How changing ONE thing in my daily routine gave me happier kids, more time with them and less late-afternoon chaos

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My daily routine as a Stay-At-Home-Mom {SAHM} and foodie/blogger used to look something like this:

  • Take kids to school
  • Go to the gym
  • Household chores
  • Blogging and other blog-related stuff
  • Admin / errands, etc.
  • Fetch kids
  • Prep dinner & try and take decent photos for the blog…
  • Dinner time
  • Kids’ bath time
  • Kids’ bedtime
  • Time with hubby / TV / Pinterest, etc.
  • Bedtime between 9&10pm

{And people think we just sit around and have tea parties, hmmph…}

I would fetch the kids from school and then start with dinner prep, while they whine and fight with each other and demand snacks, etc. {Yes, this WILL happen to all moms eventually, even those of us with perfect kids 😉 }

This really bothered me, because it’s no fun and not good for anyone to have such drama towards the end of the day.
Inevitably, there would be scolding and threatening and tears…
That is NOT what kids or parents need after a long day apart.

I really gave it a lot of thought and this might now seem so obvious to you – but hey, it’s not always that easy – but by just changing my schedule a bit, it’s made a big difference so far!

My schedule now looks something like this:

  • Go to gym before hubby goes to work {really early}
  • Take the kids to school
  • Household chores, etc.
  • Prep & make dinner in advance! {This is the key change and makes ALL the difference.}
    I also always make extra food, so  there’s enough for lunchboxes the next day.
    It’s then one big prep going on, but so worth the time and effort saved!
  • Take decent photos for the blog
  • Admin, errands, etc.
  • Fetch kids
  • PLAY WITH KIDS AND SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH THEM FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR – then leave them to continue to play, etc until dinner time
  • Dinner time
  • Kids’ bath time
  • Kids’ bedtime
  • Etc etc {including blogging and other blog-related stuff}

You might be reading this now and thinking a few things:

  1. I’m a working mom – it’s not possible…
    Well, you might have to find a different routine that works for you, perhaps getting up earlier and prepping dinner, or perhaps you have someone to prep the dinner for you.
    The important thing is to spend that specific quality time with your kids.
    {I honestly take my hat off to  working moms that also have to keep  things going at home…!}
    After a long day, they’re more likely to whine and be grumpy if you’re not giving them some solid attention.
    Resist the urge to check Facebook, e-mails, etc etc – you can do that later when the kids are in bed.
    I think we often feel that just by being with them is enough, but it’s not. They need attention and thrive on it. And when they get enough of it, they won’t demand it so much…
    You’d be surprised at the clever, funny and interesting things they talk about when you’re actually getting down to their level and actively playing with them.
    When last did you build something with Legos? Built a puzzle? Drew some pictures?
  2. You might also wonder why I haven’t been spending that quality time with my kids…
    Well, like a lot of moms I’m sure, there’s just so much to do in a day and I honestly thought that they could just hang around and play and chat while I get on with things in the afternoon, but it doesn’t work like that with small children.

    I think these days people often neglect giving proper attention to their kids, because work, etc takes precedence. But it shouldn’t be like that…
    Make time to play, laugh, read and teach! Enjoy them!

This one little change in my schedule have not only made things better for the kids, but also for me!
Bedtime is a lot easier and things just go a lot smoother.

Another bonus is that when the power goes out, dinner is already done!
#loadshedding

Another little top tip:
Have healthy snacks ready for when the kids get home – somehow they are absolutely famished after school and need that 4pm snack.
Make it nutritious – even if it means they don’t want to eat dinner, then that’s fine, because they had something solid and nutritious late afternoon.
In fact, it’s probably better like that.

Here’s to living more organised, less chaotic, happy lives and taking the time to enjoy our kids more! X

juggling-mom-w-baby

{Image: Found on another great mommy-blog: NY Mom’s World’s Blog}

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