It’s funny how we always have time to watch The Big Bang Theory, but can’t find the time to do a chore. I have found that what we want we find time for, but the things that weigh on us fall to the side.
I raised two daughters, cleaned my home, cared for my spouse, and did all the things in between that are necessary for survival. Some were fun but other’s could suck the life right out of you. The goal is finding and managing time. So, I’m going to share a few tricks I picked up along the way.
I would grocery shop on Saturdays so Thursday was “Eat what won’t kill you” leftover night. Friday was clean out the remainder of the science projects and make a list. Here is the interesting part of making a list- I had a recipe box with pre-planned meats written on note-cards. It covered meat, sides, and veggies.
- Each card listed every item I would need to pull off this meal. What we would do is select an entire week’s worth of “Meal Cards” and create the grocery list accordingly. I would post the meal cards in the order they would be served through the week. That way I never had to stare into the abyss that is the freezer to figure out what we were having on Wednesday. This removed some stress in my daily life and opened up time for other things. And I never had to hear, “Mooooooma, what’s for dinner?”
- My kids enjoyed after-school activities just as most do. I put a limit on how many they could do. They could only be active in two things at once. For example one sports team and one club. As seasons changed their activities changed. This way they weren’t overwhelmed with a ton of activities and maintaining school work and I wasn’t pulling my hair out trying to be at three places at once. You, as the parent, have to be the voice of reason, and if you think it’s too much then place the limit.
- Your spouse/significant other is your partner in this journey. It is their job to help carry the load and if they aren’t then ask them too. Arguing is a waste of time when in most cases just saying, “Hey, babe, can you take (child #2) to (insert location), please? I need to start dinner.” You can always alternate on who goes where and when with the children. If you can all go together then that’s amazing and RARE- enjoy it. But if child #1 is playing baseball and child #2 has Girl Scouts and they are at the same time than you need to plan ahead. This is why I say limit the amount going on.
- You must find time for your spouse/significant other. You must continue to date one another. If that means after the kids go to their rooms for the night and you curl up on the couch together to watch The Big Bang Theory than that’s perfect. But, try to make time at least twice a month to have a date. These dates don’t have to be expensive or extravagant, just special.
- Our kids were at sleepovers on a Saturday night and we had a picnic on the living room floor and watched a movie together and talked about all the things that slipped our minds while chasing after the kids. Sweet and simple.
- If you don’t have a live-in partner then make friends with other parents whose children are in the same activities as yours. Make a schedule with them to help shuttle the kids around from week to week. Learn to ask for help. Other parents are just as frazzled and would be willing to split the duties.
- Your well being is necessary! If your gas tank is empty then how can you be there for everyone else? If you are a hot mess than everything you touch will be incomplete. You MUST take care of you. Join a book club. Have a weekly lunch with your friends. Go to the gym. Find a hobby. I promise you have the time. Think about how much television you watch on an average day…it’s a lot, right? Think of all the other things you could be doing. At one point, we were watching 4 hours of tv a night!!!! Good Lawd! Do you know how much we watch now? Half-
- I read upwards of 300 pages a day. I go to the gym for at least 45 mins 5 times a week. And I do this- I write whenever I can. I am in three different writers groups in my area.
- My husband is in a shooting league. He goes to the gym just as much if not more than I do. He spends time with his brother…
- We fill our tanks. You have to make yourself a priority.
- Memories are made in a moment and you have to be present to enjoy them.
When you have two minutes of free time write down what an average week looks like for your family. Include everything including television time. Find where you are wasting the most time and figure out what you could be doing instead. If it is a priority you will find time for it.