As a mom of five active and busy kids, there are a few things that I require that they do everyday. They know that they’ll have to do these things each day, but no matter how many times I remind them, they still seem to need a reminder the next day. In my 17 ½ years of parenting, I haven’t been able to figure out it it’s a case of forgetfulness or simply a case of “if I avoid it, maybe it will go away.”
One of those everyday activities that I make sure the kids do is the dishes (and believe me, with 7 of us eating food and dirtying plates and bowls and cups, we’ve got a lot of it!). When they come home from school, they know (or should know!) that before they go outside to play or head down to the TV or computer, I’ll ask them if they’ve finished their homework and if they’ve loaded or unloaded dishes for me.
The only thing that comes before dishes and homework is snack time. After a long day at school, I figure that they need a light snack like cheese and crackers or a piece of fruit along with a good juice drink like Mott’s Fruit Punch Rush or Mott’s Wild Grape Surge – flavors that they LOVE and I feel good about serving.
Some days I feel like all we do is get ready, go, eat, clean, and GO again. We are always on the go! To make sure that one day of running around doesn’t feel exactly like the next, I try to make our everyday routine special. I don’t want to get caught up in the mundane comings and goings of life in a big family, and most of all, I want my kids to know that they are special to me.
How to make everyday special – making the ordinary extraordinary
- Carve out one-on-one time. Each child deserves to have one-on-one time with mom or dad (both is even better!), and it helps me, too. Spending a little bit of time with my kids individually helps me to stay on top of what’s going on in their lives – their friends, their struggles, their interests, their fears, etc. One-on-one time can be as elaborate as a planned outing or it can be as simple as snuggling on mom’s bed with the door closed while you read a book out loud together.
- Leave little notes for your kids. I enjoy surprising my kids with a note of appreciation or congratulations. When I notice something that they’ve done for one of their siblings or for me, I send them a little note of thanks. Notes seem to mean even more than spoken words…in our family, at least! I really need to remember to do this more than I do already.
- Be affectionate. Give hugs and kisses (Even my 13 year old son still hugs me before bed every night, even though he’s taller than me). Don’t be afraid to SHOW your kids how much you love them. If you’re not a touchy-feely family, then find ways that work for you to show each other your love.
- Listen. Really listen. Sometimes it’s easy to tune out those voices that seem so demanding and noisy, but I’ve noticed that when I stop what I’m doing and turn my whole attention to my kids, it makes a world of difference. I can see it in their faces.
- Do something for fun every day. There are so many things we HAVE to do. Chores, brushing teeth, homework, dishes, showers, meals. When I don’t do anything but work (and my work includes a full day of writing and social media activity followed by playing chauffeur and then playing cook) I get burned out easily. Bond over a board game or a book. Grab a few Wii remotes and play a video game together. Make crafts. Head out for ice cream. Take a walk together.
What are some of the things you do to make everyday special for your family?
About Mott’s BOLD juice drink flavors:
I’ve always been a fan of juice, and I have found myself grabbing a drink of Mott’s bold juice drinks lately – they aren’t just for kids! As much as I love drinking water, I need some bold flavor at least everyday. Here are a few things to love about Mott’s:
- Mott’s has bold fruit flavors that kids love and moms like me can feel good about serving – Everyday (they are perfect for school lunches, too)!
- 40% less sugar than fruit juices with no artificial sweeteners
- Made with REAL fruit juices
- 100% daily value of vitamin C
- One serving of fruit in 8 ounces
- Mott’s Juice Drink provides 1 fruit serving per 8 fl oz. Current USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend a daily intake of 2 cups of fruit for a 2,000 calorie diet. 1 serving = ½ cup of 100% juice.
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