Three life-changing habits you can start today.
The results of the recent survey that we did with over twenty thousand Mums on Home Tester Club across South Africa have confirmed the big plot twist we all knew deep down already: time (not money) is our most precious commodity.
It’s also the great equalizer- we wake up every day and get the exact same amount of it as everybody else. We can choose to do with it whatever we like, but none of us can save it up for a rainy day or guarantee we’ll have it tomorrow.
In our fast-paced world and jam-packed days, giving our kids our time is the clearest and loudest way to say ‘I love you’. Yet most parents feel like they don’t have any time to give, or they mistakenly think they still have loads of it, so they delay doing the important things – thinking they’ll get around these things later.
The days are definitely long when you’ve got kids. But the years are really short. Just think, there are only 940 Saturdays between a child’s birth and them being done with school! That might seem a lot, but if your child is 5, over 250 of them are already gone, and by the time they reach high school, most of those Saturdays will probably not be spent with you.
This post is not a guilt-trip, because no parent ever feels like they’re getting this right. This post is a practical guide to help us all inch closer toward reclaiming some of our precious time and giving it a little more to our kids. They won’t ever say it, but they crave our time far more than anything money could buy.
Here are 3 tips to get us started.Why not add some of your own on our new forum?
We simply cannot pursue everything we would like to (or that other people would like us to). We need to take control of our time, and ruthlessly cut stuff out. We cannot do it all. In a future article, we’ll delve more into this topic but for now: Prioritizing will mean getting more comfortable with saying ‘no’. It’ll mean facing FOMO head on and not backing down. It’ll also mean getting more organized. We can start by acknowledging we can’t be everything to everyone, and whilst our little ones might not make the loudest demands on our free time, they deserve most of it.
Find the gold in the daily grind.
Instead of waiting for long stretches of quality time, start making the daily minutes you do have a little more memorable. Turn off the music in the car and get talking during the traffic. Or try to get your kids involved in some of your daily tasks – simply to spend more time with them. When I ask my bigger kids about their day, their standard answer is, ‘Fine’. But it’s often while helping me make dinner or helping me hang up some laundry, that one of them will unexpectedly open up about their day or feelings. What gems await us in the ordinary moments of life.
Switch off your phone when you’re all home.
With our phone in hand or even in our pocket, we communicate to our kids that we are not fully present to them. Imagine how different the quality of our family lives would be if every day, everyone at home turned their devices off at a certain point and gave each-other the scarcest thing known to modern mankind: undivided attention.
There you go: three simple habits all of us can start doing – no matter how busy or time-strapped we may be. They’re small things, but they’ll make a big difference – especially to the small people we love so much.
Any other small or big ideas you can add to help us make more time for the really important things? Hop on over to our forum, sponsored by our partner Cleanipedia – my ‘go-to place’ when it comes to expert cleaning tips – and join the mumversation.
A big thank-you to all of you who are participating in our weekly Product Ranking and Wonderful World surveys on Home Tester Club. I know they are a lot of work, but they really do make such a difference to all of us. For those of you who aren’t members yet why don’t you click here to join. Your membership means you’ll get to discover and experience new grocery products in your home, share what you thought of them to help the rest of us buy better and then finally get access to buying many of those products at discounted prices in the online Club Shop.
And lastly, if you live in Cape Town, Jozi or Durbs, then make sure you get over to one of our Mumspiration Live events happening this year to hear how the super-busy Devi Sankaree Govender from Carte Blanche goes about making more time in her day. Plus you’ll also get to meet, in real-life, the SA team behind Cleanipedia.
Written by: Julie Williams – Lifestyle Editor