Some days, i’m standing there looking at a messy house, 100 things to do including preparing the dinner and my 2-year old demanding for me to take her out to play. It would be so easy to say “no, i’m too busy” and put up with the inevitable tantrum, yet experience has shown me that for everyones sake, including mine, it is much better to just leave the housework and take the little one out to play.
The achievement of a work/life balance is one of the many challenges that we parents face, but if we can get it right, the rewards are huge. From my own experience, the rewards are as follows:
1) I’m less stressed and therefore the children are more calm and better behaved.
2) We have more time to do things, including things mummy likes to do as well as playing.
3) I can enjoy the fruits of my hard work in rearing my children and feel confident about my parenting skills.
Think about it this way – who can ever recall the joy of washing the kitchen floor or the great sense of satisfaction obtained by cleaning the oven??????? Stuff which gives me lovely memories is talking or singing with my children, playing shops, drawing, putting on make-up and jewellery and seeing them happy to play with mommy.
Achieving that work/life balance involves taking a step back, going through your day-to-day responsibilities and re-prioritising what is important.
Just a few tips of my own to give you more, quality time with the kids:
1) Prepare as much as possible the night before i.e. lunches, lay the breakfast table and have uniforms ready.
2) Keep surfaces clean and keep on top of the dish washing, clothes washing and toilets. Oh and don’t forget to feed the dog!
3) De-clutter the house, know where everything is and have the things you use often within easy reach.
4) Have a “to-do” pile and use a personal organiser chart.
5) Get rid of the guilt over a messy house – once they are older, I can have a clean house again! By that stage however, we will want them back home and the state of the house is less important. Its a catch-22 really!
Slow down and prioritise what is important. Kids won’t be kids for long and while you sometimes want them to be the perfect child, they should be appreciated instead for their personalities and individuality. The Nature V’s Nurture debate will run and run but it is my firm belief that we have a responsibility to nurture our children by giving them attention, guidance and love and this is what will shape them into the adults they will become!