Most nights, I lay awake for a while, and I think about the events of the day. I feel a little guilty about the number of times I may have scolded the children during the day. I try to play the scene in my head and figure out what I could have done differently. I also try to implement the strategy the next day. What I have found is if I am stressed out, the children act out, and then I react. But if I am calm and in kissing boo-boos mode, they are better behaved. So, it all stems from me. By the way, the other day, Shiloh had a little cut that I tried to kiss better, and she looked at me when I was done and said, “Mom, that did nothing. It still hurts.” Oh well, I guess she told me.
Weekly chores and schedule
Our weekly schedule is a combination of these activities: monitoring Eli and Anayah when they are at virtual school, preparing meals (my children eat 48 hours a day. You get the picture.), doing laundry (we are a family of 6, it adds up), spending time with the twins, potty breaks, instacarting our groceries, business planning and the long list continues. Brent and the kids help with the dishes and sweep the house. The kids also sometimes help to fold laundry, but, umm, yeah, I’d rather do it myself, but I still allow them to help me, to get them into the habit.
How Can I Make Better Use of my 24 hours?
Sometimes, I feel burdened by the daily tasks, and I feel I am missing out on spending more time with the twins. I feel they are getting the short end of the stick, and it takes my mom-guilt through the roof. Most times, when they do something silly, it is to get my attention, so I knew I had to change things up. I am at home to spend time with them, and I should be enjoying that time. At 3 years old, the girls need more than a TV. Some days it is a good babysitting tool, but not always. The question I posed to myself was, “How can I make effective use of my 24 hours without leaving myself undone?” You see, the mistake I was making was looking at my 24 hours as a solid chunk of time rather than breaking it up into intervals of time.
The Power of Change
Once again, the solution circled back to me. So, I had to start waking up earlier and getting my work started before they got up. I used to prefer to work after they went to bed. I would work from 9:30p to 2a, but I was always tired in the morning. The children wake up at 730a with the energy a good night’s rest provides, coupled with youthful exuberance. My new bedtime is between 9p and 10p, and I wake up at 5 am; going to bed earlier and waking up earlier are proving better options. I now have the energy to match theirs, and with most of my work out of the way, I have the time to spend with them.
My New Schedule
I had to start meal prepping; this is simply knowing what you are cooking for the week ahead of time. The little things make a big difference. I started doing more painting, crafts, sensory exercises, letter and number recognition, and phonics with the twins. I carved out time for this. So, when I am with them, I am not thinking about anything else. I am in that moment. Of course, there are still programs from Leapfrog that they enjoy, and they are educational too, so that is a win-win. Of course, there will always be time for Paw Patrol; after all, “Ryder needs us.”
Calmer Mommy Equals Calmer Babies
I guess the little ones recognized a change in me, and out of nowhere a few days ago, Shiloh said, “I love you, mommy. I am so happy.” Then Zarah gave me a tight hug. At that moment, it came full circle that my hypothesis was correct; the little ones do feed off me, so stress begets stress, and calm, and structure reduces tantrums and attention-getting tactics. All is well with us until the next “I had it first.” I am not sure how to get around this one yet.