It was 7:30 p.m. by that time, so that meant I had one hour left to hang out. They each wanted to tell me what happened in their day, all talking one over the next in succession. Before I could even sit down to remove my uncomfortable shoes, I was most certainly joined in my chair by the two littlest ones.
I spent that hour trying to review homework, chat, give them dessert (leftover Sweet Potato Pie from Thanksgiving) and read them stories, but then as their bedtime approached I found myself rushing my oldest to take his bath, the other two to brush their teeth, and finally (not before reading Curious George to the wee ones and two chapters of The Fox and the Hound to my oldest) get them all in the bed. Partly because they need a good night's sleep, but also because I needed a minute. This CBM was starving (on some new crazy diet that’s got me eating air... but I digress)!
The following morning, I rushed them again (because they are sooo slow) to get ready so I could finish packing lunches and make breakfast (turkey sausage with scrambled eggs, very ambitious for a work morning), only to rush again to make it out of the house to school/work.
As I look back, I really wish there was more time (during the week). I need to be more proactive about getting up earlier or trying to get home earlier. I don't want to look back later and wish I had. All your children know is that they want to spend time with their parents. I am very cognizant of this and I search for balance and guidance every day. It’s one of the reasons our weekends are devoted to THEM.
It’s not particularly easy, because I have three and they each want their own as well as collective mommy (and daddy) moments. As I look to this holiday season, I'm giving the biggest gift I can provide to my family: more time.
You can't get back these moments together, and while it may be hard, it is possible to do things in small ways. I may not trump a Nintendo DS, or an electric guitar now, but those memories will be the ones they remember later while the toys will be in the trash. Think about that before you spend your hard earned cash. Time is priceless.
Check out these quick tips to get the ball rolling on your time management:
1. Get up 45 min-1 hr earlier in the morning so you can get lunches/breakfast prep out of the way.
2. Pickup games like playing cards, Connect Four, Candyland or Monopoly. Devote one night a week to be home early so you have time to play a game with your kids (good brain stimulation anyway).
3. Put them to work, let them help you wash dishes or clean up so you are freed up to do other things, with them.
4. Turn to the music channel on your cable station and have a dance party. Let it all hang out and go crazy for about 30 min. We do this a lot and it doesn’t require any prep, but is a fun and easy thing to do together. Such a YouTube worthy moment.
5. Turn off your devices. You'd be surprised how much time that will allow you to focus.
Smooches Hot Chicks,