Monday, November 13, 2006

Life in Chunks

I’m a mom. That means I live my life in chunks. There’s the rare chunk of time in the morning (IF I manage to get up before the kids) where I have some quiet to myself. That’s followed by the breakfast & get ready for school chunk. Followed by a chunk of chores and/or take my three-year-old to gymnastics/storytime. Then there’s kindergarten pickup, followed by lunch. After lunch is a small chunk of alone time with my five-year-old (while the youngest starts her nap). And the middle of the day contains the blissful duo-nap chunk (which I’m in right now, aaaah). This chunk is where most of my writing occurs, although tiny bits occur in that early morning chunk and occasionally I’ll squeeze some into the nighttime chunk.

Anyway, you get the point. Rarely is there any long, uninterrupted portion of the day to devote to anything. It all happens in small bits. Which is why my “to do list” is generated on a weekly, rather than daily basis. Over the span of a week a lot gets done. Sometimes people will ask me how I “do it all”. I don’t do it “all”. My house isn’t spotless, although I’m cleaning parts of it every day. I exercise much less than I ever mean to. But I do manage to scrapbook (more on that another day) and occasionally sew, or make cards. Plus I write. All those things get thrown into the gaps between chunks (thankfully there’s no “defrag” program for my daily schedule) or into the naptime or nighttime chunk.

If you’re a mom and feeling your life is out of control, take a look at how your day is set up. Figure out the non-negotiable chunks that you have to work around. Now take control of the floating bits of time. That fifteen minutes after breakfast while the kids are getting dressed and ready for school – can that be yours to use? Naptime is a great option. But if your kids are always awake, can you plan a quiet activity for a half hour that allows you some “mommy time”? Just remember, it may be a few years before you get any amount of lengthy free time. Let those little chunks add up into something meaningful for now instead.

Oh, and if you’ve got an accommodating husband, ask for a big chunk to yourself. Maybe a Saturday afternoon at the movies with a friend. Or an evening off at a scrapbook workshop. I’m looking to go. Anyone wanna join me?

1 musings:

Bruce said...

Yes sometimes life doesn't give you a minute of your own. That's what you get with a full plate of life though so it could always be worse. As you get older those busy times will be your memories of the past.