So I think we all know the guilt. I do anyway. It’s a Saturday and my mental to-do list is crazy long. This is the day I often make time for those “special” projects while also trying to complete the must-do household chores that are a part of every day in the life of a mom. I plan to tackle painting the old dresser that has been in the garage for months that I swooped up at a garage sale last summer, my Tupperware drawer is a bomb and a disgrace and needs to be reorganized. I’m sure I have a dozen loads of laundry after all garments have been gathered, the dishes need to be done and I have to run and get a gift for my daughter’s friend who has a birthday party tomorrow. I promised myself I would get on the treadmill for at least 45 minutes and we are trying to watch our “eating-out” budget so it’s really important I get a healthy meal made for my family so we don’t break down and order in pizza.
Helter skelter-these are some things that I might get done on a productive Saturday, but as I look back at what I have accomplished, I suddenly notice my youngest daughter sitting on her bed. I stop and think for the first time, “What has she been doing all day?” Firmly gripping her aqua iPod with both hands, holding it closely to her face, I realize I have been but a flurry around her as she has quietly stooped for hours, lost in a day of “my mom is too busy to notice” device demise.
The guilt overcomes. My mental to-do list failed to include monitoring and/or including my child in on this productive Saturday. Suddenly my accomplishments are accompanied by failure as I try not to calculate the number of hours she has just spent on her device. Yes, I admit I have had a day like this and no, I am not proud when the realization of my neglect comes into view.
I know I am a really great mom most of the time, and I definitely know what a day like this CAN look like when I am more mindful of my child and what is best for them. The great news is, moms get redos! Yep, almost every single day. Day after day and week after week we are blessed to wake up to the same little people and we get another chance to improve our strategies, change our tactics and simply do better or do differently. Sometimes my greatest ideas, implementations and successes come from lessons learned, come from my failures.
Here is my redo Saturday:
Give my child some device time, but make sure this amount of time is reasonable. I want my child to have time in her day to be creative indoors and outdoors, do a couple of chores, or spend more time interacting with family. Kudoso was a huge factor in helping me maintain that balance in my home. By presetting the time my child has on her device, there is no way she can “overdo” device time. I can let Kudoso help me manage my child’s time, so I don’t have to rely on my memory alone.
Include my child in my painting project. Okay, I admit I like things done well, but the back of the dresser could most definitely be painted by my child or maybe she can help with the sanding or first rough coat. The point is including my child in my work where I can and making a fun project out of it.
Have my child organize the Tupperware drawer! Give them basic instructions and let them go! Kids often are the best organizers with a specific project like this and it’s one job I don’t have to do!
Have my child make part of her friend’s birthday gift. All of those hours on Pinterest should account for something! She can find gift ideas to make or she can make a homemade birthday card as a creative project.
Bring my sous-chef into the kitchen with me! Meal preparation time is a great time to include my child in my day and connect during the busyness. Not only is my child learning a life skill but I also get quality time with her.
This Saturday I just described is truly a “productive” Saturday in my mind. My mental to-do list still got accomplished, and I think I did a pretty good job being a mom in the process. I love redos, and I’m sure I will still have many more redo opportunities in this great journey of parenting.
By Kimberly Bridwell, Kudoso Kontributor