I write a blog post about time management and proceed to talk about how much my kids have gained from these tools and then…the whole next week falls apart!
I mean, isn’t it true as parents that just when we think we have our kids figured out, they go and change the game on us without warning?
Yup, that’s what happened this last week in my house!
No one could seem to manage even the most basic of task management this week. Rules were ignored, manners were lacking, and time didn’t even seem to exist for some members of my household.
And all it made me want to do (even with all my skills and tools) was lose my shit! I could feel the frustration building in me, the irritation of it all coming to a boil. I spent night after night reviewing the “contributing citizen” speech, asking for them to repeat the breakdown of each person’s role and responsibilities in the community of our home, and then to have each one tell me what they would like to do about turning this back around. (Can you hear my robotic voice as you read this? Sometimes I feel like the teacher and parents from the Peanuts cartoons!)
The thing is, we can have wonderful habits built into our lives and our days. We can teach our children skills that will empower them and build independence. And doing this with them and for them allows us to see where they are progressing in their behavior.
But have you ever found yourself looking back and saying, “what happened? How did I get off track?” Because somewhere along the line you let yourself off the hook of a habit that was good for you.
We all do it.
Maybe you are an early riser. Your morning routine is one of peace and production. You get up while the rest of the house is silent. Maybe you journal, read, meditate, savor your morning coffee, workout, shower, or knock out a few chores before the world awakes. And then one day, you feel just bone tired. You think “I am crushing this thing called life so I will just give myself a break.” And before you know it, you have become the person who uses the snooze on the alarm and spends most of your day feeling like you are 10 steps behind. Every. Damn. Day.
Our kids go through this too.
I clearly needed that reminder this week; that part of time management and keeping habits going is that we need to build in breaks.
I am not talking about Netflix binging benders that last for days where you don’t really change from your bedtime clothes to your couch clothes and then catch a whiff of something and realize that something is you.
But maybe you do need a day of this every month. Maybe you need to block out a few hours a week to just do something that brings your soul some rest.
Truth is, when we get like this, it’s not our bodies that are burnt out. It’s our souls.
And teaching our kids how to unwind in healthy ways should very much be a part of our time management toolbox too.
My habit is to front load my day. I put all the big important things in my day first. My health gets attention first with working out, getting ready for my day, and making a healthy breakfast. My family comes next with planning out who will be where and when and how they are getting there. Then I try to tackle at least one thing around the house even if it is simply putting away everything I used that morning so my home is welcoming to come home to and I take out anything that I need thawed for that night’s dinner. And then I am off to the business and there I tackle the highest priority for that day first. That way, if I get pulled away, I know that the most important thing got done.
By front loading my day, I am working when my brain is fresh and so is my energy. This way, when I get home, all my major decision making is done for the day. I know what I am cooking for dinner and once dinner is done, then I am free to help kids with homework, lay low with a book or a tv show, or hang with the hubby.
Also by helping my kids do this, I am teaching them how to build in healthy time to unwind every day so that burn out is less likely to happen.
Take a minute and think about your day. Place your hand over your heart. Ask yourself, “what does my soul need right now?”
The first thing that comes to mind is what you should do. Maybe it’s go to bed early, or read, or play a game with your kiddos, or just sit in silence for a minute. Practice this daily and you will learn to be more in tune with what your needs are so that you can continue to build healthy habits in time management.
And then the next time you see one of your kiddos struggling, sit down on the floor, place their hand over their heart, and ask them what their heart needs the most right now. It will change the temperature of the room and teach them a skill that will forever be valuable to them.