For most Nigerian schools, it is mid-term week, and if you are anything like me, you are already sort of dreading how you will navigate this week without losing your mind. At least still getting stuff on your to-do list done that excludes your kids. I know, this may sound ‘one kind’ to some people reading this.
‘’How can a mom not be over the moon excited about having her kids home for a whole week? What could be more important than your kids? What is this generation becoming please?’’
Oh well, this post is really not to explain what or why, or even justify anything; it really is to help that mom who is wondering HOW to make the most of this midterm week including maximizing every day, keeping her joy, enjoying her kids, and rocking her life.
For some moms, you may need to lay down everything and just make this week about your kids, but some of us still have other balls we have set in motion, and so we cannot afford a complete shutdown.
This post may not help everyone but it will help some, so here we go…
My kids are on midterm this week too and as much as I want to spend time and create memories with them, I also want to do other things for me.
My husband, who knows my schedule, asked if I would send them to this nice home-based daycare, we have right in our estate for a few hours each day. I said ‘No, I will find a way to manage them at home instead…’
The word I am looking for is BALANCE… Balance life, domestic work, personal work and my babies in such a way that none suffers.
One thing I am going to be doing to strike that balance is what I am sharing with you today which is put everyone on a schedule – including myself.
This sounds really simple, but applying this will keep everyone happy and fulfilled.
Kids demand attention. That’s just how they spell love. That is their primary love language. An average kid (at least before they start demanding their space) wants you to spend all the time on and with them. My 3-year-old says ‘Mummy, look at me’, almost every time I want to do something else besides paying attention to him. As a stay-at-home mom, you soon start to think it is OK to always meet every attention demand there is.
No, it is not. It is not okay to make your kids the centre of your whole world.
I have learned that the quality of the time you spend with them instead is far greater than the quantity of time you spend with them.
Here’s an example: If I spend 6 hours in the living room with my son watching TV while I am on my phone chatting away or strolling down social media streets (comparing my life with others), I am spending time with him, but there is no quality in that time. I am just passing time, or wasting time more like. It is Nickelodeon that is spending time with him.
Yes, the child wants mommy in the same space with him/her cos you represent safety, but that hasn’t done much for anyone. Not them and not you either.
However, if you spend 2 hours with your kids watching TV or YouTube, fully immersed in the screen with him, interacting, highlighting values, teaching lessons, uprooting wrong behavior and more from that screen time, that’s quality. You just created amazing memories from that screen time. I recall a friend said she had been trying to teach her kids the importance of keeping the private parts private and she was hitting a wall, till one day during screen time, an opportunity presented itself she jumped right on it and her son finally learned that it is called a private part for a reason.
After that time, you can take the next 2 or more hours to do something for yourself. Maybe work on your CV, go a bit further in that professional certification source, read a book, apply for jobs, or just any general Personal developmental project that’s a real investment.
Look at your life, look at your kids, look at your home and the way it is set up, then get a notepad or journal and write out everything you want to achieve in this week. Assign hours and days to everything. It doesn’t need to be perfect, you just need a working guide that you can tweak as you go along every day. It will amaze you just how much being on a schedule even at home makes you infinitely more productive fruitful and fulfilled. I will be creating mine too and working with it this midterm week.
At a recent open day, my son’s teacher said he needed to get better at coloring within the lines. This meant that I have to schedule time for coloring into his everyday activities. Play is very important for kids so I will be scheduling play time both with them and then play time alone by themselves.
Screen time should also be scheduled. Kids can’t watch TV or be on YouTube for extended periods.
Time for reading is very important Siesta? This is not even up for debate. Even if you don’t want to sleep, go be quiet for two hours in your room. Time for chores? Kids need to learn that chores are a part of living in that home. Do some research on age-appropriate chores and set that up in a schedule.
If your kid is involved in any extracurricular, schedule time for it too.
Meal times? Schedule it. Prayer times? Schedule it.
And don’t forget to put yourself right in that schedule. If you need three straight hours to do some deep work, plan that right into the day. And no, you should not feel guilty about it because you have spent time with them too.
A schedule will help ensure that everyone and everything is well accounted for, and that nothing suffers
So, when your kid says, ‘Mommy come and play with me’, and you know you been playing with him the last 3 hours, you can confidently say, ‘No baby, mommy needs to go do her homework, or go spend time with her friend, or just be by herself…’
So, hey, let’s rock this midterm week like the at-Home CEO that we are, wearing all the many crowns that being a Domestic Queen come with confidently and without guilt while still bearing fruit right at home.