Balancing my time between the kids and my own interests

“Will you play with me?” my daughter asks.

I sigh. I am right in the middle of working on something and now is not a good time. “In a little while, honey,” I say.

Then she wanders off and if I am lucky she finds something on her own to keep her busy, but sometimes she comes back a minute later with the same question and will keep returning with the hope that my answer has changed.

I sometimes wonder when I tell her I am busy if I do it too often. Everyone always says that kids grow up way too fast and that you should enjoy them while they are young.

While I am sure this is true, you can’t spend every minute at the beckon-call of your child. They need to learn to play by themselves too.

So I guess my dilemma right now is how to properly balance spending time with the kids and getting things done that I need to do.  I have heard many parents say that spending time with their kids is more important than a clean house. In fact, I know quite a few stay-at-home moms who do nothing but attend to their kids and play with them all day.

But that isn’t me. Besides keeping the house marginally clean, I also have my own work as an author and blogger. I don’t want my kids to be my only focus. I want to be more than just a mom, and I think the kids benefit from me having my own interests.

The key is finding out how to balance my time with them with my own pursuits. I make every effort to be involved in their lives. I volunteer at their school. We go to the zoo, museums and the theme parks on their days off or weekends. It is rare that I don’t have something planned every day in the summer even if it is just taking them to the pool.

But there are times when I need to work. I do a lot of my writing while they are in school but sometimes other things – errands, a breakfast out with other moms or doing the invoices for my husband’s business – take up my time and that leaves me with working while they are at home.

And that is where the balancing act begins. Sometimes I do get up and read a book or play a game with them. But other times, I feel the need to work and put them off. Whenever I do, it always leaves me questioning if I am neglecting them or giving them the opportunity to learn how to amuse themselves. After all, that is a pretty important thing to learn too.

4 thoughts on “Balancing my time between the kids and my own interests

  1. lisa orchard says:

    I understand completely your dilemma! I go through the same thing. 🙂 It

  2. Joan Lindgren says:

    Maybe you should set a timer for say 15 minutes for more work and then give your child some play time. It is important for them to entertain themselves, but sometimes we spend too much time on our work that we are neglecting their needs. Trust me they do grow up too quickly.

  3. Amen. As a dad who works out of the house AND writes, I only spend time with my young children a couple of hours a day and on weekends. The weekends, I’m all theirs. Same with the evenings after work. It’s tough to put them to bed, then drag myself to the studio and get some work done. If I don’t, the work never sees completion and I don’t feel like I’m being true to me. (Cheesy Oprah-speak, please forgive me).

    My hope is that I’m there for them and that they don’t ever feel like Dad says, “In a minute” too often.

    Thanks for a great post Susan! Hit home for me!

    j. //

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