Sunday, 16 November 2014

If I only had time....

I told my husband that other day that I'd decided what I wanted for Christmas; two extra hours each day. One I planned on using to get a bit more sleep, and the other to fit a few more things in.  Of course the whole thing was ridiculous; not only is manipulating time not one of my husbands many talents, but even if I could have a couple of extra hours, I probably wouldn't get anything extra done.

if I only had time

I often get asked how I fit it all in; four children, running a business and day to day living.  The honest answer? I have no idea, I generally muddle on from day to day, fitting in what I can, where I can, and doing the bare minimum of housework.  The thing is though, what ever it is you do, it will eat up your time, particularly where there are children involved.  It makes me laugh when people assume that you must have lots of time on your hands because you don't work, or work from home, because honestly, even if the 'only' thing you do is look after your children all day, I can guarantee that you won't have enough hours in the day for it all.

making the most of life

People will tell you that the key to having children is organisation, you need to be highly organised to get through day to day life.  It's true, to an extent, but it's just that the organisation that I used at work, or even at University or School has no place in family life.  I was once highly organised, at school I had a system in place in my homework diary where I noted down the days when things were due in, rather than when homework was set, so that I could plan when to do it.  I once lost my homework diary, and when the headmaster found it, he was so impressed with my system, that he copied a similar version of it for the whole school. (It does amuse me that he was impressed with my organisation after I'd lost the diary, but I never claimed to be good at remembering where things are.)

being organised is key

At work I had similar systems in place, knowing what work I had to do when and how long to spend on it. With children though, that's never going to work. Organisation becomes flexibility, it's simply not enough to know what you should be doing and when, you need to know how to get round not being ready for somewhere on time because someone hid your car keys in the toy box, or fitting in a younger child's nap with an older child's activity.  Regimented organisation and routine works quite well with one child, possibly even two but more than that? Forget it.

No time for housework


These days I can get effective work done in ten minutes between one child going to sleep and another needing to be picked up, I can change my plans at a seconds notice, I often need to forget work entirely for a day or two and just go with what the family needs, and yes, as I said, housework, forget about it.
Where does all the time go?

It won't be like this forever though, all too soon I'll have days to myself at home where I can plan my working day, and not have to worry about what the kids are doing until the end of school is here. That will happen all too soon, and I won't lie, it will make life easier.  In the mean time though I'll live my life second to second and fit around these crazy little people, enjoying every second of it, I'll miss it when they're older.