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?