Are mornings rather chaotic for you? Routines for child time will help.
Would you like to spend longer simply enjoying your child before he grows up? Check out some routines for child time.
Mornings are special and set the tone for the rest of the day. You know how annoying it can be when you can’t find your purse or your child has upset her cereal. When you just want to get out, get the kids to school and try to arrive at work unflustered and to appear in control.
I know those feelings well. I was impatient, rushed and wasted precious moments at a time I could have given to my child. I realised I needed to sort myself out.
Happily, it wasn’t too difficult to do, and now my mornings are a pleasure for me and my son. These are the things that helped me. They can help you, too.
First You Need to Understand Your Priorities
Ask yourself — what matters most? Be honest.
Your circumstances will, at last in part, determine what you must do and what you would like to do. A single mum will have extra pressure. Pressure to ensure the adequate essentials to life — nourishing food, warmth, a safe place to live — so for her, work might be essential. But she may have a choice — how many hours does she need to work to satisfy those basic needs. And with the cost of child care so high, she may not be able to even afford to work as much as she would like.
Then there are those independent-minded women who like the freedom, the social interaction, the importance of the job. If they are well paid they must look carefully at what really matters — children grow up very fast. And they will need to make excellent childcare arrangements to cover long absences from home.
Here a flexible timetable and full advantage of eligible benefits can make a huge difference to the quality of your life. it is sad fact that some of the most emotionally neglected children have wealthy parents. They cannot realise how very important they are to their child.
And then there are those mums who only want to be with their children — and can afford to do this. Even with working partners, this may mean sacrifices in material possessions. But the key to happiness is not what you have — but what you have experienced. Our memories are more precious than jewels.
Whatever you decide, remember — they won’t be children for long!
Routines Will Save You Time and Hassle
The bedrock of calm mornings with time for your child is routine. It also saves you from having to think too much! And children like the safety of routine — they know what to expect and it gives them a sense of security.
It pays to look at what you can do before your child is up, once you have completed your own toilet.
For myself, loading the washing machine, packing their sandwiches and feeding the cat were important. It made time for me to sit down with my boy and share time together over breakfast. (No more spilt cereal).
The routine things your child needs include:
Gentle waking (some like music, some a hug and some just a few more minute under the duvet).
Then a wash and teeth need cleaning. According to the dental association, we should clean our teeth, not after breakfast, which seems sensible, but first thing in the morning. This gets get rid of the night-time bugs. Certainly, it feels good. You will decide whether they dress after breakfast, thus avoiding milk down their school clothes, or before, which helps to wake them up.
Advance Planning is the Key – Routines for Child Time!
This is the key to making time with your child in the morning, and it starts the night before.
Make sure you come down to a clean, tidy kitchen — there is nothing worse than facing a pile of dirty dishes first thing in the morning.
Check your to-do list, which should have been made up the previous day. Your routine list will be a huge time saver for you.
There is no help for it — get up a little bit earlier! It is amazing what you can do with only 15 minutes of undisturbed time.
It starts the night before. It helps to have a “routine list” you can refer to until it becomes second nature.
Prepare what you can the night before — breakfast, packed lunches, sports kit. Notes for the teacher etc, etc, make sure the children’s school bags are packed and their shoes in the right place!
Here are some ideas for your advance planning strategies:
· Batch cooking
This can save your hours! Even baby foods can be batch prepared with good hygiene, and that will save you money as well as time.
It’s true that you can’t batch cook cereal and milk. But if the evening meals are ready you won’t be tempted to prepare them in the mornings. This is a time when your child wants your attention.
· Laying out clothes the night before
It is SO frustrating when you can’t find matching socks!
· Clothes ready to go into the washing machine — teaching tidy habits not only help you — but when your children are older it will help them, too. Even young children can put their dirty clothes in the washing bin (and so can your partner!)
· Packed lunches ready
Routine can help here. Children don’t seem to mind having much the same every day.
· Breakfast planned and available
If you can lay the table the night before it saves time in the morning. You may not like to do this if your house is home to pets. But you do not want to find the coffee has all been used and the milk is going off!
· Emptying the dishwasher
It’s a noisy job and something your child might even help you with. But it’s good to get that chore done so that breakfast things can go straight in.
Flexible Hours Are Good For You and for Your Company
Many companies are at last beginning to realise the benefits of flexible hours. And not solely to the individual staff but also in the increased efficiency and cheerfulness of the workforce.
When you ask for this it is important that you make your case not just for yourself but also for your boss and for the company. Your boss will base their decision on how it will affect them personally as well as how it will affect the company. They are human, too.
Before you ask, take a look at what would work best for you. When do you work most efficiently? When do you tend to flag? What time of day seems most important to be with your child? And don’t forget the commute. Saving time by choosing to travel out of rush hours can save many hours — time you could spend with your child.
For some people, part-time work answers. Shorter hours often mean those hours are more productive. Some firms offer generous parental leave schemes, and you might want to take advantage of them. (And sometimes you will have to do a little research to find out exactly what you are entitled to — this might be time well spent).
Having decided what is most important for you and your family, ask. If you don’t ask you are unlikely to get it!
Outsource Everything You Can!
One of the joys of our modern world is the ability to outsource. You will have to balance the cost against the income from your work as well as essential practical needs. Outsources can vary from people to machines. Some of the things you can outsource are listed below:
· Washing machine — essential with children.
· Dishwasher — my personal favourite!
· Freezer — for all your batch cooking. Properly used it can also save you money as well as time.
· House cleaner — either for a regular clean or an occasional deep clean — it feels so good to come back from work to clean sweet-smelling house, and a good cleaner is worth his/her weight in gold!
· Gardener– my part-time fireman Gardner saved me hours of time digging — even tho’ he did accidentally set my plum tree on fire!
· Grocery deliveries — again this can be a routine list and save not only the hassle of shopping but also time wondering what to eat.
· Childminding when necessary — this might be unavoidable if you are working — but a good childminder will give your child extra social skills.
· Computer help when needed — no need to struggle as there are plenty of computer-savvy teens who would love to earn a little pocket money.
I expect you can think of other things which might help you. Time saved on routine chores can be shared with your child at any time of day, but mornings are important.
Odd moments are Precious
You can relish those ordinary moments with your child when you’re not rushing from one thing to the next.
A little extra time in the mornings to ease your child into the day are moments you can treasure. Changing a nappy, dressing your child without the searching for a pair of matching socks, and a simple cuddle or hug.
Once your routine has taken care of the mundane tasks, and your advance preparation has taken care of the rest, you will find you have released time. Time for you to spend enjoying your child in a relaxed and delightful way. This will not only make your child happy — it will be deeply satisfying to you.
You might want to incorporate story time, or play-a-game time or a visit to the park on the way to school. There are so many ways to enjoy this very special time. Children grow up all too soon! Use some routines for child time because having an extra hour in the morning for you and your child, is one of the very best ways to start the day. And it can set your feelings for the rest of the day, and your child’s, too.