‘Oooo you have your hands full there’ or ‘You must be mad’ are some of the typical responses I get when people find out I have three young children and I am a childminder. Usually, I politely laugh but actually I want to say: ‘No not really, I love my children, I love my job and I adore my minded children’. I won’t lie, it’s not easy so I just have to find ways to manage EVERYTHING! When people ask me how I do it, I don’t have an answer usually, so I have given it some thought:
• First things first, I have to make a small confession to myself (and others sometimes) – I am not superwoman! Once this is out of the way, I can move on. There are ONLY 24 hours in the day, I cannot do everything and still get my eight hours. So sometimes, you just need to be kind to yourself, take a break from it all, have a nice bubble bath or feet up with a cuppa and some Galaxy. After all, a rested mummy is a happier mummy which equals happier kids!
• Make everything bitesize! I don’t have hours to dedicate to a task so I break it down. One task I don’t like is ironing. I am absolutely positive my ironing pile breeds when my back is turned and before I know it, it is taller than my children and sat on my sofa keeping me company when I am watching the soaps! So I take a pile here and there and it has soon gone.
• I am always on the lookout for products and services that save me time (without compromising my fussy standards), so cue my love of ‘Click & Collect’, Stamptastic, No More Socks app and that oven cleaner you use in a bag. Less time spent on these tedious tasks is more time with my cherubs.
• Lastly, I involve my children in what I do. They help to hoover, make their beds, tidy their toys, get involved when I am cooking and other little tasks. This is where we most often have our ‘spontaneous fun’ too. Ok, initially it doesn’t save me time, but I am teaching them skills and I am playing the long game here. When they are older, these little chores will be routine and I will have less eye rolling to endure!