled into 10 square feet (literally) of our house, I feel amazingly blessed for us to have each other.

Even still, the bright eyes, conversation and excitement of time with just one of them is something that makes my heart happy. It makes me think how happy God must be when he gets those one-on-one conversations with us in prayer whether –  it’s in the car or in adoration or wherever and whenever we find the time to talk with him.

So, help a busy NOLACatholic mom out! What are some ideas for some “just one” time with my bambinos?

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