Thursday, July 31, 2014

planning with littles and no outside help

Tuesday I talked a bit about how my mother’s helper is really my sanity in the summer.  She is here twice a week for a few hours in the morning to play with the kids, and it allows me to get a lot of much needed planning done.  I love being a stay at home mama, and one that homeschools, but sometimes there is just a bunch of craziness up in this house, and I need some quiet.  Part of that is due to being an introvert, and part of it is due to being a mama, our attention is on a million things every day.

What do you do if you can’t get some outside help?

I was thinking about this recently when I received an e-mail from a blog reader about how she doesn’t have the resources available during her current life stage.  That is definitely a challenge, and one that I have also faced.  How do you accomplish what you need to when you feel like you have no time or outside help?

I would suggest waking up early.  I know that being an early bird is not everyone’s cup of tea.  In fact, I’m sure that come October when we have another little one in the house, getting up early will be the last thing on my mind. 

Waking up early is a difficult habit to get into.  I think that a lot of us carry over staying up late from our pre-children days, college days, whatever, but getting up early in the morning, while there is still quiet will allow you to get some planning and other important to you tasks accomplished without many interruptions.

But, what do you do if you are a night owl?  If you are able to stay up late and wake up when your kids get up and jump right into your day, good for you!  I am sure you would be able to accomplish quite a bit in the hours after your children go to bed.  Unfortunately for me, I am pretty much useless at the end of the day, and can really only think about sitting on the couch watching TV, reading or knitting.  If you are able to get your planning done at night for the next day, then you should by all means do that.

I think that we often will stay up later than we should (when I say we, I mean I do this) and then end up paying for it in the morning by not being able to drag ourselves out of bed.  It is incredibly easy to get lost in a book or mindless television flipping, trying to unwind after a crazy day, no thought about tomorrow.

Instead, we need to make it a priority to get up in the morning, get going, have our quiet time, exercise, if we are able.  And plan.  Plan what we need to get done during the day.  Do we have all of our homeschool books set out so that we can start right after breakfast?  Or are the backpacks packed and ready to go for the bus in the morning?

Having the time in the morning to sit down and work on special projects, like homeschool planning, like blogging, like journaling or personal development, is incredibly important.  You can only run on empty for so long before it catches up to you and you collapse under the weight of it.

If you have trouble waking up early in the morning, I would start by trying to get up 15 minutes earlier.  You can do it!  It is only 15 minutes.  It could be as easy as getting up when your alarm goes off the first time, instead of hitting the snooze button.  Program your coffee pot so your coffee is ready and waiting when you get out of bed.  In addition try going to bed 15 minutes earlier.  And turn off the electronic devices at least an hour before you turn in.  You want your brain to have time to settle, and it won’t if you are watching a screen right up until you go to bed.

When you have that time in the morning, you become more centered.  Even if your morning time initially consists of only having coffee and sitting with a journal in front of you to write your thoughts.  Eventually you will realize that you are able to get more and more done, and having that time in the morning will become more important than the extra unwinding time at night. 

What strategies do you use if you are unable to get uninterrupted time away from your kids for specific tasks that need to be accomplished?  Do you try to utilize the morning hours before your children are awake?  Or are you able to get a lot done in the evening, after your children are in bed?

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I know I make it a priority on most days to get up before everyone else. It just gives me a certain clarity to start the day with and allows me to feel more calm and it ease because I've gotten a few things done that are important to me.


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