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Budgeting Time!

Scattered Squirrel: Budgeting Time!

April 12, 2012

Budgeting Time!

We started the yucky part of this journey at the beginning of the week.  Travis is already down in our soon-to-be new home town, and he's already working at his new job.  That last weekend he was home was a busy one, and it really made me realize how important it is going to be to budget my time during this process.

Sounds kind of weird to be talking about budgeting time, but I believe that it is just as important as budgeting our money.  Change is hard; big changes even harder, and everyone reacts differently to them.  On top of the move, our boys are dealing with Dad not being here and Mom being a crazy woman on a mission.  While our Teen is coping rather well at this point, Liam is feeling really out of sorts.  So much activity in the house, big brother went back to school on the same day Daddy left, Mommy frantically trying to get everything done as quickly as possible ... it's a lot for a little guy to take in.  It's times like these, that the kids need more from us.  (Why does it always seem to be that they need more when you feel stretched so thin?)  And I don't want either of them to feel lost in the chaos.  To help combat this, and to also help me stay on task when I need to, I've started budgeting my time.  When I plan out my day, the first thing I do is set aside time for the kids.  Liam is at home with me all day, so I schedule in play breaks, outside time, and probably his favorite, I figure out what he can help me with.  He loves to help, and this way, I can accomplish what I need to, and still be spending time with him.

Our teen gets home at 4pm, just in time for me to be wrapping up and getting dinner going.  I make it a point to be available to him as soon as he gets home.  Some days he wants to sit and talk, most days he just wants to decompress on his own.  But I'm there if he needs me.  I try to keep projects to minimum during the chaos that ensues between 4pm and 8pm.  We sit and eat together, we clean up the kitchen together, and the kids know that I'm theirs until bed times.   I make sure that whatever I have planned to do between the time Liam goes to bed, and the time our Teen does, is something I can do while hanging out with him.  Our Teen is usually doing his own thing, but I like knowing that I'm there if he needs me.  He's been handling everything really well, but I know that he has his own worries and fears and insecurities about moving to a new town, starting at a new school, making new friends ... if we could spare him that, we would.  On the other hand, he is totally excited to be closer to his grandparents and aunts and uncles, and he's super excited about all the new things we'll be able to do.

Since Travis's schedule isn't set in stone yet, setting aside time for him is a little more complicated.  He calls when he has a moment, or we might spend a few minutes texting back and forth.  Taking time out to grab those moments with him are so very important.    We're the kind of couple who like spending time together, so being apart is not something we enjoy.  Those little "interruptions" are most welcome to me.  They remind me of what I'm working towards, and why I'm spending my days go, go, going from sun up to sun down. They bring me joy, make my heart happy.  I make sure that I take the time to connect with him when we have the chance.   It might mean interrupting something else, but that's ok, because we NEED those moments.

Aside from making sure I have time for the kids each day, and allowing for interuptions, I plan out my projects really carefully.  I pick a focus and stick with it for the day.  That way I don't have too many of those moments my husband call my "OOOh Shiny!" moments.  I pick either one kind of job, like washing windows, or a room and that's my focus for the day until it's done.  I made up a list of everything that needs to be done . . . ok, I admit it, I have more than one list lol, but I'm only working on one right now.  It lists all the big projects, and I pick one each day.  When that one is done, I move onto to the next one.  And I'm getting pretty close to being done the list.  

And last but not least, I make sure to make time for me before I go to bed.  It might be vegging in front of the tv, or reading for half an hour.  Usually it's just enjoying the quiet before turning in.  Catching a few moments to decompress is important for my sanity.

And that's how I do it!  I looked at what I NEEDED to do.  Time with the kids, and time with Travis come first.  End of story, they are what matter most in this world to me. Next up, was the MUST DOs, or the house projects, because the sooner we sell, the sooner we're all together.  Daily cleaning and cooking are scheduled in there too, because they are things that must be done.  And I'm happy to say that the end of the craziness is in sight. I only have a few more projects to finish up and then it's all just maintaining it from there on out.  Thank Goodness!  lol

I will be back later, either tonight or tomorrow with some posts and pictures about the projects we've done so far!  Until then, I wish each and everyone of you a very fabulous day!

How do you handle stressful and busy times?  Do you "budget" your time?

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