Yesterday I started our back to parenting basics week with a post on determining your parenting rocks inspired by the recent two-week course I bought called Makeover Your Morning. Today I’m going to continue it by talking about work and play and how it affects our entire week.
“You can discover more of a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato
I used to think that being a stay at home mom would be nice because I’d be able to read books all day! Now, I have to fight to get much reading time into a week, much less a day. I don’t think I’m alone here, and I think it’s normal. I believe some mothers find it difficult to get to the work during the day, and some mothers find it difficult to get to the play.
I think by working out good daily and weekly systems, we can get more work done and enjoy a lot more play!
Because by doing hard work first, there’s much more time for play.
I think it’s a basic life principle that we should not put rest and relaxation in front of our work. And I think that most mothers follow that principle to the extreme which is why they are tired, stressed, and constantly looking for an escape.
Here’s how to work hard first so you can play harder for longer.
1. Stop and think.
We often hit the ground running in the morning jarred awake by a child. Then we drag everyone to breakfast, clean it up, get them dressed, try to tidy, on and on and on until we’ve been working hard and yet spinning our wheels. Not accomplishing much, but still having no time for ourselves.
Next time you have a few minutes, why not sit down and think. What are the areas in the home that are causing stress? What can you do this week to help streamline those areas so they are less work later? Is breakfast a nightmare? Why not try something like creating a DIY breakfast station? Is laundry the bane of your existence? Create a laundry system that works for your home.
2. Schedule play in.
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t decide in advance to do something for myself it doesn’t happen. I like getting my nails done and I consider it one of my very few indulgences (aside from Diet Coke). Aside from having that hour to myself, I can look at my nails daily and be happy they are “done.” It’s time alone and a bit of pretty. So now instead of randomly going in when I had an hour, which means never, I’ve started booking appointments in advance. I’ll go to an appointment I set!
Schedule in date nights, weekends away, or special events even if they are months away. Especially if they are months away! In my experience, if I wait for it to happen it never does.
3. Get help to catch up.
Last year during my last pregnancy I had finally exited the first trimester and felt capable of standing up without feeling nauseous. I passed out of the first trimester fog into the second trimester reprieve and noticed that my home had been invaded by slobs and no one had kicked them out! I humbly called a neat and tidy friend and just said “help.”
She was so quick to come over with her gloves and made quick work of our home. It was so much easier to keep up after that since it was like a fresh start. I even wrote a post about it on how to get out of a cleaning funk.
4. Create easy systems.
If it’s hard it won’t work. If it’s annoying you won’t do it. If it is too much trouble may as well save your energy. You are a busy mom caring for your young kids and ain’t nobody got time for color-coded-too-many-drawer-systems that look good on Pinterest but are too much drama. Create a laundry system. Create a chore system. Create a cleaning system. Hire help if necessary.
Make it easy so you set yourself up for success. As the Makeover Your Morning course eludes to, if your goals or wishes are vague you simply won’t make them happen. You need easy, concrete, and doable systems.
Moms can get so flustered trying to take their kids to all these lessons and running errands all day long just to avoid the doldrums of the home, but if that hard work was done wisely and upfront, there truly would be more time for play.
Tomorrow I’m talking about home stress relief so stay tuned!
Back to the Basics Posts:
- Part One: Big Rocks of Parenting