Monday, November 15, 2010
Making The Most of Your Time
I was on the phone with a friend this weekend and shared that one of the things I love most about being a stay at home mom is it allows me the time to create the type of life I'd like our family to have. And boy, does it take time. Air drying clothes, clipping coupons, cloth diapering, making baby food from scratch all take longer than the more convenient, more expensive, and more wasteful methods. But I LOVE it. LOVE. The trick is finding ways to fit everything in, in a day. Here are a few things that I've found helpful in the past few days.
Speaker Phone: Make friends with the speaker feature on your phone. Today I was on the phone with my sister, sitting on the floor playing with Emerson, and stuffing cloth diapers. None of this would have been possible if I didn't have speaker phone. It is a true gift from baby Jesus.
Tie One On: If you have a small child at home, consider "wearing" your child while doing things around the house. E adores being in her wrap because we can snuggle and I have two free hands to pick up, hang clothes, etc. It is also a fabulous way to incorporate a bit of added exercise in your day. I can only speak from my experience, but wearing a 20 lb child certainly makes loading the dishwasher a bit more strenuous.
Learn Something New: Challenge yourself to do something that you would not normally do like picking up a useful hobby. I enjoyed learning to knit, after the initial cussing and yelling phase was finished, and use my hobby to make things for my family and occasional gifts. I've also busted out the sewing machine lately to make a few handy things around the house. Learning to knit, and rediscovering how to sew has been a fun challenge. Both are useful and enjoyable. If only I could convince my husband to let me change our oil...
Read, Read, Read: Use down time (car rides, nap time, tv time, breastfeeding, etc.) to read about something that will enrich your life. Whether you read a book about gardening, peruse a cook book, read about your new found hobby, or my favorites, personal finance, and environmentalism, try to continually keep yourself enriched in texts that present new ideas. I find that the more I read about environmentalism the more I re-evaluate my actions. Likewise, with finances. Whatever you are in to, the more you read about it, the better you will get at your daily efforts. Also, never underestimate the usefulness of audio books!
Priorities, Priorities: Ultimately, decide what is most important to you. Don't worry about what others think, figure out what you care about. For instance, I would much rather play with Emerson, read her books, etc. than make sure all of the laundry is put away at the end of the day. I am not a great housekeeper, maybe even an awful housekeeper, but that's ok. My husband's knew who he was marrying, and as long as he doesn't care that our house isn't spotless, and as long as E is happy, we're good to go. Also I don't worry about going out and getting whatever latest and greatest coupon deal. I only grocery shop once a month. That means I have a LOT of coupons that get wasted. That also means that I spend more time with my family. That is what matters to me. Not frugal standbys like coupon clipping or playing the drugstore game. Figure out what works for you and makes you healthy and happy. Leave the rest.