Last weeks Never Lie post was a bit heavy but oh so true. I was so grateful for taking the time to write it because I needed that reminder.
This weeks topic is Give Time To Get Time which I know sounds a bit backwards but I promise if you give 5 minutes you get 20 and that is the key to getting stuff done with littles and even as they get older it still applies.
One day I put my 1.5, 2, and 4 year old at the kitchen table with playdough which was a weekly occurrence a the time and I sat down with them for 5 minutes and we played. I had a huge to do list and so I got up and did the dishes while watching them create and smush that playdough into grand masterpieces. When the dishes were done I came back to the table and asked them all about their creations(about 2 minutes) and then I went and switched the laundry and folded it and put it away. I then came back to the table and made a creation of my own then left the table again to continue down my to do list. I continued with this pattern. 2 hours later we were putting the playdough away and getting lunch ready. That afternoon as the children were napping I pondered on how wonderful the morning was. How much I had accomplished and I even played with my children and the rest of the house was NOT A MESS!!! Why was that day different than the other days where I felt a little less like a great mom, a terrible caretaker of all things domestic, and left feeling a bit frazzled and feeling behind. It hit me I gave my time and attention to my children not in a 2 hour playdough fest but a minute here, 2 minutes there and therefore they stayed engaged in their activity longer to show me their creations. Was this a fluke??? Did I figure out the key to feeling like a good mom and not feeling like I lived in a trash pit??? The next day I put a tub of animals and blocks on the floor in the living room and went about that same pattern. They didn't quite last the 2 hours as the previous day but I did accomplish a lot in the the hour or so but I felt like I was onto something. The next day I put glue sticks and paper for them to rip and glue onto other paper and guess what...2 hours again!!! I realized my children love to create and so the activities that had them creating and not just playing(which important but I was trying to get stuff done while also keeping them engaged)were going to be the key along with me taking the time between each task to praise and create with them. This was one of those triumphant moments for me as a mom to realize I could keep them engaged in a fun activity, get things done on my to do list, and not have a messier house afterwards.
To this day I continue this pattern of checking in on them, seeing what they are doing, and then getting my tasks completed. Now I am not saying by any means that I still don't have days where I feel like oh my goodness how am I going to accomplish this all and I am failing completely as a mother because guess what I do and then I remember this pattern...Give Time to Get Time!