Managing Your Time
For young parents, there is often not enough time. How can you
manage time to better care for your child and yourself?
Try this. Get a sheet of paper. On the left
side, write the hours of your day. Start with
when you wake up and end with when you
go to bed. Keep track of how you spend
each 15-minute period. Here’s a sample of
how one hour might look:
6:00 a.m. Get dressed.
6:15 a.m. Feed the baby
6:30 a.m. Dress the baby.
6:45 a.m. Finish dressing.
7:00 a.m. Take the baby to day care.
Do this every day for a week. After a few days, you will notice habits. You
will get a clear idea of where your time goes.
At week’s end, review what you have done. Circle all the important things—
such as baby care, work, meals and sleep.
Maybe you had some surprises. On Wednesday, for example, the sink clogged up. You had to stop what you were doing and clean out the drain. Maybe there were days when you wanted to do something important, like
exercise. But you didn’t have time.
Looking back at your week, what could you easily have done without?
Maybe chatting on the phone? Or watching TV? Everyone needs time to
relax and enjoy friends. But you might limit such activities. When a friend
calls, say, “Sorry, I can’t talk now. Can I call you Sunday?”
You might choose one or two favorite TV programs a week and watch them
as a family. Limiting TV time is a good habit to begin now. When your
children are in school, they will need time to do homework.
Use existing time better
Maybe you spent 10 minutes one morning looking for your keys. Instead,
put your keys in a regular place—such as a hook in a kitchen cabinet.
If you always seem rushed in the morning, get organized the night before.
Set out clothes for yourself and the baby. Pack the diaper bag. Make your
lunch and put it in the refrigerator.
When standing in line at the store, play a simple game with your baby. You
might point to things in your basket and name them.
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