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.