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Activities / Children / Motherhood

How to get fit and bond with your kids!


My daughter crossing the finish line.

running with kids

Me - huffing & puffing. But I finished!

I know many of us are strapped for time and feel like we are being pulled a million different directions.

When I step back and look at how I deal with a more than overfull schedule, it becomes clear that I handle things logically:

  • Identify what needs to be done
  • Prioritize
  • Tackle tasks in order of urgency and necessity

Sounds reasonable right?

My kids’ urgent needs are taken care of – I make sure to:

  • Feed, clothe and shelter them
  •  Keep milk in the house
  • Get them to their activities
  • Sign permission slips
  • Provide discipline


But I’m learning that their urgent needs aren’t always the most important ones.

Our kids need us.  US.

Not us nodding our heads and saying distracted uh huh’s while trying to do something else.  Not us in the same room with them, but miles away mentally.  US.

Engaged.  Interested.  Supportive.  Mentally and physically available to them.

Don’t worry, this isn’t something you have to do each and every minute of every day.  But finding something that works for you and your children is important.

For my 10-year-old daughter and me, we’ve recently been training and completed our first 5K race this past weekend.

Some other ideas that work for my family and may work for you include:

  • One on one meals.  We dub ours girls’ lunch or mom/son dates.
  • Pedicures – even just those done at home.
  • Picking out plants or flowers and planting them – then oohing and aahing as the plants grow.
  • Family game nights – cards, backgammon, Cranium.  Whatever is age appropriate.
  • Crafts.
  • Cooking together.
  • Creating annual traditions, such as Labor Day camping trip, Father/Daughter Ball, etc.
  • Sitting and talking to them with eye contact and no interruptions.
  • Watching when they say “Hey Mom, Watch me!”
  • Play catch or go to the batting cages.
  • Try to do a somersault on the trampoline (even if jumping on the tramp invariably makes you pee a little).  Oops, did I say that out loud?  🙂
  • Read the same book and then talk about the characters.

Basically, show them you are interested in them, enjoy them, and want to spend time with them.  Simple right?  Yet for me sometimes this can get lost in the endless list of have-to’s.  I find myself periodically needing to remind myself of what’s truly important and thought I’d share that reminder with you.

What do you do with your family? Any good tips to share?



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  1. Great tips, Daria! I’d really like to do a 5K with my daughter this spring but have also been trying to do a lot of hiking and bike rides. The nicer climes make it so much easier to be active outside with them!

    • The weather lately has sure inspired us to be outside. It’s been gorgeous! Maybe we could sign up for a race together…say October (ish)?

  2. Great list, Daria. You’ve given me some ideas.

    We do family bike rides and sometimes toss a football around, so I would add those.

    You’re right. They need US. It’s so simple but sometimes I don’t act as if it is!

    Love that video 🙂 Congrats on your race.

    • Bike rides are great too Lori and don’t really have to be very long to get the bonding in… football is a great one too. My son is very interested in football lately for some reason.

  3. We play badmitton every summer in the evenings or take walks. I have also really focused on eye contact and not just being in the same room with them but mentally miles away. Congrats on your first 5K!

    • I used to play badmitton as a kid – we should do that with our kids!

      Maria Bailey suggested the eye contact and I keep reminding myself of that one too. Seems so little, but makes a world of difference!

  4. The best way to make bonding with them is that travel or go for camping with them. They will enjoy it.

    • Camping and vacations are definitely important. It is a priority to me to go on a vacation every year. That’s really the memories that stick with them.

  5. Love this post, Daria! Congrats on the 5k and making quality time a priority. A great reminder for us all! 🙂

    • Thanks Lisa! Now I need to schedule another one and actually be ready for it!

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