No, the above photo is not of me. But someone could have snapped a picture similar to it during my years as the parent of a child with special needs. More than once I felt as though I was losing my mind. Those years are indelibly imprinted in my memory. The purpose of the five part series, Managing Your Time Without Losing Your Mind, is to prevent other parents from feeling as I did. That’s why these guest bloggers shared their best tips with you:
Jolene’s Time Management Tips
To close out the series, here are a few tips I learned over the years:
- Make it fun: Whenever you can, make your tasks fun. My favorite part of elementary school was when our teacher read to us after lunch. My favorite part of teaching was reading to my students after lunch every day for twenty-five years. Now I listen to audiobooks while cooking and cleaning to make it fun. Another idea? Teach your kids to pair and fold socks into a ball. Then have them sort them by shooting baskets into tubs designated for each person in your family.
- Never make just one of anything: If you’re making a casserole for supper, make two and freeze one. Do the same with crock pot meals, pies, cookies, cakes, whatever. Pretty soon you’ll have a week’s worth of extra meals for busy nights or to take to a family who needs a break from cooking.
- Remember, this too shall pass: My mother repeated this phrase often during the first four years of our son’s life, which seemed to last forever. I repeated it to myself when raising our kids (born six years apart) seemed to take forever. Now they’re grown up, married, and moved away and the phrase is a poignant one. I encourage you to repeat the phrase when life as the parent of kids with special needs seems to last forever. Remember, this too shall pass.
More ideas about how to manage time can be found in my book, Different Dream Parenting: A Practical Guide to Raising a Child with Special Needs. (Click here to find links to the Amazon pages for the print and electronic versions.) Chapter 12 walks parents of kids with special needs through a series of exercises designed to help them determine God’s priorities for their lives. Between that chapter and the tips in this five part series, you will learn everything from my workshop at the 2012 Accessibility Summit on April 21.
Last Chance to Share Your Suggestions
Before the series ends, please leave a comment about your best time management tips. Or tell how you adapted one of the tips presented by our guest bloggers. If enough tips roll in, maybe they can be put together in a future post!