With “mommy-brain” at an all-time high (or low?) lately, I’m becoming reacquainted with my kitchen timer. Of course, I use it for baking and cooking, but I’m depending on it for other things too….
1) I have my children set it for the amount of time I am allowing them to be on the computer or Wii or whatever. That way, when it rings… it’s the timer’s fault, not mine. AND I don’t forget and let them play all afternoon (“You never told me to get off!”)
2) Laundry….. my washer and dryer are in the basement, and even if I do set the timer buzzer, it only buzzes once. Easy to miss or to think I’ll get it in a minute. The kitchen timer doesn’t stop until I get up off my seat and turn it off. By that time…. I might as well get the laundry anyway!
3) Quiet time…. I set the timer for an hour or hour and a half when I send the kids to their rooms for quiet time. If they know the timer’s set, they don’t show up making sure I didn’t fall asleep or forget about them because they’re being so quiet. And I don’t. forget. to tell them quiet time is over.
4) I know many people who think they’ll become a slave to the clock or the timer if they “schedule” things…. from baby’s feeding time to Mommy’s rest time. I learned a long time ago that the clock is my friend. For me, when things are stressful, time crawls. I remember thinking in those long nights when she was small, that Cassandra had been crying for HOURS, but I learned to look at the clock and say “if she’s still crying at 3:15, I’ll get up”. Sometimes she’d settle back down after about 2 minutes and 37 seconds, and if I hadn’t given myself a timeframe, I’d have staggered out of bed just as she was settling back in, thinking she’d been crying for 37 MINUTES (or…. hours). Another thing I’d do is set the timer during the day so that I didn’t let her sleep for 6 hours or so…. I learned that with her, feeding her every 3-4 hours even if it meant waking her up from a nap, allowed her to sleep longer at night.
5) Setting the timer before I sit down to knit or do something enjoyable also helps me to relax and enjoy that time, because I know I don’t have to try to keep track of how much time I’ve “wasted” resting or doing something fun. I’m weird that way.
6) Snack time and meal prep time – again, I don’t have to keep a close eye on the clock if I set the timer for when I need to get the kids a snack (10:30am has just become our “traditional” morning snack time) or start dinner. I know that if I get absorbed in something, I can’t lose complete track of time. And my poor husband and kids won’t starve.
So anyway, make that kitchen timer your friend! Things just go smoother around here when I’m not flying by the seat of my pants (whatever that means).