I read an article a couple of weekends ago in The Sunday Times that really resonated with me. It was all about a concept of parenting called Love Bombing.
The author of the article sounded like me, and probably 90% of parents juggling every ball known to man - whilst checking emails on their phone. So thus ending up feeling a lot of guilt for not giving their children enough attention. I feel guilty about everything I do and everything I don't do. The children always seem so happy though because their absolute favourite thing is to play with each other. I still feel guilty though that I am not on the floor playing with them enough, too busy making sure everything is in order - so necessary to control the chaos that is running Baba+Boo alongside being their mummy.
The theory of love bombing is all about resetting your child's emotional thermostat. It is allowing them to set the rules of play, the order of the day or the amount of time you allow for it. The author of this book is psychologist Oliver James and while I haven't read the book, I believe this concept is designed to help children with common behaviour problems.
I am blessed with children who are really well behaved (let's hope that continues!) but I loved the idea of them setting the rules and decided I would give it a go when I next got chance of being with them on their own, which is hard because they hate being apart and want to do everything together.
Until this week, when Seth was sick, just a one-off but with the 48-hour rule at schools, it meant he was just me and him for 2 days. A luxury for me, can't remember the last time it was just us. It meant work being on hold for 2 days and me being the owner of a very angry inbox but I decided to let Seth set the rules. I told him last night that today was going to be his day and we could do whatever he wanted. I told him to think about it and we can talk about it in the morning.
I was quite excited once we had dropped Louisa off and I asked him what we were going to do. Bless his little cotton socks, he said he wanted to wait until Louisa was with us to have a do what you want day...he makes me melt! He decided on Lego and we made a police station, a prison for the baddies and then knocked them down with Angry Birds. He then wanted to watch TV for a little bit but sat on my knee. It was bliss just saying yes to whatever he wanted to do, instead of me saying in a minute or let me just wash the pots, then checking my emails.
I have to set one boundary though. Seth wants a new toy every time we go anywhere and I had to tell him, his time did not involve buying anything!
So after a few hours, we went to get Louisa from school and they went to Grandma's for tea, so I could attempt to catch up with work. When they got back, Seth told me he loved our time but asked if Louisa could come to our next do what you want day. So we agreed on Sunday morning, it is their morning where Mummy does whatever they want.
Let's hope it goes as well - Angry Birds v Disney Princesses I reckon!