Being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) is no joke. It is emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting. This is especially true because you are always on the clock. When everything starts falling apart, it can feel like you’re losing your mind. I can’t change the demanding life of being a SAHM but I can give you a simple trick to save mom’s sanity.
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Scenario: I’m making dinner and suddenly the baby starts screaming in the pack-n-play.
I run in to see what’s wrong and find my 2-year-old hitting him over the head with her stuffed Olaf. I put her in time-out for the behavior and sooth the baby.
As I’m making my way back to the stove, the 6-year-old is yelling up the steps to ask if his video game time is up.
After saying “No,” (for the millionth time) I rush back to the kitchen to find the pot of dinner overflowing on the burner.
I have to clean it up before the milky mixture ruins the glass stove top. A few minutes later, I remember I had put the toddler in time-out… How do you keep from melting down?
In the beginning I didn’t. Many nights were spent in tears from the overwhelming stress of it all.
Too many plates were wobbling and I felt like I couldn’t keep up. Then I came up with an easy trick to help balance it all a little more easily.
A kitchen timer saved my sanity and it will save yours too.
How to Use Timers to Save Your Sanity
First, buy each child a kitchen timer. We use these timers but there are a ton of options.
Step 2 (Optional)
New systems are easier to implement with kids when they are involved in the process. Get the kids involved and on board with the timers by letting them decorate with stickers, nail polish, or paint.
- Be sure that they do not cover the display or buttons (younger children need your help with this step).
Once they are decorated, it is time to put them to work! Here are 7 tips to use these timers and save your sanity.
Video Game Timer
Stop the constant badgering. In our house, our children are limited to 1 hour of video game play a day. Set the timer for one hour and when it goes off, they are done.
Set the timer for the allotted punishment and when it goes off, your child can get up and play again.
I love this game! It is great for children and adults alike! Set your timer for 5 or 10 minutes and race around to clean up.
This works best if you give each person a room and make it a competition to see who can get the most cleaned up in their 5 minute limit.
If your kids love bath time like mine do, this is excellent. Set the timer for whatever predetermined limit you have allocated for their bath.
When the timer goes off, they will know it is time to get out of the tub. (They may still need some coaxing the first few times, but it will become easier if you are persistent.)
Let’s face it, sometimes as parents we need a break to replenish ourselves, calm our tempers, or just some quiet.
Set the timer (I typically do 10-20 minutes) and let the children know that they cannot ask you anything or request anything of you until the timer goes off.
Again, it will take a few times before it becomes an accepted routine but it is totally worth the payoff.
Ready to Leave Game
With three small children, it is next to impossible to get out of the house on time.
Use this game to have the kids ready to go (closer) to on time. Give them 5 minutes on their timers.
In this time, the kids are to rush and get their shoes, coats, and anything else needed together (or on, depending on their age).
Once they have finished, they sit on the couch with their timers. This gets them all in one place and ready prior to needing to walk out the door.
I think we all could stand to learn a little more patience. Set the timers for 5-10 minutes and the children must sit quietly and patiently until they go off.
If the kids get too wound up and need to simmer down play the patience game.
Warning, though, don’t associate this as a punishment or they will associate patience with misbehaving.
This is one of the best purchases we have ever made. These timers will save mom’s sanity by helping you balance all of your rolls more easily.
In fact, this one simple trick works so well that I have extended it to other areas of my life especially with chores I don’t want to do.
When you know there is a definite end in sight it is easier to make yourself do it.
What other ways will you use this simple trick? I’d love to hear your ideas!
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