I was thinking today that parents often don’t have a lot of spare time and having children with additional needs lessens that even more so, especially when they no longer go to bed at 7pm. As a teenager, Pigeon now stays up nearly as late as me, so my time to get things done has become even more limited. Something I have learnt to do is to make the most of the little moments. Particularly as a single parent in lockdown with no regular support bubble that would bring extra pairs of adult hands.
There has been a necessary shift in attitude; before being a parent, I would be able to spend hours decorating a room or working out in the garden. Now, I consider myself fortunate to have long enough to clean out the rabbit or guinea pig cages without refereeing a fall out between Pigeon and Parrot.
I have learnt to make the most of the time that it takes the kettle to boil or when the boys are engaged in something that doesn’t need me for five minutes. It is surprising what you can achieve in five or even fifteen minutes. I even do my house decorating in fifteen minute bursts. It takes ages to finish any big tasks, but I find it better than the alternative of it not getting done at all.
Making the most of little moments has had huge benefits recently. At the moment I am home-schooling the boys and doing my paid work from home at the same time. Sometimes this looks like all three of us working at the same time, with me multi-tasking; and yet at other times I will only have 5 minutes at a time to pay attention to my work before needing to give full attention to the boys. Unlike some of my colleagues, I don’t find this stressful, it is easy to drop and pick up tasks as necessary. I live my life like it! It even manifests itself in the hobbies I do, for example, I no longer do cross-stitch (a pain to restart and count your stitches) but learnt to crochet (much easier to stop and start). Even my blog posts get written in sections or small blocks of time.
A little challenge for you – set a timer for 5, 10 or 15 minutes and see how much of a task you can get done. I think you’ll be surprised how much you can do…