Monday, November 1, 2010

Git ‘er done…???

Okay, Interpeeps.  Supposedly, I have at least 128 people “following” my blog.  Between them, my mom, and Sara, somebody should be able to help me answer the question hanging over my head this week.

How does a stay-at-home mom juggle getting stuff done, while still being present for/engaging with/tending to her children?

Point in case:  I have four days to prepare my family for 10 days away from home.  Suitcases need to be packed for four people, for time spent in a variety of climates, for a variety of functions.  Not just clothes, but baby paraphernalia/breast milk/favorite toys.  Meals need to be planned/prepped/executed for the week that will both nourish and deplete the perishables in the pantry/fridge.  Laundry, too.  Erin’s well-baby check-up on Wednesday (and did I mention she is not-so-well?  Poor lil’ miss is sick).  That’s just the list off the top of my head.

All the while, I feel like I’m neglecting my littles.  Seth is asking for Diego, [Imagination] Movers, and Backyard[igans] in turn, which to me = too much Playhouse Disney and Nick Jr.  Erin, bless her heart, is plopped in the exersaucer or onto the playmat, snot and all, while I “chore.”

It all needs to get done, but I want time to  love on my kids, too.  Seth is getting old enough to recognize where he falls on the priority chart, and I want him to know he is at the tip-top. It wasn’t so much of an issue when there was only one underfoot, and he was content to “help” with the chores…but now.

I'm on the TO Do list

Advice?  Tips?  C’mon, people.  Blogger lets you leave a comment for a reason.  Talk to me!


Mom said...

Just have grandma come and take care of them. Just till you get the stuff done. Then I will leave. hahahahahaha. Just take a deep breath and "Git'er done. You will do just fine.

Sara said...

Oh, sweetie. It is HARD. There are many days where chores go undone. If I get a load of laundry, a load of dishes, and the floors swept, I consider it a victory. I don't sit either. I'm literally standing right now trying to figure out where I put the cream cheese. I also get up at 5am & don't go to bed until around 11pm...not for everyone & not for the long run, believe me!

Tracy said...

My kids are at a similar age to yours - my first just turned 3 in September and my second is 4 months old. My trick is to do the usual during the day (dishes, laundry) while playing/interacting with them as much as I can, and to do the big stuff after they go to sleep at night. Luckily they both go down at 7:30, and yes, I'm already tired, but I find I stress less if I do it that way.

gottaluvboyz said...

I have four kiddos...6 and under...with a husband who works a 12hr rotating schedule. There are days when I want to scream and rip my hair out. Similar to Tracy, I tend to laundry, dishes, small chores when the kiddos are awake. More often than not I spend 20 min on a task, play/interact w/ kiddos, repeat again and again. The bigger things get left until they are in bed for the night. (((hugs))) and hang in there!

Mom to 2 Angels said...

I never get laundry, packing, or much cleaning done until after the kiddos are in bed. And there are lots of times that chores just don't get done!

Jessica said...

first, tell jim to pack his own suitcase. :)

second, packing and laundry are done quicker when my punks are asleep.

third, take a deep breath. one day at a time. :)

NoVaIrish said...

I'm the same as your friend Sara - I get up everyday around 5am and don't get to bed until close to 11pm. I also make lists and then divy them up based on when I can get them done (before the boy wakes up, before lunch, while he naps, before dinner, after bedtime). I'll also fold laundry or something like that in the living room while he watches a show so we can talk about what he is watching while I get some work done.

At the end of the day, it will all get done and your kids will still know they are loved. What else really matters?

Emily said...

Well, I'm a working mom, but I have the exact same problem (particularly on weekends). If you find a good solution, I'd love to hear it!

NationalParkMama said...

I have yet to find the ideal balance myself. I will be looking fwd to reading the responses.

Kelly said...

Prioritize. Do what you can while they're sleeping. Get Dad to help whenever possible (either w/the kids or doing a chore for you).
When you're really busy, stop every once in a while for a "time in" with your kids. Even just 15 minutes can make a world of difference for you peace and their happiness.

Jennifer Scott said...

I always see what I can purchase at my destinations. So I don't bring diapers & wipes except what will get used in the car or plane.I then goto walmart, target, where ever, and buy what will be needed. I also ask M to help me with packing & getting things together. She feels like she's top dog and I get some much needed "help" and quality time. Sean spends some time in the crib watching his mobile.

When sean gets bored, I stick him in the carrier or lay him on my bed while I pack.

Brooke said...

Preschool, that's how.

But speaking of vacation, SO excited to see you Sunday.

MommaHarms said...

I am a SAHM who also works from home so I can't do my work after the kids go to bed, because I have to do my paying work then.

Find a system. Give yourself x number of chores that get done a day. put the baby in the exercauser and put the preschooler in front of the TV while you do those, for a limited amount of time (30 minutes to 1 hour) then move on with your day. Other things, like sweeping after meals and rotating laundry, don't take that much time and can be incorporated into the daily schedule.

Sit down with the hubby and show him on paper what your day is like. Ask him for help with prioritizing, then ask him for help with the chores. Take 15 mintues after dinner to clutter bust and put stuff away, then have special all together family time after that. (That's what we do, and the kids get in on the picking up so it goes faster and they learn about heling, they are 2 and 4)

Marlo said...

For me, I know that the times that I am not as busy I put a lot into my girls. Don't forget that any moment your are with them counts. When you are feeding the baby, you are tending to her in a very special way. When you are preparing Seth's food and putting it on the table for him, you are very much with him. So take those moments to be purposeful. (Not on the phone, etc...if you can help it.)
When I know I've been putting a lot into my children when I'm not as busy, I don't mind a few days of extra busy-ness, because things will calm down again. But I do try my best to continue to take time out for hugs and engaging as best as possible no matter what the chore of the moment is. Oh- and reading to/with them at bed time is basically non-negotiable. So I know I'll catch up with them (if nothing else) at the end of the day. (((HUGS))) You're doing great! Oh- and it gets so much easier! I want to tell all mamas in each new stage that. Because it's very true.
You're doing great!

Marlo said...

Ha- I just re-read that and saw that I said the same thing twice. (You really are doing great, Monica. - There. Now it's three times.) :)

Michele said...

Ok, so I'm not a stay-at-home mom and I didn't read all the comments, but I do work full-time and have 3 kids, balancing chores and spending time with my kids is even harder. But, Seth can "help". Not only can you make a game out of most chores, it will teach him how important it is to help around the house and he can spend time with you. I get most done when my kids are asleep, if it's something they can't help with. But, I also let a lot go because I don't have time. It will be there when I can get to it. Good luck!

Denise said...

ohhh, been there done that.

well, firt, take g-ma up on her offer!

but that may not get'er all done.
make lists.
get to seth help. it's his trip too, help him to take ownership in all the details, then reward whim with praise when you are done.
the cartoons won't hurt them. don't bully yourself. give yourself grace for the days that are "too much."

though you are exhausted have as many of tomorrows to-do's done today. that helps keep me sane.

and remember your not neglecting your children, your providing them with a real treat! a 10 day retreat. your preparation now means lots of mommy for them later.

and always grace. GRACE! for your self. for the day.

someone wise once said to me "your kids won't remember all the little things, they will remember the overall temperature of your house."

may the temperature of your house be loving and joyful! (i'm sure it is)