Thursday, November 20, 2014

20 Minutes to Better Parenting - #NaBloPoMo 20

Max, working on his morning task chart
I've decided that all it takes for me to be a better parent is 20 minutes of alone time in the house, every weekday. This is harder to find than it sounds, but for me, it makes a ton of difference in my attitude.

Since school started, I've been going in to work after getting the kids on the bus each morning, and then getting home after Marc has picked up the kids and they've returned home. That means things are already in full swing when I've walked through the door: Marc is usually starting dinner, mail and (sometimes) school notices have been piled up, the kids are simultaneously needing to tell me about their days, and all I want a bit of quiet after my hour of commuting. With the current arrangement, that's not really feasible.

In our old arrangement, when I was responsible for pick up, if all the stars aligned, I might get 20 minutes in the house before going to get the kids. In that 20 minutes, I'd sort through the mail, unload the dishwasher, reload the breakfast dishes, maybe start a load of laundry. Then when I went to get the kids, I wasn't trying to cram in all of those things while distractedly listening to them; I could actually focus better. I still needed to ask them to stop talking at the same time as each other, but I even did that in a nicer way.

I'm hoping to reclaim a bit of that time in the mornings. I've been getting up later, and I need to stop doing that. I should at least be able to get the dishes done, and maybe I can bring the laundry down so I can start it more easily in the evenings. Max and I just came up with a list of the tasks he needs to do every morning, and I'm going to start an incentive system to help him get them done with less nagging from me. Maybe I can find 20 minutes of time where I'm at least downstairs by myself.

As my friend Nanette said in our discussion group last weekend, things are good, but they can use some tweaking. Twenty minutes is a good start.


  1. Some days, finding 20 minutes alone is miraculous!

  2. it's so hard to scrape together 20 minutes sometimes! Tweaking is good!