flylady.net

A friend of mine turned me on to this site and I am really enjoying it. If you have time, check it out and see what it is all about. Today I read a post about time management. This is something I have been trying to improve at in my own life. Why am I not accomplishing things? Why do I feel like I have no time for my children? Why do I have zero time for my husband? Why do I feel so guilty about taking time for myself?

The tip from Flylady is to create a color coded chart. Cold hard fact: 168 hours in a week. Do the math and you will see that this is a set number of hours in each week. Seven days times 24 hours. How do we spend our 168 hours? Surprisingly, sleep ranks very low on my time allotment. Even when I feel like all I do is sleep, it takes up a small amount of time on the chart.

I created several charts; one for me, one for D- and one for A-. Then I colored them in based on each persons activities and schedule. I never feel like I have enough time in the day, therefore, I am always behind and never getting anything done. After looking at the charts, I see gaps everywhere! What am I doing with those gaps?

I am watching TV, playing on the internet, reading books, ignoring life and just being lazy. The post speaks about procrastination. I am really good at procrastination. Actually creating a color coded chart and having that visual made me have an aha! moment. Sort of like a brick to the face.

Currently, I am on week two of trying to establish a reasonable morning routine. Aside from over sleeping three times, it is going well. And it has made it easier to start my daily tasks. Mornings are also a little less stressful while trying to get the girls ready for school.

Another reality was made colorfully clear. Most of our activities and events focus around D- and only her. She is the oldest and there is a large age gap between her and the younger two girls. D- also has autism. We have always catered to her and micromanaged everything for her. We have tried to have her involved in as many activities as we can, in an attempt to show her she can do things normal kids can do. D- has something on the calendar six days a week, often times more than one activity. A- has only church each week and one activity on a every-other week schedule. She has nothing to do and that obviously contributes to her bouncing off the walls. A- has nothing to do to help her burn her energy. I spend so much time focusing on D- and trying to help her be more like other kids, that I am overlooking my other daughters. ***Parenting fail***

D- has more of my time and attention. She always has. Q- is just a baby still; just turned 2. I am home with her all day. A- is in the middle and is being ignored. No wonder she is desperate for my attention and clings to me whenever she can. After devoting so much of myself to D- and Q-, I just have no energy left for A-. ***Parenting fail***

Admitting this to myself is one thing. Now taking action to fix it will be the next step. Not sure how to make these types of changes. Having a child with autism is hard. It consumes so much time and energy. My other daughters should not suffer because of this. No wonder the older two are always fighting with each other. I need to become better at time management. I also need to spread my time more evenly between all three girls. Here I am, still focusing on the children and ignoring myself and my husband. This is going to be a long process. Wish me luck!