My Juggling Act – Making Time for All Children

I have three children, for some that seems like a lot to keep up with while others have far more children than me and see it as less of a challenge. Having children, no matter how many can always lead to a juggling act. Some are juggling work, family and home while others juggle home and family only. Whatever you are juggling, we all know as parents that a 12 hour day doesn’t ever seem long enough. I am here to share with you what I do to ensure I make time for each of my children, specifically  my youngest, as well as share a few tips on how I make it all work!

How to Make Time for Each Child

With my  middle child being different than my other two, having a previous mood disorder & anxiety diagnosis but awaiting an autism evaluation, you can imagine my hands are full. It’s often difficult to realize I haven’t paid one ounce of positive attention to my other two children because Aj had me so preoccupied tending to his needs. Due to Aj needing so much of my attention, energy and strength I have to be very conscious of paying positive attention to my other two children; why? Because it’s important that my other two children know I do love them just as much as Aj and that they are just as important. It’s also important to pay positive attention to my other two children because I don’t want them to start to have bitter feelings towards myself as a Mom who may not pay them enough attention nor having those feelings about their special needs brother. It’s not Aj’s fault he requires more attention and time from me, it’s no one’s fault.

How To Juggling Your Kids

For my youngest it’s easy to spend positive attention time with him because he is pretty simple. At age 5 the most important thing you can do for K-man is to pay attention to what interests him. K-man doesn’t really care if you are truly interacting but he does care that you are physically and mentally there in the moment playing cars, Legos or blocks with him. Our most recent time together involved him setting up his many vehicles in his room and me attempting to make a race track for him. We had a blast and it only required about 15 minutes of my time before dinner. That’s another good point; the amount of minutes per child doesn’t seem to have mattered to my children. Just a simple 15 minute time allotted for each child to have your undivided attention makes for the difference between a child acting out to get any form of attention versus a child who can have patience knowing they will get the positive attention at some point that day.

Making Time for All Children is Important

I must admit spending a minimum of 15 minutes positively interacting with each of my children really changes their moods. My K-man tends to enjoy any attention he can get and if you are not giving him enough positive attention, he will seek out the negative attention. Aj is more simple, he doesn’t seem to feel the need for a lot of one on one time but I am working on getting him to be more interactive at a comfortable-for-him level. My oldest and only daughter tends to drift off the grid a bit when her brothers are requiring more time from me, but I do ensure that my daughter and I get a Mom/Daughter day every so often and I also make sure to spend 15 minutes minimum with her at end of day after her brothers are asleep. This has helped us build a bond stronger than a herd of elephants.

Four Tips on How to Ensure your Children Get Positive Parent Time

  • Know Your Children – Out of everyone in the whole world you should be the one person who knows what makes your children happy.  If they enjoy Legos, play Legos. If they enjoy chatting about their life, listen to them chat. If they want to read books, pretend play or so on, do that with them. Ensure you are engaging in one on one time that is based on an activity your child loves to do.
  • Realize It’s Quality not Quantity That Counts -  Spend a minimum of 15 minutes each day with one on one time. The magic number I have found that works best is a minimum of 15 minutes each day per child. Be sure to set a timer so that when it beeps they know their time is up. Also be sure to set aside your cell phone and give your child your 100% undivided attention. Kids know when you are not “really there”.
  • Remind Your Children to Respect Their Sibling’s One on One Time – Be sure to get your other children engaged together or individually with something that will allot you the 15 minutes with their sibling. Remind each child that they too will get your undivided attention on their turn. This teaches the skills of manners, family bonding, and taking turns.
  • Get in Touch with Your Inner Child – During these one on one time sessions remember, while you are this child’s parent, that this particular time with your child is all about having fun, being silly and connecting with them on their level. Have fun with it, be silly and creative, should I dare say be goofy?! It’s suppose to be fun one on one time, make sure that it is!

There you have it, a few ways I have ensured that I am raising my children to be happy and healthy. I hope these tips will assist you in gaining more positive one on one time with your children which will increase the bond you two have from now to forever.

A Juggling Act & Happier Than Ever

I think I am going to finally start building BrandyTanner.com since I purchased it and added it to my hosting account but have not touched it. I do so many things, from affiliate programs to blogging and virtual assistant services that I need one main home page to place on my business cards! I know that many wonder how I juggle it all and honestly some days I wonder how I do it too, but I am not alone there are many online parents who are working from home and spending quality time with their children juggling just about as much, if not more, than I juggle daily.

I enjoy my life to the fullest, I am happy, healthy and for the most part my children are happy. That is all that matters to me. I don’t have everything I want, but I have everything I need, well except that car because my current one is dying but slowly I will get there since my Mom helped me out a bit with a down payment, it’s just a matter of me saving some more money to get a larger vehicle & more reliable one.

The household has been a tad bit crazy round here, it seems Ki hates her bedroom and she sleeps in mine, AJ is sleeping way better than he ever has before but he ends up in my bed most of the time come about 4 or 5am, Baby K is having troubles sleeping now too which is a new thing for him. Baby K loves him some milk and wants it so much through out the night. I am working on finding a way to wean him off that mid-night waking because he should not be at age two waking up for milk mid night.

So far so good, my life is coming into it’s own and I finally stood up for what I know to be my correct path in life, or so I feel it is. I feel great, a little nervous but for the most part I am following my heart, my soul and realizing that other people may not understand why it is I live my life the way I do but I don’t care anymore. I am going to live my life this way from now on and if others don’t like it they can certainly keep their negative opinions to themselves. Just sayin’

Juggling Time

As a work at home parent you have to juggle your time between many areas of your life such as family, networking, marketing and completing tasks. I would like to think that I have become pretty good at time management, I am the type of person who thrives on multi-tasking, I seriously love having my plate full. I rarely stress over it, but when you mix in personal life I certainly can have my moments of down time where I just let the personal issues consume my mind.

As a work at home parent you must learn to block those negative thoughts or depressing thoughts from consuming your mind so that you can be a productive home worker. What I have found to work best to be successful for time management is a daily to do list, scheduling blog posts on the weekend to cover the whole week, and to take the time to really focus on completing tasks when the children are asleep. At this time I do not have the funds to hire a full time babysitter to come to my home, but on occasion I will have my sister come over to assist. One day I hope to have the funds to hire a babysitter or to place the boys in daycare a couple days a week, but for now I am juggling everything at once.

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Top 10: Separating Work and Personal Life

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When you work outside of the home, it can be tough to separate work and life, however, I feel it’s much easier than when working from home. If you have a situation happen in your personal life, you leave it when heading to go to your place of employment.  Working from home means that you don’t get to “leave that personal situation”, I mean maybe you go to your office or private corner, but you are still technically “at home” which can make separating personal life situations from working situations extremely difficult.

Top 10 ways I separate my personal life from my work at home life:

  1. Listen to some upbeat music right before my work at home “shift” starts to increase motivation and deter my mind from previous personal situation.
  2. Focus, Focus, Focus … on the project at hand, the present rather than the past (even if it was only 10 minutes ago).
  3. Remind yourself why it is you chose to work from home, the goals you have for yourself and your business.
  4. Create  a positive working space, if you aren’t in a real home office, create your private “area” as one of work focus with motivational posters and encouraging quotes.
  5. Type out all your to-do’s so that your mind is on all the tasks that must be accomplished, therefore creating no time to think about the personal situation.
  6. Organize, Organize, Organize … make sure your office area is organized so that you can go from “personal” to “work” mode in less than 1 minute.
  7. Do not disturb sign: place one up some where, some how so that everyone knows that you are working and are NOT to be disturbed unless for an emergency!
  8. Ignore everything, unless emergency, and that means the childcare provided, the spouse, the children, the pets, anything that relates to personal rather than work.
  9. Play your favorite music in the background while working, a tune that will keep your mind from “traveling” and promote efficient working habits.
  10. Just work .. that’s all there really is to it … you are home, but are you in your “office” now and so just get to work!

Make it a Happy Day!

Your Healthy Samples

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Sticking To A Schedule

pulling hair out

Image by wstera2 via Flickr

I will not start this off with a vent, I refuse to vent … okay well it is my blog so I guess I will start with one little vent and I will keep it short. Why is that when I discuss setting a schedule with my husband he says yes hun that sounds great, what a wonderful idea and I WILL HELP? Do you realize this translates to I will “try” to help but if the boys get under your feet well I guess you will have to handle it. LOL

Okay well my husband is very supportive and he does try to help with the kids, but sometimes I wonder why the super women in me has to come out and handle everything including a busy work schedule when he is HOME?!

I am done with the vent…moving on to more about sticking to a schedule…

Today I would like to discuss sticking with a schedule since I have talked about setting a business schedule in the past. Now that you have your schedule in place how is it working for you? Are you able to get more work done and be more productive setting these time limits when you will work and when you will shut off that computer?

My personal experience has been that the schedule works, but the babysitter husband doesn’t. My schedule is to work a few hours in the early morning  before my baby wakes up while the toddler is eating his breakfast watching his PBS Sprout, spend the day with my boys and daughter if she is home, and then work a few more hours in the late afternoon when my husband is here to care for the kids. I also like to sneak in a few hours if we get Baby K to sleep in his bed and hubs is showering or working on a customer’s PC.

Overall the schedule does work, but I often feel I am still juggling the kids and the work load and the blog all alone. We will work this out, and it will benefit us but the transition process during setting a schedule and having your family respect it is HARD WORK!

Now that my schedule is in place and my family is on board with it, I have been able to be more productive during the work hours and more Mommy-ish during the non-working hours. Being a work at home professional with three children is challenging but so is being a work outside of the home professional with three children, we all have to work hard at what we do, not bring work home to the family time, and stick with our schedule set forth. The hard part of being a work at home professional with three children is that you have to step away and allow Daddy to take care of those children, he is Dad and he can do it even if you see a baby running lose with no diaper on peeing all over the house … hey it’s Daddy’s problem now, Mommy is working ;-)

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