Time Management

IMG_1815I’ve never the been the best at time management through most of my life and it’s gotten a little worse since having a son.  I felt I had been getting a handle on things and learning how to manage making sure both me and my son got ready in a timely fashion.  That was until yesterday when I realized staying home with child is not as easy as I thought it would be.  I’m not saying stay home parents have it easy at all because I know the work children are, I was just hoping it was easier than it looked.

This awakening of my time management capabilities happened because shortly before the family was heading out the door for the morning, our day care provider called in sick.  Thankfully for us I don’t work Mondays so neither my wife nor I had to call in to work, but it did change my plans for the day.

Usually on Mondays my son spends part of the day at daycare so I can work on writing projects and searching for freelance work, then him and I hang while my wife is at grad class.  My time management is great on these days because I can get my day started at a leisurely pace of checking emails, checking up on blogs I follow and responding to any messages I may have.  Then, once I have all my to-do things done, I can start working on whatever writing I am working on at the time.  That is, when my son isn’t with me the whole day.

Monday was the most time him and I had spent, just the two of us, ever (if you started singing Will Smith’s “Just the Two of Us” your not alone.  It’s stuck in my head too).  Not that I don’t like spending time with my son, it’s just I usually get small breaks throughout the day to help keep my sanity.  On top of changing up my routine for a Monday he had a doctor appointment that I was going to have to take him to.  The last time I took him to the doctor I didn’t do a good job of leaving on time and arrived a little late.  So yesterday I had to do my best to get him there on time.

After getting back from dropping my wife off at work I spent some time playing with William and planning on him taking his first nap by 9 am so I could shower and do a little writing.  When he finally went down at 10 am I was able to get a shower in, but when I got out he was awake and ready to get up.  Most of our day was spent with me entertaining, holding, feeding and rocking my son to keep him content while my writing projects sat idle and my emails went unchecked.

There was plenty of holding and carrying my son to keep him happy, but there were times he was upset with me because I sat him down so I could get our dinner started and use the bathroom.  We did however make it to the doctor early and it was the fastest I have ever been in and out at that place.  I will remember to get there early next time as well.

There is another thing I know now from my mismanagement of time when watching my son.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  There are so many things I learned from playing and talking with him.  I can take those moments and have memories of how we enjoyed each other’s company while getting on each other’s nerves spending so much time together.  I may not be the greatest at making sure I get all my things done when watching my son, but I can definitely say I enjoyed missing out on things I usually do.

A little side note; when he went down for his afternoon nap after his doctor appointment I made sure to make cupcakes for my wife to enjoy for dessert.  So I may not have been able to work on my writing, but I was able to use my time wisely by taking care of my family.


About jharbottle7

I'm a husband, a father, want-to-be writer, struggling blogger and cyclist. Starting a family has changed my life and made me want to become a better person.
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2 Responses to Time Management

  1. echo says:

    I’ve been working from home all summer and still don’t feel like I have a grasp on time management. And I just have a dog! I can’t even imagine what it would be like with a kid. One thing that helps me get going on days where my motivation is low, is an app called 30/30 that I have on my iPhone. It’s super basic. I set it to time me for an hour, then it rings a little bell, and times me for 15 minutes, rings a bell, and repeat. I work for the hour, then get up and do something else for the 15 minutes. Like sweep, fold clothes, let the dog out, or just walk around. And, of course, I do stretches. On days where I just want to take a nape, thinking “I just have to do 1 hour…” helps get me going. And, things like sweeping etc end up getting done, without taking too much time, because then that turns into “I only have 15 minutes to do this…”

    But it’s a constant struggle.

    • jharbottle7 says:

      I am definitely going to check out the app. Anything to help me stay on track is a good thing. Breaking up tasks to keep the mind fresh I think is a great idea.
      Thanks for the suggestions and hopefully I’ll be able to share some successful moments with time management in the near future.

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