The way I learn things is by experience and conversation, so when it comes to parenting I do well to watch others and parent alongside (or behind) them. I've been observing mothers for long before I became one, and I've asked a few moms for parenting advice.
There are a couple moms that seem really cool and they really enjoy their kids. They seem happy and full and I am encouraged to watch them be a mom. And get this-their kids are older and they don't complain about their kids not being babies anymore. They appear to really enjoy the company of their children and relish it.
I've noticed a common theme with these so-called cool, healthy, affectionate mothers. They PLAY with their kids. They are in the mix with their kids, involved with whatever they are involved with-playing whatever they're playing-talking about whatever they want to talk about. And I LOVE seeing it play out. I love watching them interact with their kids.
My goal lately is to make myself stop the things that can take away from my playtime with the kids. I want to carve out more pockets of my day to devote to being directly available for my children. I've seen this played out in lives of my friends, and I can see nothing but good come from it.