Hey, Moms and Dads of kids at home! Feel like time escapes and you have no idea where it went? Struggling to stay focused on one task until completion? Yeah, I hear ya.
Today I was feeling that way when I happened to set the timer for 10 minutes – as a reminder to check the laundry. When the timer beeped 10 minutes later, I was appalled. THAT had been 10 minutes? No way. But we had gotten nothing accomplished! The three-year-old and I were supposed to be doing a puzzle. Instead it was one interruption after another (especially from him; but his sisters were guilty too). It was a frustrating realization, but it was also somewhat liberating. I set the timer again, to see what another 10 minutes looked liked. Very similar.
I did this for almost an hour.
Setting the timer made me feel better about myself.
Typically I am beating myself up for how quickly time gets away from me when the kids are home. I’m horrified at how unfocused I feel. I’m at a loss when the morning is gone and I have little to show for it other than a few puzzles and the dishwasher running.
Setting the timer gave me a sense of focus.
I had said Eddie and I were going to do a puzzle together. Setting the timer to see how long that actually took, gave me an opportunity to say, “Ok, we’ve been playing together for 30 minutes. It’s time for Mommy to go do a few things around the house.” I didn’t feel guilty that I was turning my attention to something else. I knew how long we had to get the puzzle done. And I also knew who the real unfocused one was here: the three-year-old.
Setting the timer helped me understand.
I highly recommend you try it. Especially on those days you are feeling pulled and scattered. Especially when you really have some things that need to get done. 10 minute intervals was very revealing for me. Even those of us who have been doing this a while, need a reminder of the reality of life at home with kiddos. 10 minutes is not long when you have 3 humans who need to be parented. Typically I’m setting the timer for them, but today it was for me. It was the reality check I needed.
Do you ever set the timer for yourself? Do you have suggestions for Moms who are feeling overwhelmed? Share your wisdom!