Thursday, 11 February 2010

Finding More Hours in the Day

I feel like I'm having a constructive week. Despite going to bed earlier, I've accomplished a lot more in a day than I do usually. I've been tackling some areas of clutter in our home and getting rid of stuff, I've done some baking, caught up with some non-mummy friends and in the evenings I've been reading and doing a few crafty bits and pieces. I've really enjoyed filling my time with more variety and feeling like I'm achieving more in a day.

Getting more done has involved quite a lot less time spent on the computer each day. I don't spend loads of time on the computer in an average day but I do tend to use most of son's nap time for reading news, other blogs, sending emails and writing my blog of course! In the evening when my son is in bed, I sometimes do a bit more of that, whilst my husband is often doing the same. This week, I've been confining my computer time to the day only and also reducing the time spent on it. So, I haven't read any news and only read a couple of the many blogs I enjoy reading but it's been time well spent in other ways.

The non-mummy friend I saw yesterday isn't working at the moment. She was telling me how she struggles to get things done and misses the satisfaction of working through a list of tasks at work and feeling in control of what's to be done. She told me she imagined having a baby helps to give your day a sense of structure. She's right to an extent. I have to get up and start my day around 7.30am every morning and the day is naturally split it up into sections around my son's naps, meals and bedtime. However, it's easy to 'waste' a day faffing around and not actually doing anything, even with a baby.

The way to get around that, as I think this week has shown me, is to set yourself several very small tasks. For example yesterday, as part of my de-cluttering project, I tackled one big basket in our living room that had a bunch of baby-related stuff in it, from the old NHS pregnancy book my doctor had given me about two years ago, to instructon manuals for baby-related equipment and scraps of sentimental paperwork I wanted to put in my baby book. It didn't take too long to sort out but it was great to deal with it and get rid of a lot of rubbish I'd been hoarding in there. In addition to that task, I needed to mop the floors and do some cooking in advance of visiting family. All small tasks, but all useful to accomplish and easy to fit in around looking after my son during the day.

It can be a challenge to do things when you're at home looking after a baby or toddler and I'm not suggesting you should have a rigorous schedule or plan of events for each day! Using the snippets of time you do have free when they are napping or happily engaged in an activity where you can be doing something close by is a good way to fit in a little more though. Dealing with a nagging task might not seem like something to spend time on but as with my basket de-cluttering yesterday, it's often easier and quicker to get done than you imagined. It's nice to cross those things off the list! It's also nice to sit and do something for yourself that you don't do as often as you like, such as reading, some simple crafts or cooking, depending on what you enjoy.

How do you spend your days if you're a stay-at-home mum? Do you find it difficult to get stuff done during the day?


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  1. Its not time I need more of (although that would be nice). Its motivation. I work most days or look after Little Miss P, but at nights I just waste time watching rubbish TV, too unmotivated to do anything for ME!

  2. I found it was helpful to just jot down last thing at night 3 things I wanted to achieve the next day - no matter how small and then I loved ticking them off - as that made me feel a real sense of achievement. Having a baby can throw your patterns of routine so I found the ticking off gave me a feeling a sense of being in control of my life again.That kept my confidence up too.
    I always popped in 10 - 20 minutes "me" time every day as it replenished my batteries and made me feel "Human" again too

  3. Mummy Bear - I guess sometimes you have to make yourself do something for you, so that you realise how nice it is and to help you feel motivated to do it again. It's difficult when you're working and come home tired though...

    Sue - that's a great idea to have a short list of small things to achieve the next day and then enjoy the satisfaction of ticking them off when you've achieved them. Taking a few minutes of 'me time' is also very important!

  4. I've been playing with this for a while and I've finally reached a satisfying conclusion. I keep a short list of what HAS TO BE DONE and make sure it gets done. But apart from that, no set schedule for me (my kids are older). I go with the flow of what calls my name: laundry, writing, reading, walking, connecting with friends, etc. I tried for years to make myself follow a schedule and it never worked. Now I don't even try anymore and things get done. They do. :)
    Love your posts!

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog this week!

    When I was a full time stay at home mom/mum I struggled with trying to get it all done and feel like I was spending enough one on one time with my son - until I realized that he was quite happy to build with his blocks or look through his storybooks or push his cars back and forth for hours at a time without me right there by his side.

    I think that children need time on their own just like us grownup do. And now, I use that time to get the things on my 'must do' list accomplished!

  6. Maryse - you're right that schedules don't work for everyone so it's great that you manage to get things done without feeling like you have to try.

    Erin - thanks for your visit too! You make an excellent point about children needing time on their own just like us and how we can use that time to get a few things done.

  7. I love the feeling of actually having got something done. Often I find my children love to help with little jobs - my challenge is to get over the idea that I need to do things when they are not around as their 'help' can sometimes be the opposite. Having two girls they were thrilled when I sorted out my wardrobe!
    Thanks so much for your comments on my blog - its really encouraging to hear other people have the same things on their minds!

  8. I really love the topics you discuss on your blog. It is very relatable and well thought out. It's nice to come across a blog that makes you want to improve your life without feeling presently like a failure. So, thank you!

    I was just thinking about this topic the other day. I had let a few days go by without really getting anything accomplished (not even playing with my kids as much as I wish I had). So I've decided to do something along the lines of what you suggested. I set my self a number of tasks to complete during the day! It's helping me feel more productive and giving me more energy in the day.

  9. I really appreciate your kind comments on my blog. It's nice to know people find it relatable.

    Glad to hear too that you've managed to feel more energetic and productive by setting a few tasks to achieve in a day.


Thank you for reading. I'd love to have your comments and thoughts!