If I just had 10 more minutes…..
I feel like I find myself saying this all the time.
This is me and Miss Missy cuddling in my bed one morning. I treasure those little arms around my neck….when she wants to cling on for dear life.
This is where I want to spend my time: cuddling with the kids; reading with my toddler and my newly established reader; having dance parties; and just being flexible to do anything I want.
I love to savor all these memories….
BUT…There is so much to do.
And then I started realizing that there were times in my day, that I was really not being efficient.
I would encourage you to look at your day and ask yourself….
“Am I making the most of this time?”
I started realizing that if I planned a little more….thought things out a little more…
that I was able to accomplish a lot more in my day.
Then I had more time for this….
So….here are some things that I added/changed about my day to make it more efficient:
- Make the most of the first moments in the morning. I wake up around 6:30 in the morning. I wish I could get up around 6 and workout but…I have “those” kids that when they hear the smallest sound, they are awake. So 6:30 seems to work…although I see my “littles” around 6:45 or 7:00. I try and grab my shower at night, and wake up and grab some prayer time. I keep my mediation in my end table and it takes me about 10 minutes to read and pray. If I have some “me” time before the kids, I’m less likely to be irritated right away. I’m focused on the day. I read over my schedule for the day and give my day direction.
- Try and not enter the same room twice. When I hear little Miss Missy calling from her room in the morning, it’s “go” time for her. As soon as we have our little “hug and kisses” good morning, its straight to change her diaper and get her ready for the morning. However, before I leave her room, I make her bed and arrange her stuffed animals neatly. She places her “nummy” on top where she can find it later. Then we pick up anything on her floor and put it away. If its a Sunday morning, I will pick out her church clothes and lay them out as well. In my mind, I will not enter that room until her nap time. I know I probably spend more time than most people for breakfast in my kitchen….and not just because my kids always want a hot breakfast…haha. However, I like to take care of everything, and then walk away feeling great and having accomplished alot. So after my kids eat breakfast, I send them off to begin independent school work while I finish in the kitchen. I unload and re-load the dishwasher, wipe down countertops, wash down the breakfast table, and sweep. Then I can mentally and physically move into homeschooling mode until we enter the kitchen for lunch or mid-morning snack.
- Multi-task whenever possible without neglecting time with the kids. I don’t mean to check your email or FB when hanging with the kids. Often when I am finishing up my kitchen duties, one or more of the children will come in and “review” their current poem with me. Since they are working on memorization, it only requires me to know the poem and listen. However, if I am giving Miss Missy a bath, why not break out the vinegar/water cleaner and clean the mirror? or do an inventory of the kids bathroom tolietries? I mean….she’s only 1 1/2…I can’t leave her by herself so what can I do in the bathroom? If I’m in the school room and the kids are working independently for a few minutes, I might do a puzzle with Mini Me or reorganize some bins or bookshelves.
- Map out the best route/routine for your day. I have quite the active crew but around 1:30 Miss Missy goes down for about a 2-3 hour nap. Before I take her up to bed, I quiet her by reading her a little book. I don’t have a long naptime routine because I need her to go down without alot of work to maximize my time. After putting her in her crib, I usually put my laundry in the dryer and throw in a new load. When I return to get her out of her crib, I will fold the clothes in the dryer and move my clothes to the dryer. (I have now finished my two loads of laundry for the day without giving exclusive time to laundry) Now, in order to ensure a quiet rest for her, I don’t allow any kids upstairs during this time. I have installed a “quiet time” for the whole house for about an hour. I need the kiddos to calm themselves as well. This time, without Miss Missy, is crucial to getting certain things done. When I am making my Thing to Do list for the day, I make sure I am really using this “nap time” in the best way possible. I use this time to schedule appts; make business calls; catch up with old friends on the phone; work on a tough lesson with one of the older kids; or do some extensive reorganization. And then sometimes…I just crash on the couch because Momma is exhausted!!!!
- Early dinner prep in the morning or at lunch can save so much time!!! Listen…I hate the 4-6 “bewitching hour”. The kids are tired and crazy. Everyone is hungry and you are just trying to make dinner without burning anyone. And everyone swears by their crockpot but sometimes…you don’t have 7 hours or maybe you are making something in the oven or on the stove. So…here’s a tip. Plan what you are having for dinner and do some prep in the morning. Are your kids cereal kids???? Even better….while they are chomping away, do some dinner prep. This morning I knew that I was having meatloaf for dinner and would need to chop up peppers and onions ..so…for breakfast I made an omelet. I chopped up my veggies and put 1/3 in my omelet and the rest were put away for dinner. I also cut up my butternut squash while my bacon was frying for the kids. This evening was great. My dinner prep was 15 minutes and I spent some time doing research on my computer while my dinner was cooking. I was not yelling at kids or stressed out.
- Utilize your idle time in the car. This is soooo integral for not wasting time. I swear by it! If you are like me and hate to be late, sometimes you find yourself early for pickup or waiting for a music lesson, etc. This is the time to:
- pull out those flash cards or do Math drills.
- clean out your car/ van when we have some time spent waiting.
- Listen to some books on tape. Get extra copies of the book from the library and let those kids READ!!!!
- Play some preschool songs like “the wheels on the bus”. I feel like my 3 yr old is learning as well and I’m not neglecting her “schooling”.
- Keep some library books stocked in a little bin in your car that can ONLY be read in the car.
- Keep a little box of crayons and a few coloring books in your car. (I keep these in the bin with the library books. This has saved me a few times)
I hope that this week you will find your 10 extra minutes….or more!!!!
Pray hard, work hard and play hard!!!!