I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The tightrope of life.

The balancing act of being parent is no small task. Now I know there are some pretty tough jobs out there. Air traffic controller I am not, but that doesn't diminish the responsibilities that are required of a parent, male or female. For me, an important piece to my balancing act is giving my brain time to rest.

After busy mornings schooling, we recently had to change the way we do quiet time around here. We have five children and 1pm - 3pm has always been our downtime. However, in the last few years we have gone from 5 children 6 and under to 5 children between the ages of 4 and 10. That really changes things as several of them have graduated from naps.

This last week we had a family meeting of sorts. Some of the older ones have a habit of entering the napping territory and forgetting their consideration somewhere along the way. Also, this time has become a time of "Mom, can I's" leaving me feeling like an activity director all day long.

We sat the older three children down and told them that we realize that they are no longer nappers but that does not mean that quiet time is not needed. We explained to them that while they are not responsible for the way mommy feels and behaves, they can have a significant impact either way. I shared for a bit about my personal choice to stay home with them and that our time is very valuable and short with them. I wanted to stress that is important for them to learn how to entertain themselves for periods of time and how healthy that is. It was really important to me to make sure that the kids understand that this is not "me time" which can have a self centered focus. This is a time for all of us to recharge, practicing consideration for others as well as the pursuit of individual interests.

So this is now how quiet time works in our home. Everyday at 1pm the two youngest are read a story and sent to bed. During the story time the older three are to get any activities they would like to work on. They may not go upstairs to get anything after the youngers are resting. They will read on their own for 30 minutes and then they have 90 minutes of free time. 30 minutes of that may be spent on media such as the Wii, a TV show or computer time.

I have really been enjoying our quiet times lately. You will often times find me sitting on the couch reading a book, working in the kitchen, getting to some projects or resting. At the same time the older kids are working on things that aren't very friendly to younger kids such as big lego projects or painting projects. It's very nice and I am feeling not as weary when 3pm comes like I used to.

“This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by BOCA.”

1 comment:

musicmommy3 said...

That's what we do here too! Judah is 6 and no longer naps but he is required to read for a bit and then he can play super quietly with a computer chess game or watch a video sometimes. (he prefers the game)

I hope to continue the quiet time thing for many years. :)