Hybrid Time: Guilt Free Mothering

Do you feel like you are constantly being pulled in different directions?  Do you feel torn when you have to partake in household chores instead of spending time with your children?  Does the mommy guilt begin to pile on?  Do you start questioning your priorities?

We have all been there, we feel so guilty for taking time to do things like laundry and dishes instead of spending quality time with the children.  Granted these are tasks that need to be completed; maybe there is a way to do both? This is what I like to call Hybrid time.

Hybrid Time is time during the day that you complete household chores while still participating in fun games and activities with your children. This way you can remove the mommy guilt and feel great about getting the necessary chores accomplished. Below are a few of the activities that my children and I participate in during Hybrid time.

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Treasure Hunt: So you need a few minutes to switch around the laundry and start dinner?  This is a great choice that is sure to give you some time to complete your chores and your child is guaranteed to have fun.

Appropriate for Age:  preschoolers and up. 

Time: Should give mom 10-15 minutes to complete her task  

What you will need: Paper, Pen, & Treasure The treasure could be their snack (still in package) or their favorite toy, any treasure will do, it is more about the hunt.

How to make: Take the paper and pen and draw out five locations on the map. It is important that the map is age appropriate for your child. If your child can read you can write out hints and clues along the way but if they are younger pictures will need to be provided. The last location should be where you place the treasure. Time to play: Hand over the map and watch as the fun unfolds. 

Added fun: If you have walkie-talkies you can feed them hints and clues along their travels throughout the house. You can be in the basement doing laundry while talking to them or, in the next room, wherever.

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Healthy Option vs. Unhealthy option

Appropriate for Age: 2 and up

Time: this fluctuates, you decide how many rounds your want to play. This is a favorite game for the children to play while I prepare meals. They often sit at the table eagerly awaiting my next question.

How to play: While prepare a meal have your children sit around or within ear shot and you name three foods. You can either name two healthy options and one unhealthy (they would name the unhealthy), or you name two unhealthy and one healthy (they would name the healthy).

For example: Name the unhealthy option- Apple, Peach, or French Fries? The answer is French fries.  Name the healthy option- Carrot cake, oatmeal cookies, or celery?  The answer is celery. You could also add to the fun and use visual aids if you have them available in your kitchen. You can make this age appropriate as well, say you would like to teach your elementary child healthy food options. You could have them name the complex carbohydrate or perhaps the food with protein, etc. Then give your child a chance to ask you the questions, this really helps them understand nutrition. Hopefully one day they will stump you. I think that whenever you have the opportunity to engage in an educational activity with your child why not make it fun!

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Hide-N-Find

Appropriate for Age: 2 and up

Time: usually 10 minutes but could fluctuate

How to play: Take 5 of the same objects, maybe five plastic stacking cups, linking rings, Barbie dolls, legos, five of anything that is similar.  Hide those five objects in your home. Place them in age/height appropriate locations then have your child locate them. This is a fun activity because you do not have to hide, mommy can continue on with the household chores while the kiddo searches the house for the objects.

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Pots-N-Pan Jam

Appropriate for Age: All time Favorite with the babies and toddlers

How to play: Get out a pot, pan, spatula, and wooden spoon and give them to the baby. You tap on the pot and pan with the spoon then the baby will, and so on and so forth. This is an oldie but a goody.

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What Animal am I?

Appropriate for Age: 2 and up

How to Play: You pick an animal in you mind, say a cow.  Your child then guesses what animal you are, basically 20 questions but with animals. Then it is their turn to pick an animal.  If you can get some pictures of animals prior to playing and then pull those out for your children to review during the game it makes it easier for them to pick their animimal and answer your questions.

Now you can kiss that mommy guilt goodbye, get the household tasks accomplished and still have fun with your children. Life is good!

Frivolous Friday…love, good intentions, and Betty Crocker

Last night I had a tough time falling asleep; my mind was all over the place.  The last thing I remember thinking about was our 30 days of gratitude and whether the purpose was truly being understood by the children?

In a blink it was morning. Due to my lack of sleep the night before my brain was running on automatic mode and started on the usual Friday routine.  The problem was, today was not a usual Friday. The kiddos were home from school due to parent teacher conferences. Thankfully I did not drop off any children at school.  Truth be told, that has always been a fear of mine that I would mindlessly drop off the wrong child at the wrong place, or visa versa. Thankfully after referencing my planner and enjoying a cup of coffee the plans for the day all came back to me.

Two weeks prior I had made arrangements with a friend to watch her son while she ran errands.  I had totally forgotten and did nothing last night to prepare for today. I glanced up from my coffee cup at the shambles of random stuff spread throughout the house, wowzers! What a mess, that clutter called for a laundry basket brigade.  Now, this is my best kept secret, well, not for long. When there are way too many random toys, puzzle parts and pieces, garments, and nonsense scattered around the house I grab a laundry basket and throw everything in the basket. Place that basket in a room that is off-limits and address it after guests have left. Voila, clean house!

Just as I placed the basket in my closet the door bell rang.  The kiddos started off playing with toys, which lasted for all of twenty minutes, and then they started inquiring about a snack.  Snacks!  Again, when I am functioning with a full deck I usually have snacks made the day before and I am totally prepared.  This time was not one of those time but I got by with a little help from my friend Betty, Betty Crocker that is.  Chocolate chip cookies pouch to the rescue! I would like to say, thank you Betty Crocker for allowing moms to maintain their crazy buys schedules and still be cool in the eyes of their children. The kiddos loved the cookies and they had no idea I did not get the mixer out and add all the necessary ingredients, love, good intentions, and Betty Crocker is all you need.

Thank you Betty, I couldn’t do it without you.

With the snack out-of-the-way I thought I was out of the woods….not so fast.  With chocolate all over her face, my daughter asked if we could do a craft.  A Craft!?! Sure I exclaimed as I started googling craft ideas. I came across a cool website, http://www.makinglearningfun.com/. On the site I found templates for Pilgrims and Native American.  I printed off the templates and let the kiddos raid the craft drawers. While working on their craft my son became impatient and his friend helped him with his pilgrims.  With that my daughter exclaimed that their friend was expressing a gratitude attitude, it was priceless. They are listening and comprehending the purpose of the 30 days of gratitude. That made this moms day.

They so enjoyed this unplanned craft
I love the eyes and pink clothes; they each added their own unique touches to their stick people.