How To Make Time For The Important Things
Not Enough Hours In The Day
If you're a busy Mom or Dad you know that there is never enough time to do all the things that seem to be required of you on any given day. From the time you open your eyes in the morning until you fall into bed at night someone or something needs your attention. At the end of the day you invariably feel exhausted and vaguely disappointed in yourself for not getting everything on your to-do list accomplished. Your children clamor for your attention constantly it seems but there is so much involved in making a living and running a house! You never seem to have time to spend just being with them, enjoying their silly jokes and playing the games they love.
Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
After years of doing things 'by the book' so to speak, I've come to the conclusion that some of the things we do every day in our routine are simply not necessary. For instance, making the beds. Who declared to the first housewife that beds had to be meticulously arranged each morning? I decided several years ago to pretend like I never got that memo. Smoothing the sheets and comforter a little takes just a minute and, in my opinion, is sufficient.
Another time consuming chore that I think can easily be eliminated is folding towels and wash cloths. They never stay in the linen closet more than one day at our house with so many showers being taken. My solution is to place a plastic container or wicker basket in the bathroom closet. As they come out of the dryer, toss the towels and wash cloths into the container. They're just as available when needed with no time spent folding.
You may totally disagree with my short cut ideas. They are a little unconventional but sometimes we can get bogged down in convention, I think. There's a popular video on You Tube that features a wonderfully funny lady who declares "ain't nobody got time for that!" That's just how I feel about folding towels and making beds!
A Stitch In Time Saves Nine
Sometimes we can spend a few extra minutes on a job and save precious time later when we're more rushed. Changing wet sheets in the middle of the night is never pleasant, especially when you wake the baby in the process. My solution to that is to layer crib sheets and puddle pads several layers deep. Then when the baby or small child starts to stir because the bed is wet, just pull off the wet layer, change their clothes and hopefully go back to sleep.
I use that same principle when taking out the trash. If you layer the bags several layers deep, it's goes much quicker because the new bag is already in place. When cooking things like meat loaf or barbecued ribs, cleaning the pan is much easier if you line it with aluminum foil before putting in the food. Some dishes can be cooked entirely in aluminum foil wrapped tightly around them, chicken and pork chops for example. After all, every moment saved can be spent doing something truly important.
Enlist The Kids' Help
I never knew a child who didn't get excited about helping Mom or Dad, at least until they're preteens. After that, not so much! A little gentle persuasion might be in order for the older crowd.
A way to insure that the family vehicle stays relatively clean is to assign seats to the kids. Each one is responsible for keeping their designated area free of trash and filth in general. They may need to be reminded as they exit at the end of each day to clear their area of all clutter, including toys, phones. Ipods and tablets. Most younger kids will relish the chance to please you by doing their job well.
Another job that can be time consuming is watering flowers, and it's one that can't be avoided in a dry spell. Send several kids with water guns, especially the super- soaker variety, and they'll make short business of that job, freeing up some of your time to relax or read a book.
We all need to recharge our batteries from time to time, take a minute and think about what our priorities are. Twenty years from now, will it matter if the beds were made every day and the towels neatly folded? I think not........what your kids will remember most are the times they had your undivided attention and nothing else in the world was more important to you than them. Now that is important stuff!