Practice Makes Perfect: Time Management During Kid Activities
Hi Mommas! As you know, or if you don’t know, I am the mother of two boys ages 12 and 9. Like many children of this age, they are booked and busy with homework, projects, music, and competitive AAU youth basketball and baseball. Between both of my boys, we have a practice, game, training session, or lesson 6 days a week. After doing the math, we spend a combine 32 hrs per week (16 hours per child) driving to, picking up, and attending practices/games. That’s almost a full time job!!! No wonder us moms struggle to find time to ourselves, take up a new hobby, or start a side hustle.
Results of a study conducted by Working Mother reports“4 out of 10 moms say they feel like their lives are a never-ending series of tasks all week.” What really struck a nerve in me (mainly because it’s the truth) are moms reporting, “only having about an hour and seven minutes to ourselves each day.”
So if you’re like me and love watching your kids pursue their passion and have fun, how do we make the most of our time? The answer is clear to me. While our kids are at practice, we work. I remember studying for my Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification Exam and I could not create uninterrupted study time except really late at night (by that time I was exhausted and couldn't keep my eyes open). So I committed to studying during 2 hour basketball and baseball practices multiple times a week. I would go into my car, set-up my computer and books and WORK! Honey let me tell you I. Got. It. Done. I did this for 12 weeks straight and passed my PMP certification the first time!
Here are a few things I recommend to maximize and re-purpose practice time:
1. Take a nap – get in the car and rest! You deserve a nap.
2. Phone a friend – have a friend that’s been on your mind? Give her a call. Connecting with a girlfriend can give you the positive boost and laughs you need to get you through the rest of the week.
3. Plan tomorrow – break out your planner or mobile device and review your goals and tasks for the next week. Proper planning can reduce stress and help you run your house like a well-oiled machine.
4. Listen to a podcast – podcast are great tool for learning more about a business venture, hobby, or even catch up on politics. Here are a few of my favorites: Yes, Girl!, The Potter’s Touch, Business SHET, Food Heaven, Black Girls Wine, and Schoolin Life.
5. Pray – It’s hard to find dedicated prayer time. What better way than praying in your car or walking and praying at the field.
6. Read your bible – Filling ourselves up spiritually is just as important for recharging. Doing so can positively impact our thoughts, actions, and words.
7. Netflix and Chill – can’t kick your feet up at home? Do it in your car with NO interruptions.
8. Read a book – I love reading and am currently reading 5 books. If I read during practice I could get through books faster.
9. Journal – simply writing out your feelings, good news, or a gratitude list may improve your overall mood and again, relieve stress or anxiety.
10. Exercise / Workout – go for a run, walk around the field with other moms, do a short circuit, squat, push-ups...just get moving! No more excuses for not having the time.
If your kids are 10+ and you are comfortable dropping off and leaving, here are additional ideas:
11. Go back home – drop off and go back home to cook dinner or start a load of laundry.
12. Go grocery shopping – if there’s a grocery store nearby, knock out your weekly shopping. Come prepared with a list to keep you focused and on time.
13. Treat yourself to a mani and pedi – this is my favorite after a long day at work and racing to a 6pm practice. Pure heaven and relaxation.
Kelly. B., Carchia, C. (2013). Hey data data -- swing. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/9469252/hidden-demographics-youth-sports-espn-magazine
Fieler, B. (2014). There’s No Off In This Season. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/17/fashion/team-sports-are-taking-over-kids-lives.html?ref=fashion
Working Mother. (2017). When You Factor in Family Duties, the Average Working Mom Works 98 Hours a Week. Retrieved from https://www.workingmother.com/when-you-factor-in-family-duties-average-working-mom-works-98-hours-week