I Don’t Have Time Not To

I’m not much of a morning person. Mostly, I just wish that mornings would magically happen on their own. Too often I feel like I spend the majority of my mornings a. pestering Manchild 1 to get dressed/use the potty/clean his room or b. checking my e-mail/blogs in an attempt to avoid making the morning happen. I usually consider it quite an accomplishment if I am able to get the three of us ready and out the door to go to the library’s storytime at 11:30. At least it was an accomplishment until I started getting up to go running before Micah left for work. Then I would have to get up at 6:15 so I could get out the door by 6:45 so I could be home before 7:45 so he could go bring home the bacon.

And that is when I realized that all sorts of amazing things happen when I don’t roll out of bed at 8:00, and then only because my child is yelling at me from his (locked) bedroom. “I’m all done now! I want to come out!” For instance: I can, if I need to, shower before Micah leaves, which means there is one less person to dress by the time the boys are awake. For instance: I can eat my breakfast in peace — no manchild grabbing my bowl or begging for juice. Quiet time, personal time = sanity. For instance: I can decide what needs to be done and in what order before I actually start doing it. No more running around half-heartedly doing one task before realizing I need to be doing something else, then getting distracted and, holy cow how did it get to be noon and we still aren’t ready to go to the store?! For instance: with the energy I get from a refreshing run, I can go for hours before I realize that I am actually rather tired, and even then I’m often in such a good mood and having so much fun doing whatever it is that I’m doing that it feels more like I’m just getting started. I could go all day.

So basically, I don’t have time to not go running, to not meditate, to not give myself a few minutes to fill up my own cup before trying to spread it out among so many others all day long.

Some other things I don’t have time to not do:

  • Hold Manchild 2 as he goes to sleep. He sleeps better, I get to sit down and rest. More importantly, I focus on him for a few minutes without distractions. I admit I spend more time than I would like during the day telling him I’ll be there in just a minute or shaking him off my leg while I run to do one quick thing before I pick him up. How much better would my day be if I gave him the five or so minutes he needs to be comfortable, and then go about my business with no crying, no grabbing, no, “I hear you, I hear you, just a minute, I’ll be there in just a minute.”
  • Give Manchild 1 20-30 minutes of my undivided attention. He gets to choose what we do: games, books, cooking, drawing, painting, typing, whatever. I did this the other day while Manchild 2 was napping. He was happy, I was happy. He didn’t spend so much time pestering me. I didn’t spend so much time trying to put him off.
  • Say a prayer. If nothing else, it gives me peace of mind and a moment to reflect and think about what I need to do during the day and what my priorities are. But I like to think it also gives me a little spiritual boost to help me recognize when things are not going well and a thought on how I can change things to go better. Starting out with a little prayer and adding others throughout the day helps me keep things in perspective which helps me to be more effective.

What kinds of things do you not have the time to not do?

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  1. No kids yet, but we have finally come to the realization that if we take our German Shepherd for a LONG walk at 5:30 am, rather than just out the door, life is much more pleasant. She’s not a nut that is getting into things the entire time we’re trying to get ready for work.


  2. lizzie

    July 9th, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    5:30am. That’s dedication. I hadn’t considered that pets have their schedules too. My hat is off to you. 🙂


  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since we had Claire. All of our activities are geared toward what Clark can do, and I spend a lot of time giving undivided attention to Claire so she can nurse, so what I don’t have the time not to do is cuddle Peter and kiss him whenever I get the chance. He is especially cuddly after naps so that is when he gets my full attention. 5 or 10 minutes of just holding him and kissing him or singing to him or whatever. He deserves it, and we’re both happier afterward.


  4. I like this post, and I concur.


  5. lizzie

    July 11th, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    It does get trickier with 3, doesn’t it Jodie? And that is a good point that the older kid(s) usually get activities geared towards them. I would be interested in hearing more about how other mothers do things for the younger kid(s) without the older one getting impatient and ruining things. Not that my child would ever do anything like that. No, never. 😉


  6. still trying to figure that one out, Lizzie. I have to set aside specific Peter-time otherwise Clark gets bossy. But I’ve found that instead of getting mad at Clark for answering a question I’ve asked Peter (“what letter is this?”) I now let Clark be the one to ask Peter and give him the answer when he doesn’t know. That way we all have a part and no one is left out.


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