What is time exactly? It represents something different to everybody. Try and explain something so intangible as time to your children and you will see the real challenge.
My oldest daughter, who is almost 7, is learning to read the clock in 1st grade and she is pretty good at it. But when I tell her that we need to leave in 10 minutes, she doesn’t seem to understand how long that is. She will sit down and start a puzzle that will take at least 30 min to finish. Or when we went on a ski trip this weekend and we told her that we would be in the car for at least 5 hours, she started asking ‘are we almost there’ after about 15 min in the car.
I have never met a mother, working or not, that has enough time, whether she has 1,2,3 kids or 15 (well, I have never meet a person with 15 kids).
When I was younger time could sometimes not pass fast enough, mostly when there was something that I was looking forward to. When you are bored time seems to drag on forever. As an adult I completely understand that the whole waiting game for something exciting seems unbearable, because you just can’t wait to get to a certain place or see your friend or what else exciting things are going on. But it is also a part of life.
But how come that even though, as an adult, we understand time much better and know how long an hour is, we never seem to be able to use it correctly?
My youngest daughter, who is 2 1/2 years old, just started pre-school last week. She was very excited, since she will be going there with her big sister, who is starting Kindergarten after the summer. I have been having some bad nights myself lately, because I suddenly see all my little birds fly away from the nest. This is just the beginning… now they are growing up so quickly to become young women that will only need us (their dad and me) when they say so. But I was also partly excited, because I would finally be able to use all those hours during the day to work on my business, which has not been easy to find time to in the last few years. Since I have no help with my kids, cleaning, cooking or else, it has always been a race against time to get everything done. I have loved every minute of it (well, maybe not every minute) and have never regretted staying home with my kids and later starting my own business…. still with my kids home.
However, now I have hours during the day when my girls are in school and I have a whole list of things that really needs to be done. Each item on the list has of course a priority 1, which doesn’t make it easier to know where to start. But after my first two days home alone I felt that I didn’t get anything done. More than 6 hours alone and I left to pick up my girls from school with the feeling that nothing was done. Why is that?
Do we put too much stress on ourselves with everything we want to do?
Or do we actually not understand time any better than a 6 year old, because we feel that we will be able to achieve 3 times as much as we actually have time for?
Maybe it will be easier once I get used to using my time correctly and when I really understand how much needs to be done and prioritize it correctly.