Did you have a fantasy of what having kids would be like?
I did, and according to my thoughts I would have a wonderfully tidy and organised house, kids that did everything they were asked, plus there would be plenty of time for me to do whatever I wanted.
When I did have kids I thought that I would look super stylish at all times. While working in the corporate world I made sure that my hair, makeup and outfits were great.
In my fantasy of what life would be like with kids, I would take trips to the park and everyone would be super happy about everything.
Who wears white with kids? In minutes this would be dirty, obviously from my fantasy of motherhood!
You can laugh out loud at my ideas of what being a mummy would be like.
Fast forward to reality and the actual realisation that there is not a lot of time for mummy to get anything done.
And as you might have guessed my outfits have taken a backseat. Sad but true.
If I have a shower in the morning and have neat and tidy clothes all is good.
Below is a breakdown of a typical day as a mum to three kids:
You get up and get breakfast for the kids and then yourself. Depending on your kid’s ages you might need to play with them and to keep them entertained.
Playing with the kids is fun but if you have some things that really need doing, you are really hanging for the kids to be finally sleepy and go to bed.
Once the baby is in bed you might be able to finally get something done.
This something done might just be housework. Yes, I know its boring but it needs to happen. Clothes don’t magically fold themselves. I really wish they would, don’t you?
Why is it that they can make self-cleaning ovens and windows, and not figure out a way to fold and sort clothes? (I know the answer to this is to outsource to a laundry, but if you are saving money this is not an option.)
Finally, clothes neatly folded. I wonder if I can manage to put it away before kids come home.
Before kids doing anything was easy. You just did what you needed to do. If you had a big task to accomplish you could just continue until finished.
However, tasks on your to-do list might take a while to complete once you have kids.
You start your task, it might be you have decided to fold all the clothes or finally have some quiet alone time to read a book.
You get a few things done and feel good about finishing what you are doing. Then you are not even a third of the way through or possibly folded two piles of clothes or read a few pages of your book, and the baby is crying.
If you have older kids they are arguing and need you to be their referee.
(Note: any creation will make a huge mess and need you to stop what you are doing and sort it out).
Kids might need assistance to do something or need you to get an item for their craft or creation that they are making.
Isn’t it always the way, messy kids covered in paint. More to clean and showers for all.
All kids are now finally busy playing and you can finally get back to what you are doing.
The baby has now decided that he is annoyed with the other kids and therefore you need to play and entertain him.
Part of this entertainment for the baby is pulling all the neatly and sorted folded clothes onto the floor, now you need to fold it again. And you, of course, question why you bothered in the first place.
Now the kids are coming to you saying they are hungry and what are we having for lunch?
Geez! Lunch? I’m not hungry, we had breakfast late, why do they need lunch now?
You offer them a snack, and due to the fact you offered healthy options, they are all scoffed at and thrown back in your face.
The older kids keep asking you for things to eat that you don’t have. They don’t believe you so open nearly every cupboard in the kitchen to make sure you are not tricking them.
Oh, why can’t they go to sleep or play in their room peacefully!
Now the house is more of a mess, you have not completed any of the tasks you have set out to do, and kids are wanting you to be with them at all times.
Finally, you organise some sandwiches for everyone, drinks and anything else they want.
No one cleans up their mess even after you have asked over ten or more times. You then give up and do it yourself. Now you’re cleaning the kitchen yet again…. Yes, still not doing what you planned to do.
Finally, the baby is really tired. You put him to bed. The house is quiet, but not for long. The older kids race around like they are elephants and decide that they are deaf and screaming at each other is the only option for communication.
You constantly tell them to be quiet and then end up raising your voice… you really don’t to wake the baby again. Please don’t wake the baby kids!
Please, you say, “Can you all tiptoe like fairies?”
While the baby sleeps you attempt to get what you set out to do hours ago. You give up on anything else and think it will be a massive achievement to just fold the clothes again and finally put them away.
Don’t these towels look good all rolled up and ready to be put away.
Having the lounge able to be sat on, and not for the laundry would be nice. More space for everyone.
You put on one of your favourite shows due to the quiet, and the older kids are playing with mates down the street.
You are getting stuck into the job and finally making the living room look like it has not been hit by a bomb.
Suddenly all the kids come over to your house and then ask to watch a movie in the living room you are tidying and using.
Not only is the living room a mess. You are watching your television show and not finished. The room is still a work in progress, and there are clothes everywhere. Although these clothes are neatly folded into piles.
You tell the kids they cannot due to the above situation.
This is met with annoyance and anger from your children (not the guests), they ask repeatedly and try to badger you to do what they want.
The kids and mates either get banished to a bedroom or they play outside.
However, due to the noise that the older kids make, the baby eventually wakes and you have to stop again what you are doing.
With little time left and a screeching unhappy baby, you run around like a crazy woman putting clothes away. With what is left you put it in a pile to do later. Yes, the forever pile that will get actioned later. I’m sure any parent has one.
You get the baby up and sort him out.
While you are changing the babies nappy the older kids try and talk to you while the baby is screaming in your ear.
Of course, you cannot hear anything, and fear that you might have some hearing loss due to being constantly screamed at by the baby.
Finally, you figure out that the other kids are asking you about dinner. Gosh! You just got them lunch, and now they want dinner!
Why is it when you are busy doing something else kids come and want you to do to something absolutely different?
This book has to wait for when the kids are in bed. Only a few pages read so far.
Here are some tips that have helped me get some things done:
- Just aim to do one thing each day. I used to want to do a few things each day, however, with limited time, this is not possible. You need to aim small and have wins with what you set out to achieve.For example, if you wish to tidy up one room that is a good goal. Or possibly go for a walk each day. Little things to make you feel like you are getting it done. Trying to do too much and not being able to get any of it done, can make you frustrated and depressed.
- After School Care for more time. Once kids were at school I thought I would have a day to myself. This, however, is not the case. A school day is not a workday. If you need more time you can put kids in after school care for a day to allow you to work on something one or more days a week. This way you can concentrate on the task at hand, finish it and then go pick up kids. It is always nice to work with no interruptions.
- If you have older children ask them to help with the younger kids. This has helped a bit. The twins play nicely with their brother for a while and it lets me do a few things around the house. Although playtime might not last it is a good chance to allow all kids to get run off some energy and to hopefully exhaust them so that they might have quiet time and let you get a few things done.
- Holiday Care/Vacation Care – If you can put the kids into care for a few days and this will give you a huge amount of time to really get things done. You can tackle bigger projects or maybe just have some time for you.
- Having your partner take the kids out for the day or even an afternoon is a huge help.
- Help from family. If your family lives nearby maybe they can help you out if you are struggling to get the housework and any other jobs done.
Remember: As long as the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms are reasonable and the family has clean sheets, clothes and food to eat, all is good with the world.
A house is a place for the family to be, and with kids, no one can expect the house to be perfect.
Making time to be with everyone and creating memories is key.
Managed to get few things done for work.
Pity that the housecleaning fairy is not real. If it was she could be making the house shine while I play with the kids and then possibly get some work done.
What about you? Do you find it hard to get it all done now that you have kids?
What have been the best things you have learned about managing your time now that you’re a parent?
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