This post was written by Creative QT Co-owner & Co-founder Dana Sue Hinkle. Learn more about the Hinkle family and the heart behind Creative QT here.
When Adam & I decided to move 1,000 miles across the country we realized just how much stuff our little family had collected over the years (and it was sooooo much more than we thought). We decided to assess what our hobbies were and what was worth moving. Well, much to our surprise, we had a ton of hobbies that we LOVED, but if we were honest with ourselves, we couldn’t possibly do them all being parents of 4 with one on the way.
So part of the overwhelming experience of moving was good, we triaged our hobbies, keeping only the ones that we really, really loved and sold off what was eating up space in our basement and our schedule. So we sold the beer brewing kit & rock climbing gear, downsized our craft bins & sewing projects, and loaded up the truck with what we loved. However, we were then hit with the reality that free time to do these hobbies was still limited.
So we came up with a plan. We picked a day of the week, and we put it on the calendar (putting it on the calendar is key, otherwise your schedule will fill up). Then we just trade off every other week so as soon as 5:00 pm hits I have the the night “off” to do whatever I want. Adam makes and cleans up dinner, runs kids where they need to go, and gets them all in bed. The only rule we have for the one with the night “off” is that it can’t be a “catch-up” night. No folding laundry, no returning emails for work, no cleaning, etc. It's a night for 'me time' only.
Every time I get a night out, I come home renewed and reenergized. I just got ME TIME! No washing dishes, no wiping bottoms, no encouraging my kids to take 3 more bites, no nagging my kids to make sure they brushed their teeth, or to get into their pajamas for the fifth time. My batteries are charged and I'm ready for my tribe in the morning.
So whether you are sitting at Starbucks scrapbooking (my favorite) or carpentry in the workshop (Adam’s favorite), it is good for the soul. As much as I love my little munchkins, it is so healthy for our relationship to have this time out.
Even if your schedule doesn’t allow for the above, take the little breaks. For me, that means running to the grocery store without the kids. I know, not nearly as exciting, but way less stressful leaving them at home! Asking Adam or even our oldest, to take over dinner so I can lock myself in our room for 30 minutes of sanity. Getting up early, to workout and read before the littles start asking for cups of milk and breakfast. Putting the kids to bed on-time or early, for an evening of quiet. We are just parents, in the heart of the beautiful chaos just like you.
Our philosophy of Make Time Together is so true. Specifically the “make time” part because if you aren’t intentional about how you use your time, it will fill up on its own, so make a little time for you too; for yourself as well as your family. If you have any other ideas to share about how to keep your head in the journey of parenting, I’d love to hear!
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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