During my pregnancy, I would read article after article on everything from being a first-time mom to what to feed your child to when to bathe them, etc. However, there was one article that truly stood out to me, and that was the minutes of the day that are the most important. There are 3 different sets throughout the day, the 1st 3 minutes after they have woken, the 1st 3 minutes after they come from school or daycare, and the last 3 minutes before they go to bed which is a total of 9 minutes per day that are very essential in the development and growth of these tiny little humans that depend on us for all the minutes of each and every day.
The first set of 3 minutes when they first wake up sets the tone, the mood for their day to begin. As a stay home Mom, this is actually pretty easy for me because as soon as we wake up we say ‘Good Morning’ to each other, and then we say how much we love each other, and we snuggle and get our good morning kiss. I will ask her how did she sleep, and she will say good and will tell me if she had a dream and how it was. Before my daughter could truly talk, it was me just talking to her and snuggling her, and making direct eye contact with her to reassure her that mommy is here and loves her with all my heart and soul. This small act of love is only 3 minutes, and sometimes longer for us, but it is such a joy to experience each and every day and gives the bond between us so much strength.
The second set of 3 minutes is when your child comes home from school or daycare. I have yet to experience this, however, I will be here very shortly as she is about to turn 4 and go to Pre-K. To engage your child and to listen to them about how their day was is showing them that they matter that what they learned and experienced during their day is important and that it’s especially important to you.
The last set of 3 minutes is right before they go to sleep and this of course sets the tone of how well they will sleep and give them a sense of reassurance and love that they may drift off into Dreamland and allow their little growing and beautiful minds to relax, feel safe, and know that they are loved beyond measure. The kiss and snuggles goodnight are like the icing on top of the cake and your reward as a parent is to see them drift off knowing that you gave your best for the day. Another thing I would always do is after my daughter drifted off I would say a prayer over her, and even though she was asleep hearing these words softly spoken in her ear, I knew that she could hear them and take them with her each and every night and store them in her sweet little heart.
As many of you are not stay-at-home moms or dads and you have very busy schedules, and some of you have multiple children, it can be somewhat difficult to do this and especially as a routine. However, the reward is worth so much and the sacrifice of time will be more of a difference to your child, your children than whatever else you could possibly be doing for those 3 minutes. We as parents can make more money, make more cupcakes, clean dishes later or fold the laundry, which are all important things, but time is something we can never get back and in the grand scheme of this life those 9 minutes of our days are little compared to what we are creating compared to what we are investing in, our children. They are and always will be the most precious investment you can and will ever make.