They Can’t Wait

A friend smacked me over the head with an interesting thought the other day.  She wasn’t really even trying to.  It was just a simple comment on a facebook thread about raising young kids.  She mentioned something about a job she once had serving as a nanny for a family.  And then she said something that made me rethink how I parent:

How much differently would we run our households if it was a job someone was paying us to do? How much differently would I parent my children?

She made a comment about how when she was a nanny she ran a tight ship. There was as schedule. She hardly used her phone or was distracted by a computer, because she was getting paid to do a job, not to mess around. And while I’m not saying no one should ever have downtown or relaxation time….I for one have definitely been wasting way too much time distracted by the glow of a screen instead of getting stuff done and being present with my kids.

So.  How do I start to do things differently?  Because, really, home management, raising kids, it is my job.  No, I don’t bring a paycheck home each week, but I sure do save my family a lot of money by staying home.  And I definitely have tasks that need to be completed like any other occupation.  Her simple comment really stuck with me.  And I mulled it over for about a day or two before deciding that I could do better.  I needed to do better.

I for one am super guilty of waiting for the kids to wake up before I roll out of bed. I will be honest and say I have one REALLY early riser, which doesn’t add much motivation. But, enough excuses. You wouldn’t do that with a normal job. You wouldn’t wait until after the work had started, until after the ‘clients’ arrived to put on some clothes and think about getting stuff done. No, you’d get up early! You’d get the shop ready and have your work already in motion, ready for the first customer.

So here’s to getting up first.  It’s AH-MAZING how much I can get done in an hour without children. Though, some measures do have to be put in place to get my super early riser to stay in her room until it’s officially wake up time. Because, if I get up at 5:30 to do laundry, she’ll be downstairs ready for breakfast by 5:45. So telling her she can’t get up until some one comes to get her gives me a headstart on my day.  I don’t feel like I’m scrambling to keep the house manageable.  Because I’m not cleaning up a mess as it’s being made. I’m getting things picked up, breakfast started, laundry going, and school organized before three little people who need help going potty, or diapers changed, or millions of demands about how HUNGRY they are come flooding downstairs.

And then later in the day I have time to play!  I have time to just go outside and build a snowman.  I can just be mom.  No agenda.  No “hang on a second while mommy….”.  Nope.  Mommy’s got time to just be mommy. Because mommy got to work before the office was opened and got the day moving forward.

I’m not saying I’m never going to tell my little hooligans to go entertain themselves.  I’m saying that I felt like I spent 95% of my day trying to finish my housework or work-from-home job requirements because I got the day started too late.  I rarely just sat down to play for more than ten minutes because I’m trying to finish the things that would have been much easier to get done while everyone was still sleeping.  They’re growing up and I’m missing the whole thing because I have to do laundry, or start lunch, or clean the bathroom. Or. Or. Or.

Sorry Facebook.  Sorry phone.  You guys have to wait, too.  Although you’re really really really tempting, I’ve got stuff to do. I’ve got a household to run and a homestead to keep organized!