Working at home isn't a perfect arrangement. Last night I was settling in on the couch with our son, Jaden, to watch a Christmas special while Serge, who recently started doing a little side work from home, sat down at the computer to work. Jaden said, "Why do you guys always work? I don't like it." I gave him the classic "Well, we have to work so we have money to buy things" line.
And for us that is true. As I've said before, I work at home because we really can't afford to live just on Serge's income. But Jaden's comment fell right in place with my thoughts lately about making the most of what I'm doing with my life. Sometimes my work-at-home-mom status kind of cramps my stay-at-home-mom status and I realize that I've focused really on one more than the other.
I've realized that based the personalities of my children and I, we are not going to get the most out of our days without some kind of plan. We do not have a rigid schedule at all, which lends itself to flexibility, but also tends to find us at 4 p.m. having done nothing to speak of all day long.
I personally am always doing something all day long....just not with the kids. So here's my plan for doing things together with the kids and really getting something out of our day:
- Playtime - Doing whatever specific play they want to do a few times during the day.
- Christmas activities - This time of the year is so much fun, so I'm going to try and incorporate something from it daily - decorating, making something, shopping for donation items, etc.
- Reading - We have so, so many books and the kids really like to read, so I want to make more of a point of having a reading time other than bedtime.
- Learning - Jaden doesn't like to color, but if you give him an activity like counting, letters, etc. he really enjoys it. Incorporating something like this would be a good way to give him a head start, since he'll be starting kindergarten next year.
- Activity - Now that we no longer have our Y membership, we'll need to find some kind of activity to do, whether it's going somewhere like the library or preschool open gym or something different at home, like playing a new kids website.
Lots of people who don't stay at home or those who are new at it don't realize that it does sometimes take a little thought and coordination - this mostly depends on the kids' personalities. What kinds of things do you do to keep your day running smoothly? Are you a strict schedule keeper or is your day different every day?