I thought with all my kids in school this year (the first time my home has ever been so empty during the day) I would have all theis free time to do stuff. What I should have been thinking is when am I going to have time to do all this stuff with my kids.
My amazing husband (he truly is) wakes up with our brood around 7AM. He gets them ready because he works odd hours and mostly only sees them in the morning.I get to pretend I am still sleeping for the next 30 – 60 minutes. Pretend is the key word here. It works, I swear. They get dressed and get something to eat and are off to school around 8AM. Usually by about 7:30 I am checking FML from my phone, and maybe my gmail too. Then I roll over and do some work (like checking my fifty million other email accounts in a search for work to do). This is easy because my laptop is set up on a barstool next to the bed. Yep, I don’t even get vertical to check my mail. I know you’re jealous. Truth be told, I am usually vertical and moving by the time they get out the door.
The we get to run errands. To the food store. To the post. To the bank. To the gym. To the salon (it’s totally an errand). To wherever something needs dropping off or buying. This usually takes all morning, so it’s noon by the time we’re back home. Wow. Where did my free time go? 14,400 seconds gone to errands. Now SuperMan my husband is off to work. I’ll see him again around 9 or 10.
I have an hour to myself. A whole hour! 3600 seconds! Every one is precious.
Do I sweep? Do I mop? Do laundry? Dishes? Or am I truly decadent and claim each and every of those 3600 seconds for my own and blog or websurf or draw or go take photos of the grass in the backyard growing? Decisions decisions. I’ve wasted hundreds of seconds just deciding what to do before. I try to avoid that now.
Crap! It’s 2 already? Off to the carpool line, where I sit for 30 minutes (1800 seconds!) so I am at the front of the line and I can get the boys by 2:40 at the latest and be at the girl’s school by 2:45 and then home by 3. I’ve just lost an hour to ten minutes worth of actual kid picking up time. At least I can read or pay bills or write fluff pieces like this while I’m waiting in the car.
So now it’s 3. Homework time. Not exactly fun time with the kids if you know what I mean. We’ve already done the “How was your day?” “Fine.” Q&A session in the car. Now it’s time to whine over homework and reading. Once a week we toss dance class in (3:30 – 4:30), twice a week we toss therapy in (4 – 6) and twice a meek MMA (5 – 6). I never see my kids anymore. We never have real time to craft. From what I understand, it just gets worse. I believe it. Next year we’ll have two dance classes to squeeze in there, plus therapy and whatever else they decide to do.
I’ve declared Sunday “TURN IT OFF” day. We find things to do that do not need electricity. Or at least try to. Sometimes we wind up in the car headed somewhere, but hey, we’re not at home watching TV, gaming, or whatever.
All this leads me back to “when do I get to play with my kids?” I miss them. At least when they were home we had tons of time to hang out. Now, not so much. I decided to share some quick crafts to squeeze into busy days. They might be a bit “young” for some of your kids, but really, I think they appeal to all ages in one way or another. Let’s pretend dinner will make itself and that bathes are already done and we have all of those 86,400 seconds left to enjoy each others company. Nothing is more important than showing a child, by the actions you take, that they are more important than anything else.
Pick up almost any Halloween CraftBook from the library. I am fond of “Matthew Mead Halloween Tricks and Treats” and “A Frightful Cookbook – Ghoulish Goodies” by Sharon Bowers and almost any seasonal craftbook really. We do not have re-print permissions, so I don’t want to lift their ideas directly. Some general ideas include:
- making cupcakes with spider webs on top (I like Nigela Lawson’s Fairy Cake recipe for cupcakes)
- making paper jack o’lanterns and hanging them in the house
- making lady fingers
- making Halloween masks
- Oh the list goes on and on. I wouldn’t be so focused on Halloween but… tis the season and it’s my favourite! I expect my kitchen will get a work out in the coming weeks, and my kids will too. Cooking is also a great way to teach difficult concepts such as fractions and converting measurements as well as easy things like simple counting. It also gives kids a sense of accomplishment and there is something yummy left at the end!