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

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?

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One 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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