How to spend quality time with your kids when you're a busy mum

You spend so much of your time cooking, cleaning, and taking care of everyone that sometimes it's easy to forget about spending time with your kids. Whether you're just chatting or having fun together spending quality time with your kids is important. Finding the time though, when you're a busy mum, can be difficult - there's always something to be done. But it IS possible to do it all...

How to spend quality time with your kids when you're a busy mum

What is quality time?

First of all you need to think about what you classify as quality time - because really any time spent communicating with, or even just being with your kids, can be classed as quality time. If you're having fun, chatting, being together, it's all good for them - and you.

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mum | Laugh with your family - it's all quality time.
Don't forget to laugh together!

Spend quality time with your kids while cooking or cleaning

Have you ever noticed how the kids get all excited when you ask them for help? I'm talking younger kids here - the teens will likely roll their eyes at you or think you're being mean (and that's a whole other thing!). My youngest, who is now 10, loves to help with everything. If I asked him to help me with cooking dinner he'd love it - and the great thing is if you use a simple recipe, as suggested by Real Mom Help in her post 10 Simple Ideas for Spending Quality Time with Your Child, they can do a lot of the work too. If I asked for his help with the cleaning he'd jump at the chance - despite not ever wanting to do his own chores!

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mumn | Make breakfast together - and eat together too!
Make breakfast together. And eat together too!

The thing here is to get the kids involved in the things you do on any normal day. By involving them in your mum duties you're not only teaching them about the cooking and cleaning, but you're also showing them what you do when they're not around. You get to spend quality time with them, chatting and doing work, while also teaching. That's a parenting win right there!

Get errands done and spend quality time together

Everyone knows that most errands you have to run when you're a busy mum are pretty dull. Food shopping, nipping to the pharmacy, even birthday shopping, it's almost never for yourself and no one thanks you for it - but they're jobs that have to be done. So instead of leaving the kids at home, or waiting until they're at school, why not just take the kids with you?

Love your family. Spend time, be kind & serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised and today is short.


With the food shopping you can send them to look for something you want. I usually send LP off to get bread. But while you're shopping you get to talk to them too. You can wander up and down the aisles, and sometimes it will even spark a conversation you weren't expecting. I remember once discussing race and the differences between food and cultures after LP spotted curry ingredients in one of the aisles and then asked why different countries like different foods. It was an interesting, and sometimes difficult, conversation to have but I feel like we connected and LP learned something. 

Spend a day together and you'll get quality time

Have a day - probably during the school holidays - where they spend an entire following you around. Whether that's watching/helping you with household chores, going on errands with you, or just sitting with you while you fold and iron clothes. They may get bored during some of it, but they will learn and you can spend the time talking. 

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mum | Get the kids in on the chores!
Get the kids involved with the chores and it goes quicker as well as you get to spend time together.

Again by sharing what you do with them they're learning that you don't just sit home all day waiting for them to return from school. You have your own jobs and while you do stay home it's not to watch TV all day - unfortunately. It's healthy for your kids to see the things you do for them, but it's also good for you to show them how much work you do. It will make you feel better, because we all feel a bit rubbish sometimes don't we? And again, you get to talk about all kinds of things while you spend the time together.

Crafting can help you spend quality time with your kids

I'm not really much of a crafter, but I do have lots of craft equipment in my office. I even have a craft drawer downstairs that the boys can access whenever they want. They don't choose to often but it's there if they want it. And when they do choose to, they often want me to get involved too.

Crafting is a great way to spend time with your kids. You can all get messy creating something beautiful (or something messy if that's your thing), you laugh as you make mistakes or go wrong, and most importantly you have fun together.

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mum | Paint - fun for all the family.

When both my boys were younger we used to have messy days. I'd get the paints out and let them go nuts and they loved it. I have a photo of BP after one of our messy days and he has paint all over him, on his face, in his hair, even in his ears! And BP still remembers that day - he laughs when he looks at the photo and can't believe he ever did it. At 15 I think it's great that he remembers this kind of thing, it sparks good memories for him and that makes me smile.

Engage in the things they like in order to spend quality time with your kids

Whether it's Fortnite or Minecraft, Teletubbies (are they even still around?) or Thomas the Tank Engine, showing an interest in the things they like will bring you closer together. I was just talking to BP yesterday about how much he used to love Ben 10, and we reminded him how many Ben 10 related things he had. His school bag, his lunch box, clothes, toys, even his watch was Ben 10 branded. And as his mum and dad we knew all the characters names and their special abilities (not that I could tell you them now!). These days it's more about Fortnite, and the Hubby plays too. He knows all about V-bucks, "skins", and Battle Passes (all Fortnite terms), and while I know a little about it I'm no expert - which is a good thing according to who, in their post How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Child, say that letting your kids "kick your butt" is showing you are human and vincible. 

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mum | Get in on the gaming!

The thing is, because we know a little about the things they like our boys enjoy talking to us about those things. If we had no idea what they were talking about they'd wander off and chat to friends, or keep to themselves. By engaging in their hobbies, or their favourite shows, we're showing them we are open to learn and they are more likely to talk to us about their other likes and dislikes because of that.

Spend quality time reading to your kids at night

For years I read stories to my boys before they went to sleep at night. It was our quiet time together and I know they both enjoyed it. BP, my eldest who is now 15, used to love listening to the different stories but would fall asleep after I'd been reading for 10 minutes or so. I tried time and again to read Dr Seuss Sleep Book to him but we never managed to get to the end - he was always asleep before we got to "goodnight". LP, now 10, was completely different. He would stay awake until I had finished the very last page and then he'd ask questions about the book. His favourites included The Dinosaur that Pooped series, Dr Seuss was a regular, and the Mr Men books featured often too. Because I'd always wanted to read Dr Seuss Sleep Book and actually reach the end I tried it with LP, and of course we got to the end - every time. And every time he would ask different questions about what he'd heard. He recognised characters from other Dr Seuss books, his vocabulary increased, and we had at least 30 minutes quality time together every single day. I will always cherish that time - and I know they will too.

Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

Regina Brett

While my boys are no longer at the age they want me to read to them I know that by spending time reading with them before bed I got to spend quality time with them every day for years. I read to my boys from the day they were born, with BP I stopped when he was around 6 years old because he asked me to, but by then I was reading to LP too. I didn't stop reading to LP until he was 8, and that was only because he could read himself by then and wanted to move on to bigger stories. 

When your kids settle down for the night, and you're reading their favourite - or what could become their favourite - story, you're showing them how much you want to spend time with them. You want to put in the time, and even if they ask a million questions when you're finished - it's worth it.

Any time with your kids is quality time

As I said before, any time you spend with your kids is quality time. They are more likely to remember the times you spend laughing and playing together, than how much time you spent in the kitchen making dinner. Spend time with your kids and your bond will strengthen, you'll make connections that will last a lifetime, and when - if it happens - you have grandkids, you can smile because  it was all worth it.

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mum | Get out and about with your family - and ignore the cleaning.
We love walking in Wollaton Park.

If you prefer listening to podcasts I've been listening to The Girl Next Door Podcast and while their kids are younger than mine I can totally relate to them. The episode Quality Time with Kids is great, it's full of good ideas and chat about spending time with your kids, and if you do listen let me know if you would love to try the cocktail they mention at the start of the podcast. I can't wait to try it!

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mum | Spending time isn't just about the big things, involve them in the little things too.

What are your favourite ways to spend quality time with your kids?

Grab the colouring page and spend quality time colouring in with your kids.