The Pomodoro Parenting Technique

The following post is from Kat of Inspired To Action:

photo credit: little blue hen

I may win the geeky mom award for this post, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take. You see, I love reading about time management and productivity and organization. There is even the slight possibility that I read about it more than I do it.

So wrong.

But one productivity tip that has really helped me is called the Pomodoro technique. I’m easily overwhelmed by a big task or a huge number of to do items. But the Pomodoro Technique allows me to see only one simple thing at a time. The idea is that you set a timer and focus on one task for 25 to 55 minutes and then take a break for 5-10 minutes.

Sometimes I just set a timer for 5 minutes and tell myself that I only need to work on this dreaded but necessary task for 5 minutes. I can do anything for 5 minutes. The beauty of it is that once I get started, it’s so much easier to keep going. And I know I can take a break when the timer goes off.

How to Battle Bad Parenting Days

What does all this have to do with motherhood? Well, some days – the hard ones, I look at the whole day stretching before me, and I think there isn’t enough coffee on the planet to make me a fun and engaging mom for the whole 5 bazillion hours until my husband rescues me is done with work.

I wonder how I’ll survive without snapping at my children much less trying to invest in them, love them well, and have fun.

(Don’t get me wrong. 99%-ish of the time I adore being with my children. I’m talking about *those* days. You know the ones. If you don’t know, then please write a parenting book for the rest of us.)

So, I use the Pomodoro technique. I decide on a set amount of time. I get on the floor and build and play and laugh. I dive in wholeheartedly. Then I rest and retreat. Perhaps I’ll put a show on. Maybe we’ll listen to an audiobook together or go for a walk.

It helps me so much if I’m having a rough day (or even when I just want to be extra intentional) to not view it as a long marathon of being awesome. I simply view it as a series of short sprints.

By joining my children in learning and play. and then doing something that relaxes or refreshes me for awhile, I’m building fun memories with them and fighting the guilt that often accompanies difficult days. Instead of one long day of blah, it’s a day filled with memories, love and maybe a little extra TV.

The next time you have a challenging day, focus on giving them a few minutes of wonderful that that fill them up. The days of parenting don’t need to be either brilliant or boring. They can be a beautiful combination of both.

Action Step:

Buy a timer and set it. Get on the floor and play with your kids. Then give yourself grace to rest and reset.

How do you battle blah days?

Kat blogs at Inspired To Action, a site dedicated to helping moms develop the habits and skills they need to effectively manage their homes and raise children who are prepared to change the world. Kat loves music, running, technology, Jesus and Tex-Mex food. Not necessarily in that order.