Yesterday a lovely reader asked how do I find time for craft with 5 little ones because she struggles to find time with 2? One of the top questions I get asked is just how do I find time for anything! To look at me when I’m out and about I look flat out and one very busy mum pushing a pram and surrounded by kids! And I am. I am looking after 5 little people who always need something. But once we’re home and everyone is fed, bathed and happy well it’s all very relaxed and I get some time to myself.
Here is how we do things and I find time to do the things I want to do
This is very obvious and whether you call it routine or the rhythm of your day, keeping things working to the same time helps everyone. I know when it’s going to be quiet and when I’ll get things done and I try to plan out the week with everyone’s activities and see where I’ll have a free night or weekend and when I can fit in a sewing session.
take your craft everywhere
I do craft in the car, on the playmat, the swimming pool, library, in bed and on the couch. If I am sitting then I am knitting or doing some craft.
I don’t do phone calls
the only people I speak to on the phone are my nana, grandma, mother in law and telemarketers (but I politely say to those telemarketers please don’t call me again and quickly hang up). And if people come to my door trying to sell me something I make sure a few kids come with me so I look too busy. Except the people who come to talk about God, I always tell them I’m catholic and have 5 beautiful children and want more. And I smile sweetly (and look all holy!).
I don’t have time for complicated people
Some people love to create drama because you didn’t call them or you didn’t do this or you’re too busy for them. Um hello, 5 small children. Once upon a time I would waste my time and energy worrying about them and what they thought of me. And then I stopped. Sometimes someone will say ‘how is so and so?’ and I’ll say ‘oh I don’t know I haven’t spoken to them in ages’. Move on and make time for the people who love and care for you and help you out. You’ll do the same for them and be surrounded by nice people. I’m convinced we’d all be happier if we did this.
Ask for the time
Retro daddy loves to go for big long runs. It makes him happy and he always asks when is a good time to go for a run today. I tell him what we have on and he works it out. I also say to him heh I’d like to do some sewing today or organise the garage (ha, just kidding! just checking you’re still reading!) can you mind the little ones! It might sound silly but otherwise you’ve got to the end of the weekend and you haven’t had a moment to yourself.
turn off the computer….sometimes
Sometime last year I stopped turning on the computer in the mornings. I was in the habit of reading it while eating breakfast, answering emails, updating facebook. Now I don’t turn the computer on until about 9.30 when I’m home from school and preschool drop off. I make sure the dishes are done, a load of washing is in the machine or out on the line. Toys are out on the blanket for elodie and emerson, I make a coffee and I sit down and start to do a bit of work.
Also at night time there are some nights where instead of trawling pinterest or ravelry or facebook, I get out my knitting and my peppermint tea and turn off the computer. You really have to do it and you’ll be more productive if you do. Promise.You will survive and you won’t miss out on anything.
we eat dinner early
this might sound totally crazy to some people but depending on what activities we have on we will eat dinner (well the little ones and myself) anywhere from 4.30pm onwards. Then it’s straight in the bath. Now last night we had an activity and I let the little ones eat dinner and play outside till 7pm so obviously we don’t do it every night. But if I’m running solo then we try to do dinner and baths early then time to play, read a book and wind down and be in bed at 7.30pm. We used to do 8.30pm bedtime but with all the bedtime shenanigans it could be 9pm before I’d make it downstairs. It’s not perfect here but we’ve found the 7.30pm bedtime is working well here.
book into a class or join a group
when keira was little she would go to a daycare centre from 9-2 once a week and I learnt to sew. I did this for about 6 months before we moved and I got pregnant with twins but it was a way that I could learn something new, get a bit of time to myself while retro daddy was working overseas and also have something that was my own. Booking into something or having a time when you leave the house to do something for yourself means you get that time to yourself. It’s not a bad thing. When you have very small children you are their carers 24/7 around the clock. You need a break and you deserve a break. Other things I love to do is have my craft days, go out to a class and do something that makes me happy.
And that’s that! I’m not a particularly organised person, my house is never spotless, I try to be on time to things and just try to keep everything going. But I always find a bit of time for myself.