Monday, November 14, 2011

Time Management

Adding a third child to our family was an easy transition. Let's keep it real, though. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do! It's difficult to balance time with my kids, time with my husband, time for myself, and time to meet all the other demands in life!

I'm not happy about sacrificing time with my kids in order to get other things done, so I had to get creative! I realized that I didn't have to be on the floor playing with them in order to spend time with them. The truth is, all kids really want is to be noticed and to be loved! When they get that, they're happy!

So, without further ado, here are a few of my favorite tips (obviously not all, because that would require me to really think about it, and I just don't have it in me right now!):

*During that boring, ten minute wait for the bus (because it comes anywhere from 5 minutes early to 5 minutes late), Dylan and I read one of his library books. He loves the one on one time with me, and we get all those library books read.

*As soon as I come in from putting Dylan on the bus, I sit at the kids table with Lexie. We either have breakfast together, or we chat as I sip my coffee or tea.

*While Lily is still sleeping in the morning, I go for a 30 minute run on the treadmill. Lexie loves to narrate her books, so she reads to me as I run. Once she tires of that, we turn on A Baby Story and discuss the episode while we're watching. This usually leads to some really funny conversations!

*Before feeding Lily, I spend some time holding her and talking to her. Because, really, who can resist a gummy baby smile?!?

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*I try to do most of my cleaning while Lexie is at school and Lily is sleeping. If that isn't possible, I put Lily in the Moby wrap while I clean. It holds her tight against me, and I tell her everything I'm doing while I'm doing it. If I have to clean while Lexie is home, I set her up with an art project, and check on her every few minutes. I give her a kiss or a hug, and let her show me what she made.

*I make sure to stop what I'm doing a few times during the day, no matter what, and read a book to my kids or snuggle with them.

*I try to include Lexie in whatever I'm doing. She helps me clean, cook, bake, organize, and do dishes. The same goes for Dylan when he's home.

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*One or both of the girls keep me company while waiting for Dylan's bus to come home.

*Dylan and Lexie tend to keep each other company when Dylan gets home from school, but Lily is usually awake at some point while I'm cooking dinner or cleaning up. I sit her in the high chair next to me while I cook or do the dishes. She loves to "chat" with me while I get things done.

*We eat dinner together every night. It's really important to us to spend time together as a family.

*Dylan and I spend ten minutes together every day after school, doing his homework and talking.

*I clean the bathroom while Lexie bathes.

*We spend a half hour before bed reading books. We usually lay on my bed to read. Lexie picks one, Dylan picks one, and I usually pick a Holiday/seasonal book. If Lily is awake, she sits with us while I read.

*I make sure to spend a few minutes of alone time with each kid before bed. We talk about the best/worst/funniest parts of their day, cuddle, and then pray. Dylan and Lexie go to bed really early on weeknights, so Lily is still getting quite a bit of time with Grant and I before she goes to bed.

*And, finally, Grant and I aim to have all of the household chores done by 8, so 8-11 is "our" time.

As it always is with parenthood, things are constantly changing. I'm sure I will continue to learn new time management tricks, while having to adapt some of the old ones. For now, this is what works, and I'm sticking with it! My days are running much smoother now!

What are some of your favorite time management tricks?

13 comments:

  1. This is a great post and something that has been on my mind a lot!! I'm afraid I don't manage time nearly as well as I should. I do make sure to get on the floor and play with my kids for a few minutes each day. I give them plenty of cuddles throughout the day and dinner time is a top priority at our house... TV off, cellphones & laptops put away and everyone around the table! I also make sure to talk to my 2 yr old about her day at bed time and, if we have fun plans for the next day we'll talk about that too. I love your post here!! You have some great ideas for managing time. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Sounds like you are doing everything JUST RIGHT! Good for you!

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  3. Thanks for the tip about getting someone to read to you while you exercise! Brilliant! I had Eli read his book to me this afternoon while I was on the elliptical. It killed two birds with one stone, and made my exercise time seem so much faster!

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  4. Those are all great ways to make sure your kids get time with you. I know how difficult it can be, but you seem to have a handle on it. :)

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  5. I don't even have little ones underfoot anymore and I don't have a schedule. So, so impressed.

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  6. Thanks for sharing - these are great tips! I have been struggling lately to figure out a good balance of housework and spending time with my two year old... sometimes it is hard without external structure!

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  7. Sounds like you have a good schedule! You are concentrating on what is most important, those awesome kiddos!

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  8. You are a rock star! Those are such great ideas/tips! I am the worst at time management. We do eat dinner together every night. But I could really use those cleaning and entertaining kids at the same time tips!

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  9. This couldn't be more true. I am the same way about my time. I try and give the kids all my attention, but I also have to give myself attention too. It's a struggle, but it is nice to keep it balanced.

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  10. This sounds like a great schedule. We try to fit in book reading as often as possible.

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  11. You are such a good Momma! I try really hard every day to just be with my kids. Snuggling, chatting, doing absolutely nothing at all...that is the one think I feel I missed out with when I look back on my childhood. :)

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  12. Oh geesh! Now I am in awe! I only got one kiddo plus I got helper but still I sometimes missed some bonding moment with my little tot. Its really hard to be a working/student mom. But u are right, time is flying so fast. I should be squeezing,hugging,etc my little tot before she gets busy with boys (now I faint!)

    hope u are having a great week!
    hugs,
    Marice

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  13. You are doing a fabulous job! It is so hard juggling all the aspects of 3 kids but it does get easier! Just in the last few months I feel like I have a little more "time" for some reason. It is bitter sweet because I know that my babies are just getting bigger and more independent. :-(

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