I was talking with a playground Mum who was complaining that there weren't enough hours in the day, for her to do everything that she wanted to do and to still be a good Mum. It made me think just what I do with the 24 hours I am given every day, as sometimes when I go to bed at night I am convinced that I haven't done anything during the day and yet I am strangely tired. So I took a look at everything that I do...
As I am a Stay at home Mummy during the day, you may think that I am lucky as I can get chores done and play with Baby Boy. I feel guilty if I play with Baby Boy though because I should be cleaning or doing chores and if I am cleaning or doing chores then I feel guilty because I should be playing with Baby Boy! I am starting to get over this guilty feeling because I am a Flybaby and I follow the Flylady programme for cleaning my home and managing my chores. It is basically a way of keeping on top of your household routines, but by doing it in manageable chunks and spread out over the week rather than in one big cleaning day. I would recommend the system to anyone, so please do take a look and although it might seem a little strange at first it really does work!
So with chores and cleaning not taking up all my time everyday, what does?
The computer is a big drain on my time, but I try to limit my time during the day. When Baby Boy had a morning and an afternoon nap, I used to try to get my chores done as quickly as possible so I could use the quiet time to write a blog post or two and to read messages on Twitter or Facebook. Now of course I can't even count on that as he has dropped his naps and whilst not needing me to play with him all day (he doesn't like me to play with the play doh if he is!) he does like me to be around or to watch!
So with The computer not taking up all my time everyday, what does?
The TV. I am an addict. I like to watch TV I will record TV shows that are on at night and watch them when I have a chance, I will watch them in snippets here and there or whilst I am doing my chores or whilst the children are in the bath (Our bathroom is downstairs so I can see the children in the bath and the TV!) but seeing as I only watch it whilst I am doing something else its not taking up extra time is it?!
So if my TV addiction isn't taking up all my time everyday, what does?
Cooking. I make a packed lunch for Top Ender and three breakfasts every morning, there is a mid morning snack for Baby Boy, Lunch for Baby Boy and I, a snack after school and of course dinner at night. None of them really take very long really, and I plan my shopping list so I know roughly what we will be having every night so I don't need to read hundreds of cookery books to get ideas. Even when I forget to do the dishes as I am going along they don't normally take that long. After all if there are only four people in the house and I don't use every pot and pan then how much washing can there be?
So if cooking isn't taking up all my time everyday, what does?
Working. I work four nights a week between 7pm and 10pm. I will occasionally work a bit longer or do an extra shift. I enjoy my job, and as I work from home I get to sit on the PC and watch TV with Daddy or have a conversation with him about what has gone on in the day. I can sometimes surf the Internet or write a blog post during my quiet times and if I wasn't working then I would probably just be sitting on the sofa.
So if working isn't taking up all my time everyday, what does?
Maybe it is all the little things I do that add up? What about the few minutes on the school run or tidying up the toys that are scattered over the floor? How about doing some exercise or going to the bathroom? What about the time I spend with Baby Boy teaching him new things or the time I spend with Top Ender hearing her read her books to me? Maybe its the time I spend with my family at the dinner table each night or the time we spend hugging before bed? Maybe I spend too long sleeping or eating or brushing my hair? Maybe its the time we spend out together...
No, I don't think that it is that at all.
I get twenty four hours every day to spend with my family. I do things with and for them, I do things for myself and I think that I have got a pretty good balance. So what if I spent two hours playing trains with Baby Boy and only a half hour dusting whilst watching Neighbours? I have the balance that is right for me and my family. I might not win the Mother of the year award, I might not win the cleanest house award but I have won my personal work life balance!