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I feel as if I'm constantly trying to catch up with everything I have to do because of my job and raising my children. Although my husband helps, it sometimes takes it toll on me and I'm missing the fun of spending time with my children because of all the things that have to do done. I feel terrible about this. Anything I can do?


Amy Sherman Replied: Welcome to the world of motherhood! The best thing to do is prioritize your day. Make a list of the 10 important things you have to do. Put those 10 things in order of "have to do today", "have to do soon", "can wait till some other time". The top 3 things your must do today, do. If for some reason you can't, that one task will be your priority tomorrow..and so forth. Always allow time for your children and time for yourself. Therefore, the housecleaning can wait and the laundry will be done after your husband gets home, because your time with the kids is very important. The years go by very fast and you don't want to miss out on what is really significant in your life.
Posted On 2009-03-18 14:29:23
Michelle P. Maidenberg Replied: We are expected to be superwomen -- an impossible task! We have to come to grips with this. This is often hard to do. Prioritize and find creative ways to be with your children. If you need to make lunch for them have them join in on the project. If you need to clean the basement, make it into a game. Last week to get away from the distractions I took my kids to a local toy store, had them pick out a new board game, took them to Starbucks to get away from the phone calls, computers, etc. and played and drank with them in peace!
Posted On 2009-03-18 00:16:52
Deborah Maragopoulos Replied: Busy, Busy Mom, there is nothing more important than spending quality time with your children. Quality, not necessarily quantity! Be absolutely present when you are with your children. Let go of your other concerns and be there for them even if it's just a few minutes. Kids know the difference. Don't use TV as a babysitter. Have your children help you with some of the things you need to get done. Children can be given responsibilities for household chores at a very early age. Do the work together. Sit down with your family and decide what really needs to be done. Then decide who will do it and who will help. You don't have to do it all! My grown kids remember the activities we did together, not just the "fun" things, but painting the house, gardening, cooking, even cleaning toilets! We made a game out of the chores, even dressed the part—the ghost busters costume became Bathroom Buster, a witch's hat accompanied the broom to sweep the patio, bandannas over our faces with feather dusters to flush out the dust bunnies under the beds. Teach counting and matching while folding clothes together—who wore the most socks, how many red clothes, why does Daddy have so many white T-shirts?—with a positive attitude, anything can be a fun time together.
Posted On 2008-03-19 18:29:37
Charlotte Cowan, M.D. Replied: This is a tough question to answer without knowing how many kids you have and how old they are. But it is clear that you are like a great many women (many millions!) who work outside of the house and come home (exhausted) to work inside of the house, as well. Folding motherhood into that mix is a daunting task: we all struggle to figure out ways to spend time with our children (singly and together) and to find activities that are neither electronic or task driven! Of course, this is easier said than done. The most obvious answer is to get help—and everyone can do this. Some folks have the luxury of hiring help; others impose on family or switch off with friends. There is no right or wrong here except that the help needs to free you up to be where you are needed most: with the baby, with the preschooler who is tired of the baby, with the older child who is starring in her first school play, and/or occasionally with just your husband. You need and you deserve help!! The less obvious answer is to have your children help you, too. Of course this depends on the ages of your children and what they can safely do. But they love being asked to help and are very competent at small tasks. Young children are very good company and will be delighted to help. They inevitably slow things down—quite a lot—but their pleasure at helping with dishes or setting the table or filling the washing machine with clothes or fluffing pillows or unpacking groceries is contagious. Their presence and chatter change the drudgery of these most tedious tasks into times of sharing and humor. Good luck!
Posted On 2008-03-17 22:03:24
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