I am a stay at home mum of a 2 year old girl and 4 year old son. I would like some advice on how to balance my time between the housework, "me time" & also spend quality time with the kids.
I find that I that the end of the day, I haven't really spent quality time with the kids nor really completed housework that I set out to do, let alone any me time! Do you know any books or other advice you can give me to give me a better direction and organisation skills as a stay-at-home mum? Just want to enjoy every moment with the kids & feel so guilty when I have to do other things. Many thanks.
I'm not aware of any specific books regarding time management skills but I have just read a great book called The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan (John Murray publishing). It's only a new release so you may have problems getting it. But essentially it talks about not trying to do too much all at once and focusing on one thing, doing it properly and then moving onto the next thing. I totally appreciate that this was written by men and not mothers who often need to multi task and do lots of things at the same time. But the messages are very good, perhaps you'll be able to source a copy.
The trick I think, and I speak from personal experience as much as a clinician, is to not try too hard to achieve too much in one day. Set a goal of three specific and realistic things you really want to do and make sure these are done. It's enough just to do the basics with little kids - the meals, the housework the washing etc. But if you aim for even one "extra" thing each day then your sense of achievement at day's end may be boosted.
The other thing is to aim for special one on one time with each child - even 15 minutes of reading or playing which can make a big difference.
And mark on the calendar some time for yourself, say with a friend or shopping without the kids and stick to this. Gym attendance can be great especially if they have child minding.
And another tip is to not put off those small jobs which honestly take less than 5 minutes such as sorting through mail, sending an email, sweeping the floor but which make us feel lousy every time we think of them and remind ourselves that we still haven't' gotten around to doing them. This strategy can really work.
And another thing is to try to achieve one "big" thing in the morning or the afternoon which separates it from every other day. This may be even stripping the sheets off the beds and washing all the bed linen. Or making contact with a friend or relative you've not spoken with for a while. This can also help to boost a sense of achievement.
These early years will pass, believe me and the best thing you can do is care well for yourself.
06 Oct 2013