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‘I don’t have enough time’

You’ll never have enough time, especially not as a mom. But these 6 principles can make the most of what you’ve got. 

‘I don’t have enough time’

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives—Annie Dillard


Oh, I wish I had more time.

But, I don’t have enough time.

I would have done this if there were 28 hours in my day

I have both said and heard these words (or a version of them) many times in my life. Most of us would gladly receive more hours in our days. Yet, the reality is that no matter who you are, no matter where you live or what you do, this number is a constant. We all have 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week and 8,760 hours in a year.

Given this constraint, the real question is what can we do in these limited number of hours to make the most of our life—especially as mothers.

Before I had kids, my life felt pretty full with everything that filled up my day. I often wondered, how will I fit kids in my life without really giving up my life—my time for myself and for others?

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Then, when I was pregnant with my second one, I wondered again how will I fit another child into an already full life?

And yet as I look back at the last three years, I feel incredibly grateful to say that yes being a parent and having a rich, soulful life is absolutely possible.

As a mother, I exercise more, eat more home-cooked meals and feel more fulfilled professionally than I have in the past. Yes, this also means I have attended fewer events and yoga classes. I have gotten better at saying no to or leaving early from social engagements. I know a little less about what’s happening in the world and my house is messier than ever.

You get the point. It’s about making intentional choices based on what’s important to me at any given stage of my life.

I think about these issues a lot, as a mom of two young children who has previously worked as a mindfulness coach.

Here are some of my guiding principles to make the most of my time in my day—

I clarify my values

This is my core foundation of being very clear on what is important to me. Over time I have learnt that some of my values will always remain the same but there are many that change and that is okay.

I manage my energy

When I think of tasks to be done, I like to think of what truly fuels me, what’s energy neutral and what’s depleting. Then I like to think of the right balance between the three at any given point. Are there activities that really don’t need to happen or perhaps not as frequently? For example, I love to cook but I don’t like doing the dishes so I choose to do more of the former and less of the latter to ensure I am spending my time to optimize my energy.

I prioritize compassion

Once I can do the above two effectively, it’s time for saying yes and saying no with awareness. It means saying yes to reading a book or a writing in a thank you card at the end of the day but saying no to doing dishes or watching TV. It means leaving early (with kindness & gratitude) from a social engagement so I can take an afternoon nap.

I assess in big chunks of time

I also like to look at my life in chunks of weeks or more. The way I spend every hour of my time on a Sunday or Monday may not align fully with my values but when I look at it in large chunks, things seem much, much better.

I find small nuggets of time

And despite the above, the magic often happens in small chunks – 10 mins of exercise or meditation, 5 extra minutes of cuddles before bedtime, blog ideation in the car and writing in three sessions over a week. If I expect to have hours and hours to do what is energizing, I am in bad luck.

I buy time

Yes, there is the obvious one of outsourcing what I don’t like and can afford to pay someone but there are also more creative ways of buying time. Recently, we started a swap with a dear friend where we watch the kids one Sunday morning and they watch the kids another Sunday. It’s a lovely adventure for the kids and we adults get a break to spend time doing non kiddo things.

I avoid overwhelm

There are times when I feel like I am chronically time-starved. To me, that’s a reminder that I either need to lower the quality or the quantity of the tasks that I have signed up for. Maybe we can do a simple meal one night or not make plans for a Sunday afternoon hike. Perhaps I need to take a day off from work. (Yes, please!)

I watch my words

Finally, it’s about how I talk to myself and to others about my life.

If I keep saying oh no, I am so busy, I have no time, this will be my reality of exhaustion and overwhelm. If I tell myself, I am spending my time in ways that matter and my life is full and abundant with beautiful and challenging experiences, I feel better!

I’d love to have an extra hour in my day but until then I am grateful for these rich, luxurious, sometimes crazy, chaotic yet incredibly meaningful 24 hours in my day.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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