Did you ever have that moment where all of a sudden you notice your kids are occupied with something and you say to yourself “OMG I have a few minutes, what am I going to do with this time???” Then you run around like mad trying to get stuff done. But before you can get anything done your kids are whining for a snack (yet again).
This used to happen to me all the time.
Then I would get frustrated because I would try to get things done that needed my full attention and my kids were interrupting me every 30 seconds. I had to find that balance. Time where I could to concentrate on things or enjoy quiet. And time to get things done where I could be interrupted.
What Kind of Time You Have
My kiddos are 4 and 7. Now that they are able to play either on their own or together for a longer period of time, I have learned I need to organize my time in two different ways.
- When I will have at least 15 minutes or more to be able to concentrate on whatever I need to work on. There is not a lot of this kind of time, so I have to use it wisely.
- When they are occupied for a short amount of time and I know I will be interrupted a lot.
There are only certain times that I can be fairly certain I will have at least 15 minutes of pretty much uninterrupted time from my kiddos. When…
- I’m up at 5:30 a.m.
- They get their 30 minutes of tv at night
- They’re sleeping
- If someone else is watching them (this is where asking for help comes in handy)
(Mostly) Uninterrupted Time
This is my quiet time to work on things uninterrupted (or to relax and have some Me Time). I’m not going to use this time to get the dishes done, or to work on laundry. I can do those things when they are going to need me more. I’m going to use this time to get things done where I don’t want to be interrupted.
Waking up Early
I wake up at 5:30 almost everyday so that I can have that quiet time to start my day slow. I like to do a little meditation, work on gratitude and affirmations, read, and work on my blog. These are the kinds of things I enjoy doing in quiet without interruption. I make sure to use this early morning time wisely. I look forward to this time, because I realized that it’s important to do things I enjoy doing. Since a large portion of my day is spent taking care of others and doing what they want to do.
Maybe for you it’s just having a cup of coffee in peace, watching the news, or getting a workout in. Since I started making this quiet time a priority, it’s much easier to start my day once my kiddos are awake.
While they have their tv time at night, and once they go to sleep I do some more things that are more easily done in quiet where I can concentrate. Pay bills, go over any school paperwork for the kids, and take some more time to just relax.
Another key piece of this is letting go and receiving help. Not just from your significant other, but other people in your circle. Family members, friends, babysitters. I feel very fortunate that my husband does just as much as I do around the house. This helps with all the chores never getting too overwhelming. We also are lucky enough to have 2 grandparents who love to babysit. If things are starting to pile up we’ll often get some stuff done around the house for a few hours while they watch the kiddos.
I make a concerted effort to get stuff done each morning and night so everything doesn’t pile up. While I would love to sit and relax while the kids are playing, I make myself get up and put away dishes, laundry, clean up the bathroom. Of course I also make time to play with them. But I also use the time to get things done, so once they are sleeping, there is less work for me to do. This gives me more quiet time to enjoy doing what I like.
I’ve realized one important thing over the years. If they’re playing nicely and you don’t need them to do something, let them be and do it in a little bit, if you can. Every mom knows that playing nicely together (or independently) only lasts so long.
If they are involved in what they are doing somethings can wait. I used to stop my kids from playing to get dressed or brush their teeth, when we would have plenty of time before needing to leave the house. Now I wait until there’s an argument over a toy or someone is now bored and has nothing to do all of a sudden. We’ll then get done what we need to and by the time we’ve finished they’ve forgotten about their argument or being bored.
Use The Time You Have Wisely
Sometimes all it takes is thinking about what time you have available in your day and how you are going to use it. Even if you only have 5 minutes while the kiddos are playing. Use that time to get some stuff done so that once they are asleep you have a few more minutes to relax. As moms we need to remember it’s okay to make time for ourselves.