Time Management as a SAHM

I hate being late, I always have done. As a kid my Dad always took ages getting ready and so we were late to pretty much everything. Whenever we saw friends or went to events it was like a running joke “Oh it’s the Pardoes, late again!” As a kid, knowing that it was outside of my control I hated the mocking, whereas it never bothered my Dad. My Mum, brothers and I would often be sat in the car ready and waiting to go while he was pottering around getting himself organised!


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Whether I would be so averse to lateness as an adult if it weren’t for this, who knows, but if anything now jokes are the other way round. It is extremely rare that I am late and often arrive at things early, and even if I try to be late (when it doesn’t matter) I rarely manage to be later than on time. It’s a bit ridiculous really but I actually find being late really stressful and I hate the thought of keeping people waiting. Thankfully hubby has similar feelings about lateness as I do though I can be a bit OTT if he is faffing slightly before we go somewhere – he is nothing like my Dad but I can over-react a little on occasion!

I have heard parents talk before about how they are never able to get anywhere ontime now that they have children, and I am not criticising, we are all different (and our kids are all different) but I haven’t found that to be true yet for me. Who knows, when I have two kids my anti-lateness feelings may crash and burn! If anything though I find it even harder to be late since we have had Monkey, because we are up so blimmin early in the morning!

time mgmtThere is a lot of time to fill in a day and it is one thing as I struggled with in the early days as a SAHM. With no work or pressing schedules, how to fill all of the empty hours at home with just you and a little one felt a bit daunting. These days it is less so, and I suddenly realised it is because of how I manage my time. I have compartmentalised my day.

Have you seen the Hugh Grant film “About a Boy?” There is a scene early on where he talks about how he divides up his time into units (you can watch it here if you haven’t seen the film, or fancy a reminder) and I have realised that is basically what I do! It’s not quite to the extent that he does but the day is very much divided up into portions.

This has happened naturally over time and in many ways it is just part of having a routine. (I recently wrote a guest post for the lovely The L’s Mum about our current routine, which you can see here). So put simply there is the time in the morning after breakfast and before Monkey has a snack (around 8.30 – 10am), then there is after snack and before lunch (10.30-12), then after lunch before his nap (around 12.30-2pm). Finally we have the post-nap time, before tea time, which varies day to day but is usually a pretty relaxed time of day. None of these periods of time feel particularly long on their own and so are easy to fill with outings or activities.

It’s amazing how much dividing the time up like this has helped me get through the day. If I knew I had an entirely empty day to fill with just Monkey and I there was a time when I would panic. Remembering that I could divide the time up makes it easier. A trip to the shopping centre can fill one time block. Doing some messy play fills another. Putting on his music and actions dvd can fill another if I am knackered. Going to the park can fill a time slot, or a trip to the garden centre, etc, etc.

Not every day is like that of course, with play-dates and visiting friends or family there is less need to divide the day up so specifically and we have spent hours out in one place as he is perfectly entertained. But it has definitely helped on the more average days.

As Monkey is getting older I am thankfully able to worry a bit less as he is usually happy to potter about at home a bit more. He will play in his sandpit for a while when the weather is nice, or play with his trains on the living room floor, or just flit from activity to activity a bit more. But still, it helps us both to try and get out for at least one of the time slots during the day. It gets him to burn off some energy, and stops both of us going stir crazy!!

I do wonder how this will change when baby comes and we have to fit another little person and their natural rhythms into our day to day life. I am sure it will undoubtedly make it harder. Then as Monkey grows up and we have the school run to get ready for the routine will obviously change and who knows, I may well end up being late more often. I know I will hate it if that happens though, and will try my utmost to avoid it. I just really really hate being late!

How do you manage your time as a parent? I imagine it is different when you are working as there is less time to fill, and more things to do in less time! What are your feelings towards lateness? I know it doesn’t bother everyone as much as it bothers me!

Mama and More

Super Busy Mum

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

28 thoughts on “Time Management as a SAHM

  1. Great post lovely with some fab tips. Love About A Boy 🙂 I dislike being late but it’s been unavoidable recently… my top tip is work out a way of feeding your new baby in a sling as it’ll save you loads of time xxx #allaboutyou

    • Thanks lovely, I can imagine it gets a lot harder the more kinds you have! I definitely need to work out a way of doing that! xx

  2. Wonderful post and remember when I was on maternity leave feeling I needed structure to my day, rituals to make me feel more productive and happier and kids love a routine. I work from home, blogging full time so I get to spend a lot of time with kids as much as I need to meet deadlines, all our meals are together and I often break early afternoon then pip up work in the evening. Thanks for this lovely post #allaboutyou

  3. I hate being late, I get quite anxious!! Which is probably why Im feeling pretty fed right now at 3 days overdue!! 🙁
    My OH however is late for everything, leaves everything to the last minute and is never in a rush for anything and I hate it!! lol. I wonder how I’ll cope when my 2nd little man arrives!! lol.
    Lianne | TheBrunetteSays…

    • I can totally imagine how you feel, being kept waiting like that! fingers crossed we are both ok with baby no.2!! xx

  4. I hate being late too but somehow I still end up being late for things – I just keep forgetting to factor in the time it takes to actually get the kids and the buggy out of the car, I think! Dividing the day up into chunks is a great idea, I usually use mealtimes as the dividing point. Great post 🙂

    • haha yep there are certainly more things to think about when there are kids involved! Glad it;s not just me that divides the day up like that!

  5. I hate being late and think with planning even with children there is rarely a good excuse apart from bogging M25 traffic! I have allowed three hours for an hour and a half journey before now and still been late!
    I would always rather be early than late.

    • traffic is one of those things that you just can’t predict unfortunately isn’t it? I am so with though and hope I can still manage when baby no, 2 arrives! xx

  6. I hate being late too and I don’t think there’s been a time when I’ve been late for anything. Like you I am always early or on time. I have been through the phase of having two young children (although there is 5yrs between mine) and definitely changed my daily routine as a result. At the moment, with it being summer, we wing it. No routine and no plans. It’s not too bad now because they are both old enough to entertain themselves and often play together. I do admit to looking forward to them going back to school though, I can’t wait to have peace and quiet!

  7. A lovely post and i love the About a Boy Reference. Our day is very similar to yours, although Buddy still has a morning nap too. I like to plan around his naps to ensure he is well rested and therefore cheerful, although it doesn’t always work! I imagine, like you, I may struggle when Baby 2 comes along one day!
    Thanks for the lovely read #mmwbh

    • I am totally with you and our day has always been planned around food and sleep to make sure he is happy and at his best, I wonder how I will get on when there is 2 of them to worry about! xx

  8. Your daily schedule sounds pretty similar to ours and I hadn’t realised how much I divided time into chunks until I read this. I do, however, struggle to get out of the house on time! I can be a bit of a faffer although I think I have got better since having children. The problem at the moment is the unpredictable nature of a newborn. I feel sorry for Little Miss as we can both be ready to go and then her brother will suddenly re-fill the nappy I only changed half an hour previously or wake up early and scream for milk. It’s hard for a toddler to be kept waiting at the best of times. Now we’re out of the very early weeks it is gradually starting to feel a bit easier. You’ve got all this to come but it sounds like you’ll have a head start on me anyway – I’ve always struggled a bit to be on time, even before kids!

    • That is what concerns me a little bit, the unpredictable nature of newborns!! hopefully it will get easier over time though! 🙂 xx

  9. I think I will have to ‘re watch About a Boy! I think I definitely used to do similar when they were a bit younger but not consciously – I just knew there was a morning chunk of time to kill and an afternoon one and – with JJ I always tried to be out with him wherever possible! It definitely gets easier making it through any given chunk without a specific plan the older they get. X #sharewithme

    • Aww yeah, great film! 🙂 It does just seem to work out that way doesn’t it, I don’t remember consciously deciding to do it, but it definitely works! It is definitely easier with Monkey these days so I can imagine it gets much better as they get older! xx

  10. I agree! I am super organized and have two kids and I am usually always a few minutes early trying to entertain them while someone else is late. I never understood it but like you said we are all different and kids are all different too. I can’t imagine it gets hard if other things get in the way of your time. Although I have to say I have been late twice now badly on vacation but I blame vacation and not being in my own home to be organized. hahaha Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • Glad to hear it’s not just me and you give me hope that I will manage fine with no.2 here too 🙂 you’re allowed to be late when you’re on holiday though 🙂 xx

  11. Ashamed to say that I am one of those perennially late people, although I should qualify that by saying that I tend not to arrive late at places (not too much) but tend to leave the house later than planned and end up rushing! I do try to be on time – and perhaps owning a watch would help! – but somehow time always seems to accelerate! That said, I do find it stressful being late, so it’s one of my resolutions as I hit 40 to try to “sort it out” (said in a solid east London accent, ya get me?). Thanks for linking to All About You lovely x

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