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Monday, February 7, 2011

Time Management Has Gone to the Birds

As I sit here attempting to write this blog this morning, I'm finding it quite difficult to write the darn blog at all, never mind the fact that it's taken me a half hour just to come up with a topic. I finally decided to write about what I'm dealing with right now: time management, or in my case, lack thereof.

When I tell you, dear readers, that I have a 13-month-old daughter, you probably won't be at all surprised that I'm having trouble managing my time. As I write this, the little monster - ahem, princess - is standing next to me, desperately making an attempt to shut down my computer. Every time I turn her around to face the two dozen toys that are littering her floor, she turns right back around and goes to town on my power button. Where did my sweet little infant go? That's what I want to know! Huh...she must have taken my sanity and run.

She may look sweet and innocent...

I find that every day is a new attempt to carve out time for all the things I need to get done. Writing (hah! What's that???), critiquing, grocery shopping, cleaning the house (yeah, right)...oh, and of course, teaching, training, feeding, playing with, yelling at (did I just say that?) my one-year-old monster - darn it, I meant to say princess again!

But give her some yogurt...

Now, I'm trying to be as creative as I can be, and I try to use my 10 hours of nanny time that I get every week wisely. But it's not always easy, and I don't think I'm really that good at managing my time at all...which would explain why we still have our Christmas decorations up. [Pause to stop child from pulling a lamp onto her head]

Or try to get her to stand...and all hell breaks loose!

So I'm begging you, mommy readers, bring on all your most creative ideas for keeping your sanity in the face of budding toddlerhood. And even if you're not a mommy but you're just over-extended, share with us your most valuable time management tools!

Happy Monday, everyone!
Jerrica, Her Grace of Grammar


  1. She is just adorable. I think with my kids I just had them do whatever I was doing. (If I'm on the computer, she has a toy computer, if I'm cooking, she's got her toy kitchen etc.) But I don't remember it being any more successful than what you're doing. :)

  2. LOL! Sadly she knows the difference! She has several toy cell phones, toy keys, REAL cell phones and keys that no longer work, and computer-like toys...but she'll whine until she gets access to the real thing. Oy!

  3. I plan everything on Sunday...I tried having a day of the week for each task, but found it needs to be more flexible week to week (snow day, appt, illness, etc can get in the way). My main areas are: clean, bake, laundry, menu planning/grocery list, and grocery shopping. Each weekday gets one. Everything else happens when it can. I have a small window of 9-3 without hurricane Max. Tropical storm Mia is omnipresent, and not a good napped, so she either helps me, or gets worn around the house while I get things done.

  4. She's too precious, yogurt and all! My youngest just turned 7, but I have very similar messy pictures. I had safety latches on my kitchen cabinets, except for one filled with tupperware. My oldest loved going in there and playing around (plus plastic is less noisy than pots). And then there was the time they 'toilet papered' my living room with rolls of paper towels, LOL. Or the time I found one slathered in a jar of vaseline.

    Mine were like yours. It had to be the real thing. So with my youngest, I had a spare computer and set it up near me so he could play or watch sites like Little Einsteins. They have games for toddlers. There are alphabet/reading sites etc... You'd be surprised at how quickly those little toddler fingers figure out how to control arrow keys or a mouse!

    Right now, I still have to wake up before the kids if I want any peace when school is out. You should write a story that has a little monster - I mean princess - in it ;). You have live material to work with, LOL!

  5. Dawn, you are so organized!!! That's my new goal - endeavor to be more like Dawn! LOL! And I'm cracking up over Hurricane Max and Tropical Storm Mia. Too freakin' funny!!

    Rula, OMG! I don't know why, but I'm super stingy with paper towels, so I think I'd have an apoplexy at that particular mess. LOL! But I'm going to check out Little Einsteins now - that sounds wonderful! I often give her the iPad where we have baby apps downloaded, but she likes to press the button, which takes her *out* of the app, then she hands it to me to "fix." LOL! And I probably will write a story that involves a little monster/princess...you're right, I have tons of source material for that project. LOL!

  6. Jerrica,

    I'm amazed that you're able to do any writing at all. After my son was born, my creativity dried up. No new ideas came to me at all. It wasn't until he was almost 10 that I decided to start writing again. (By that age they just complain about how much time you spend on the computer instead of trying to turn it off.)

    She is precious!

    I was hoping when I read your topic that you had time management advice. :) Between working full time, being a single mom, writing under deadline, blogging, reviewing copy edits, critiquing, (gave up on housekeeping and have someone else do that for me) and everything else that pops up - I am the last person who should give advice. :)

  7. Nap time. As soon as mine is in her crib, I'm at my computer. I have a page goal and if I don't finish I'm back at the computer after she goes to bed. Ignore the laundry, the phone, the internet. nap time=writing time.

  8. Lydia, I've considered holding off for a bit, but I can't shake the bug. The writing bug? Not really - just the bug to do *something* other than be a mom. LOL! Sorry I don't have actual advice, but I typically leave the housekeeping to our maid or nanny as well. It at least covers the filth part - it's just too bad they don't hang our clothes, sort our mail or organize our closets. LOL!

    Shana, I agree! Nap time is definitely an important chunk of the day for me. Sadly, she's not terribly consistent. Sometimes I get a nice 2-hour stretch...sometimes I get 30 minutes. Ugh.

  9. I feel for you, Jerrica. As the mother of an intelligent, energetic daughter, I know how hard it can be to find time to be someone other than Mommy. Daycare was my saving grace. I had one day off from work a week and I still sent my kids to daycare. At first I felt guilty, but then I figured out that time during the week to get things done meant I was more available physically and emotionally on the weekends. Plus, my daughter needed the stimulation.

    But here's something that worked well to get my daughter to nap. We did a swim class for toddlers and then she was out for two hours without fail. Sometimes I had to wake her up.

  10. Ooh! Swim class! So smart! I'll have to see if I can find one around here...otherwise, I know where we'll be every day this summer!! LOL!

  11. I should add that I did no writing when my kids were toddlers. I truly didn't have the energy, so I don't know how those of you with little ones do it.

  12. Are you sure the little princess likes eating yogurt?? LOL

    I wasn't writing when I had toddlers, but I did have to go out to work full time then, and suffer through a long commute. The only way I coped was to have my own routines to stop me running from around like a chicken with my head cut off every morning.

    Keys, handbag, the daily needs left always in the same place - saves early morning scramble.

    Clothes set up for the week ahead - usually done on Sunday afternoon (note: not a late Sunday night rush either)

    Shopping list - compiled during the week then one big shop on the weekend (groceries, clothing, household items)

    Weekly menu planning - on the commute or before the grocery shopping trip (so you buy the right things)

    Theres more but what saved me was a book: The How to of Being a Working Mother by Belinda Henwood. My copy is the 1995 version but I've referred back to that baby a lot.

    What you want to do is earmark the princess' sleep time as writing time and when she's awake (and as she gets older) include her in things like planning meals, picking out clothes, cooking - she'd be your official taste tester LOL

    If nothing else the added 'grown up' conversation will stimulate her speech and understanding. (A double edged sword that one LOL)