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!

Momup Monday! What would you include in a motherhood survival kit?(Linky)

Momup Monday! What would you include in a motherhood survival kit?

So, have you ever run into an old college roommate at a coffee shop, or met your husband’s co-worker for the first time, or simply been introduced to a female without children at a social function?  They often inquire about your life, asking, “so, what do you do?” To which you reply, “I am a stay at home mother”. What follows is a slight side tilts of their head in a sympathetic manner, nod, and an expression of sorrow, as if they just found out you were diagnosed with a deadly disease. Then the icing on the cake, the ever dreaded comment, “You are JUST home with the kids”.  WHAT!!! Like it is a cake walk!

What if you were given the opportunity, right then and there, for her to truly experience all the joys of being a stay at home mother?  She would have to walk, drive, and run, in your shoes for one week.  She would have to do every single thing you do, the household chores, drive children to school and after school functions/activities, make certain all three meals are made everyday, home is tidy, laundry done, pets fed, appointments kept (dentist, orthodontist, eye doctor, vet, what have you) be the support system, referee, therapist, tutor, lego builder, boo-boo kisser and any additional hats your children require. Granted, it would only be fair to at least arm her with some sort of Motherhood survival package. After all we would be throwing her into this role cold turkey. So, the question for this Mondays Momup! Topic is: What would you include in the motherhood survival kit?

My Motherhood survival kit would include……

First and foremost I would include my 199 Favorite Bible Verses for Busy Moms book, the role of motherhood requires much prayer.  When you do everything you do in the glory of the one that made you the day is much brighter.

My sister gave me this book when I had my third child. I look forward to reading a verse every morning and I reflect upon it throughout the day.

Second, caffeine, it is a must! I am beginning to think that once you become a mother you need to kiss those well-rested days goodbye. It doesn’t matter what age your children are, the mother’s mind is a difficult thing to shut down at night, and even more difficult to reboot in the morning. So I will be adding Fairtrade coffee from Delicious Peace to my kit. (This coffee comes highly recommend by me, http://www.deliciouspeacethemovie.com/)

(This coffee comes highly recommend by me, http://www.deliciouspeacethemovie.com/)

The third item I would include in the kit is my planner. It contains everyone’s schedule, where they need to be, when they need to be there, and any additional short notes. Without my planner I would be dropping the wrong child off, missing appointments, shoot, even forgetting who I am. You can write your name, address, and who to contact in case of an emergency (Calgon take me away, remember those commercials, haha) in the front. It also has weight and measurement configurations, Toll-free numbers for rental cars, airlines, and hotels, and time zones (I guess in case the first two items don’t work you have all the necessary info to flee?) your aspirations, values, mission statement, and so much more.

Would be lost without my Franklin Covey Motherhood planner, every child has a row where you can write down their schedule for the week in addition to your own daily tasks.

The fourth item I would include is a phone to call mom.  It is funny, from the age 14, and up until the time you have children, the blame for practically everything under the sun is often placed on your mother. However when you have your first child the relationship you have with your mother is reborn.  You suddenly have such an appreciation for everything she ever did for you, and sorrow for everything you ever did to her. You can relate to her on a level you never experienced before, and it is so comforting to hear her voice on the telephone after you have experienced your own precious angel’s meltdown.  She becomes your ally in motherhood.

Lastly, and this was a tossup, and very close, but you will be happy to know that my readers beat out a glass of wine.  Did I mention it was close? While it is nice to unwind with a glass of wine of Friday evening after a long week it is far more fulfilling to read fellow mommy blogs and know you are not alone.  So, please add your blog to the Linky so that I may place it in my motherhood survival kit.

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Thank you and be sure to post a comment expressing what you would include in your kit.