To be a great mama and to have some sanity, it's imperative to separate work time and play time.
We live in a world where it is so easy to have everything at our fingertips at any time. We can check our email on our smartphone while sitting down on the floor playing dolls with our kids. Convenient? Of course. Necessary? I donʼt think so. Troublesome? I do think so. I think our kids think so too.
Being a work-at-home mom, it is a huge challenge for me to keep work time and play time separate. However, it is so important to me that I do this. I donʼt want my kids to look back at their childhood and remember mommy always on her phone. I want them to remember me playing kitchen with them, dancing and singing in the living room and teaching them to cook amazing meals.
It is a hard balance because I do want my girls to see me doing work that I love to do. I want them to see me learning and growing, being creative, dreaming and being successful at work that is true to my heart. What I have found to work is talking to my girls about the work I do. Instead of just saying, “Mommy doesnʼt have time to play dolls right now” I say, “Girls, I am writing a book to help other moms like me. I hope that my book with give moms that are struggling some hope and even make them laugh!” When I start talking more and more about my work, the girls get excited. I even ask them questions about it and keep them involved. I think this helps them realize that I am not picking work over them. Work is just another amazing part about mommy.
Put Your Phone Away Sometimes
Brian and I try to put our phones away in the evenings when he is home and we are playing with the girls, making dinner, doing bath and bed time. During the day, I sometimes purposely keep my phone upstairs so I donʼt have easy access to it. Instead of leaving my computer downstairs in the living room where I could easily get on Facebook and be distracted, I leave it in my home office upstairs.
Have a Schedule
Having a schedule is key. A few evenings every week, I work for a few hours. The girls know that mommy is in her office and it is their time to play with daddy. Brian and I really try to stick to this schedule. When I just had Madilyn, I was not as diligent about keeping to a daily schedule but now with two kids, it is a must. Juliana still naps for me (usually 2 hours a day) so this time gives me an opportunity for one-on-one time with Madilyn. Sometimes she does school work and I do work, sometimes she helps me prepare dinner, and sometimes we sit on the couch and cuddle and watch Sophia the First.
Itʼs OK to Say No
I hate overcommitting - play dates, activities, and work engagements. I have to consciously remind myself to slow down and commit to less. In a few short months, my Madilyn will be in full-time Kindergarten so lazy days at home during the week are coming to an end. I am allowing myself to enjoy some lazy days. Itʼs OK to have nothing to do sometimes. Kids donʼt have to be entertained 24/7.
Do you separate work time and play time?
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