Recently, my older son and I have just returned from a four day trip.  He was playing in a tournament and we decided that it would be good for just one parent and him to go.  Yay for a mom trip and yay for warm weather, sandy beaches and other moms to socialize with!
Since returning home from our small adventure, I realized how important it is to have this time with just one child.  Okay, maybe not flying away somewhere, but a small overnight trip or out for the day and having some sibling free time just for them.  And, I guess, it doesn’t always have to be with me, dad can have a turn too.
Everyday life here is busy.  We have our day to day routines, therapies and classes.  Every day there are varying behaviours and up and down moments.
The whole experience of going away and doing something with just one child was completely different then having all five of us on this trip.  It was a nice break for me and a good time for him.  I was able to focus on things just for him and had time to myself within that.  It gave both of us a break from the everyday life and to enjoy something different together.
I know who all my children are and their personalities, but it was so good to get the opportunity to really listen to his conversations.  I was able to focus on his thoughts, ideas and other opinions all without sibling interruption.  He was able to get my undivided attention.  We were able to go do a few activities that he wanted to do, all without negotiation.  It was a good reprieve for him from the day to day busyness of our life.
He did miss dad, of course, and it gave the siblings some time to miss each other (hmm, not too sure if this happened, but it sounds good in theory).
I was able to see my child in a bit of a different light and we got to relax a bit together.  I even was able to have alone time when he went to bed, which was golden!!  Since we were on a “team trip”, it was nice to socialize a bit with other parents AFTER bedtime.
I learned so much from having this time with one.  One of the biggest things was that while I need time to myself and to make sure I keep up with self care for my own sanity, the siblings also need time from each other.
We do many fun things as a family and we are out and about often, but they don’t have much time on their own with one of us.  I’m not saying that we are going to do this weekly, but maybe once a month each of them could spend a day focused all on them.  Giving one time to shine and have a spotlight moment from mom or dad.  I guess we’ll put this in place and see how it goes!