The importance of one to one time


Pre football, wearing the most hideous shirt in Daddy’s collection, all because this little monkey picked it. Parenting on fleek!

As a mother of three children, I often feel like I’m using the phrase “Just a minute, let me deal with *insert child’s name*” and I hate it. I find it so hard when I sit back at the end of the day and realise that I have been on a constant cycle of trying to give each child the right amount of attention while stopping them from killing each other or breaking too much stuff. Sometimes I wonder if they will look back and think I did a rather impressive job, and other times I wonder if they will feel like I let them down, ignored them too much and just didn’t really do what they needed.

I can’t be in three places at one time, I’m good but that isn’t a skill I have acquired yet, so I have to default to plan b, and plan b involves the old divide and conquer technique.

Last weekend we had a bit of a parenting win, we took Reuben off for some much needed one to one time while we left the tinkers with Maw Maw – which they were most delighted by! Adam and I took Reuben out for the day, we left at about 10am, took him for lunch, to a football match he didn’t want to watch so he sat and played on my phone like a true 21st century preschooler and then played in the play park for 45minutes before heading home. Reuben felt special, we felt like we’d done something bloody ingenious and balance was restored. Everyone went to bed with a smile on their faces, including the toddlers who had been stuffed with McDonalds and taken to Toys R Us for some play sand ha!

The truth is, parent guilt kicks everyone’s arse, it is a brutal mistress and we are but it’s slaves. Even the most confident amongst us gets filled with self doubt and frets over whether or not we are doing this right. There is no manual after all.

I’ve become a big champion of the old “one to one” time, taking an individual child out for some extra special time with just you or both of you. It makes a real difference. With Reuben being at school now, I really feel like he does f get to have so much time with myself or Adam, especially Adam during football season as one of the only days he could have one to one is spent watching the toddlers during swimming lessons. Which is really very little fun when you are 5 years old.

One to one time can be rather easy to do too, especially if you have little ones at nursery or relatives/friends that can step in and help. It doesn’t have to be elaborate though, just setting the toddler/baby up with something like a movie and chance to chill, while you do some crafting or reading or baking, with your eldest can make a big difference. I’m not saying it’s all about the older kids either, what about the middle child, or the baby?

One to one for Toby is coming in the form of a cinema trip in a week or so, we’re heading out to see  The Secret Life of Pets and Reuben has announced that he has exactly zero interest! Edie gets it all the time on a Friday morning when the boys are at school and preschool.

If you can, take time to do some one to one, you’ll see how much it means to all of you.

H x


  1. Avatar August 4, 2016 / 10:09 am

    You’re right, one to one time is so important with your child. When I was younger I’d love nothing more than a day out with just my mum or dad!

  2. Avatar August 3, 2016 / 8:11 pm

    This is so true and well done on making it happen. I often feel like I’m pulled in two directions with my now 3 month old and 21 month old. Both in very much need of attention. I can tell when my eldest needs it more and even if I can’t do it in the instant I try to be with her 1 on 1 when I can.

    Now little man is past 12 weeks I’m lucky that our gym has a crèche he can go to. For one hour a week, I’m going swimming with my daughter. Sounds like nothing and obviously I give her focuses attention every day. But this feels very special. On a Friday she’s in nursery and that’s when I get to be with my son 1 on 1. Not easy when you don’t have any relatives nearby to help out, so this is how I make it work.

  3. Avatar August 3, 2016 / 11:41 am

    It can be quite difficult to achieve that perfect balance of quality time between all the children. I am learning that just going out there and making it happen, as difficult as it can sometimes be, is totally worth it!

  4. Avatar August 3, 2016 / 12:32 am

    it’s so important for children. I’ve only got Jack atm but I am 15 weeks pregnant so trying to do as much as I can with him this summer hols before full time school and have as much one on one time as I can x

  5. Avatar August 2, 2016 / 10:05 pm

    This is a great way of making sure kids don’t feel left out and initiatives like going to the cinema is definitely a lot of fun!

  6. Avatar August 2, 2016 / 12:23 pm

    I don’t have any kids but completely understand this. I have 2 cousins who get very jealous of each other so we are currently having the youngest stay with us for some 1-2-1 time!

    Ashleigh x – UK fashion, lifestyle and travel blog

  7. Avatar July 28, 2016 / 10:50 pm

    One on one time is so important! I only have the one child but I try to do dedicated things with her as I am always busy so feel like I never have any time and am always telling her later. I was always left out when I was younger as I am the oldest, my sisters always came first and even now they do. I held a lot of resentment towards them and my mum for a very long time because of it. It’s really lovely that you find the time to do things with all your children separately xx

  8. Avatar July 28, 2016 / 8:21 pm

    I really think one to one is so important! I haven’t had one to one time with my eldest for a very long time. But I get it often wth my middle child when my eldest goes to her dad’s. x

  9. Avatar July 28, 2016 / 9:03 am

    This is a lovely post, I do like parents who find the time to spend with the one child when possible as I’m sure trying to find equal time with more than one child around is near enough impossible. I’m glad Reuben felt special that day that he could just be with the two of you without distractions – although I’m sure he feels special daily too 😀 xo

  10. Avatar July 27, 2016 / 9:05 pm

    I try and have one on one time with my little sister and it makes all the difference x

  11. Avatar July 27, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    One to one is so difficult to achieve but brilliant when it happens – I’m always conscious that our middle daughter doesn’t get much. I had a rare afternoon with our youngest yesterday and it was so nice – Reminded me of those lovely days before she started school.

  12. Avatar July 27, 2016 / 10:10 am

    One to one time is so important for little ones. I love having a day to myself with my little man, especially because he’s growing so fast.

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