For some, having three – four children is easy and may even consider it plain sailing. I don’t know how many of you there are but you are certainly a rare breed – NOT EASY is an understatement! For others it can be sheer slog, for me, it is hard work but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Having a bigger family requires organisation and dedicating time to each on a one to one basis, even though no one in my family is ever happy with the amount of time they are given. My children always complain that they are left out or not given enough attention. Actually my children have got the art of complaining down to a T.

Children fighting for their parent’s attention is natural, it wouldn’t be if they didn’t. But how do you deal with it especially when there is jealousy, moodiness, resentment and bickering swirling around? Dividing your time with each child is vital because they crave alone time with you and need to have you all to themselves – to catch up, to bond and for their siblings not be a part of it. My relationship with each of my children is different but this is only noticeable when alone with each. Spending quality time with the three of them all at once is often not productive as it becomes intense and someone is always left feeling unhappy or left out and this inevitably leads to arguments. Realistically and practically this is hard and time is always short, but hubs and I try to do things alone with each of our children because of the slight difference in age and gender. We find that our children crave it and it becomes pure quality time together.

Just before Christmas my daughter, who is the ‘sandwich’ baby of my fam turned 9 and instead of giving her a birthday bash, I made her wish of going away to London come true. Not to spoil her rotten but to spend time with her because it is something we both needed it. The middle child syndrome is as intense as it can be in our home and although I get angry and frustrated at how she deals with things, I feel very sorry for her at the same time. She needed this getaway to escape from her brothers and have me all to herself. The mummy figure she is familiar with and bears witness to daily was as different as it could have been, we both reconnected and got to know each other. I got to see what a good natured, responsible young lady I live with, she got to see another side of ‘mum’. Don’t get me wrong, of course I know my daughter’s qualities but in the everyday hum drum of routine, we all get bogged down and we have short fuses. Flying to London with my sister and her daughter and staying with a very close family friend were the trimmings which made the whole experience even better for us both.

Despite the Santa overdose I experienced, pre-Christmas in London with my girl could not have been better. We slept together, had endless conversations together, ate together and did the whole London thing together! The long walks in the cold, the theatre, catching up with extended family, experiencing Santa everywhere we went, relishing in afternoon teas, drinking in the sights of London through my daughter’s eyes, being dazzled by the lights, we did it all and it was absolutely spectacular.

My kiddo felt special, loved and most importantly got to savour every moment with her mummy! and at the same time she filled me with pride and joy.

So every once in a while, an extended period of time spent with each of your children to reconnect and bond is essential. It doesn’t have to be abroad, an overnight stay somewhere is as good, as long as it is just you and them. The one on one is VITAL!!!