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Wednesday, 28 August 2013 07:00

Parenting Fly-Lady Style

I'm lazy. 

There - I've said it. 

I have a really hard time getting my butt out of bed in the morning and becoming productive. I just don't want to... 

Actually, none of that is entirely true - I do know how to work hard, but I need circumstances to be conducive to getting things done, and constantly shifting gears to deal with the baby feeding, toddler potty time, playtime, naptime, cleaning time, poop explosion incidents that happen every 7.33 minutes does NOT help the productivity.  

So, I feel a little bit like I'm in Myst - something is happening or has happened, and I know I have to do something about it, and figure something out, but no one is giving me directions and I'm not quite sure where I am... And that makes me want to crawl under my bed and hide for the next 2-16 years. 

Lately I've been following the 'Fly Lady' House Cleaning system, and I am feeling as though my entire life could benefit from a similar structure.  Parenting - or more specifically, spending time with my children - doesn't come naturally to me. I don't really know how to play, and ideas for keeping them entertained and occupied don't naturally pop into my brain. I need to plan and research and make an honest effort for these things.

My concept at this moment is to create a 'Parenting Schedule' as it were - like the FlyLady cleaning schedule, which includes lists of items that should be done daily, weekly, and monthly, and some even less often.  

Here is an example of a daily 'To Do' list for myself - to do with my girls:

  • Get Clara out of bed by 8:30, get her dressed and give her breakfast
  • Help Clara make her bed
  • Go outside
  • Spend 15 minutes playing with the girls, and letting them lead
  • Spend 15 minutes in physical activity
  • Read a book
  • Go through the entire alphabet with Clara once
  • Do a creative activity
  • Coach and help Clara to clean up toys before supper

I could do all of these things in less than 2 hours each day, and as a Stay At Home Mom - I think that is a reasonable amount of time to expect to spend focusing on my kids.

The beauty of the way I have been following the Fly Lady routine is that each day starts fresh. If I didn't get something done yesterday - that's ok, I start over today. I don't keep track of any tasks that I was supposed to have done in the past but missed, even if they won't come around again for awhile, because then I will get overwhelmed and stop doing anything at all.  Each month, I focus on one small thing - this month's Fly Lady 'habit' is to do one load of laundry each day - so I would pick just one thing that I would try to make a habit in my life and make that my first priority every day.

I think I will start with 15 minutes of playing with the girls, or reading a book. 

I need to prove to myself that I can be somewhat disciplined in my daily kid's schedule, because at this point in time I think I will be homeschooling the girls, and I need to know that I can follow a routine for their sake, and be held responsible for their education. 

Are there any other parents out there who have to prompt themselves to play with their kids? 

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