Currently Wandering » Outdoor Family, Adventure Travel, Simple Living - Family of 5 Traveling the United States in an Airstream.

Need More “Me” Time – Any Ideas?

IMG_1928-EditI’ll admit that life can get a little rough sometimes around here. Most days between road school, cooking, laundry, exploring, cleaning up, and managing daily life I rarely get any “me” time. I viciously guard my 30-40 minutes of exercise everyday since that is my one time I get to plug my earphones in and tune out the rest of the world. Other days I’ll listen to my audio book while cooking dinner, or sneak in 30 minutes of reading while the kids play the tablet, but that’s about it.

To keep from burning out, there definitely needs to be a little more solo time in there. I know Sam doesn’t get enough alone time either (work doesn’t count) and its a difficult balance to develop and maintain. We tend to over correct when I get a little (okay, a lot) grumpy, but I think an overall better balance would be much nicer!

I have so many ideas and thoughts running around in my head, plus photos to edit, YouTube videos to create, social media to mange and other projects that are just waiting for me to have a little time. The little free time I’ve had so far this week was swallowed up in balancing our proverbial check book and making sure we’d have enough money in our checking account to pay the bills. Exciting? Not so much.


So, I’m looking for suggestions? What do you do to help manage your time and get everything done? I mentioned my dilemma to a friend last week over email, saying that maybe I should rely a little more on the television babysitter (our kids rarely watch any tv at all). She suggested that maybe if they were watching something educational I wouldn’t feel so guilty about an hour and a half of veg time. Thoughts? Favorite educational shows for kids on Netflix?

I’d love a couple of hours a week to sit down and just work. Pound out blog posts, edit my thousands of photos, manage our social media accounts, and just get ahead. No, our blog doesn’t generate money yet, but I’d like it to and the only way that will happen is if we put some decent time into it.

I know this is a constant struggle for moms everywhere, not just those of us on the road in tiny houses. Please share any suggestions you have in the comments below!

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  • Jessie - As far as educational shows on Netflix, there’s the classic Magic School Bus that my kids love. For non-TV baby sitters my kids love love love Sands Alive and Legos. Sands Alive doesn’t have to take up much storage room and my kids can sit and play with it for hours.ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Thanks!! I’ll have to look up Sands Alive. I’ve never heard of it! We do have Lego’s and my kids play a lot. We’ve just discovered that if I’m on my computer AT ALL during the day, I end up grumpy and yelling at everyone since they keep interrupting. 🙂 Sam will take the kids out for a couple of hours just to give me some space and that’s great too!ReplyCancel

  • Spencer Burnside - Do the kids have audio books they can listen to? My older kids will listen for hours to a good story. It sounds like you’re looking for productive things for them to do so you can be more productive?

    The more uninterrupted work time you get, the better. Every time you have to switch or multitask that will cut down your effectiveness. It’s not easy with kids. I sometimes have to celebrate 30 mins, without an interruption.

    It’s also helpful to find ways to quickly pick up where you left off. On my most productive days, I have a short, reasonable list of the things I want to get done that day. This is outside of the daily life list that will happen, like food, dishes, etc. I only write down the priorities that will not happen without some effort on my part.

    I hope that helps.ReplyCancel

  • Betsy Groh Ptak - How would your mother or her mother answer this? They never entertained us, we were left to our own devices (but there were no devices – ha – I’m so funny). There are a few places where you guys park where this isn’t possible due to the crowd that is there, but most places they can wander a bit. Being bored is a good thing. It brings our their creativity.

    Just like you guys have trained them up to HUGE hikes, you have to train them to spend time alone entertaining themselves. It will take training though. Baby steps, rewards for not bothering you, etc. Good luck. In a month you will be writing a “how to” guide.

    Saying all that though – 4 years old is still a hard one. One of the rules will have to be that they must stick together.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - I knew I would homeschool before I even had kids so when naps started to go I knew I needed some time for myself to recharge. We have 1hr quiet time every school day and some weekends. Usually right after lunch. My boys have to read for one hour, without coming and asking me anything. They get ten mins extra for each time they break quiet time. It was hard at first but now it is just a normal part of our day! I like wild kratts on Netflix and the magic school bus. Lots of good documentaries also like “raccoon nation”ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Awesome! We used to swear by quiet time and then somehow we when started traveling it go dropped. I’m still trying to figure that out! I think that’s the big thing we want to go back to.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle Huddleston - I should add to my previous comment that the boys have their own timer that they set so they know how much time is left.ReplyCancel

  • Emily - My boys love the show “Wild Kratts!”ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Thanks!! I *think* my kids have watched this as well. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kerri Cox - We don’t have Netflix, so I’m not sure what kinds of shows are available, but as a teacher, I buy a lot of Bill Nye, Reading Rainbow, and Magic School Bus for our classrooms. Educational and fun! Scholastic makes some great DVD video series that are available fairly cheaply on Amazon. Scholastic/dp/B001NKWLCQ/ref=pd_sxp_grid_pt_1_0

    Do your children play Minecraft? My kids can play that for hours, and I consider it educational since there’s so much problem solving involved. There’s a mode with the Creeper that might be scary for younger kids, but the sandbox mode is great for any age. Also, have they tried any of the introductory coding websites? We use Scratch a lot at school. It’s created by MIT and lets kids create comics, games, and more. You can also Google to find instructional videos.

    There are some great websites that read stories aloud. We love at school. There’s also, but I am not sure if the website reads those aloud.

    When all else fails, there’s always incentives! I’ve paid my kids by the hour to behave on a 10-hour car ride, and one time, I challenged them to go 10 days in a row without fighting on our car ride home from school, with the promise of a trip to the movies or something after they met the challenge. If they fought any day, the 10 days started over. Maybe a small treat or trip to the playground at the end of your “me time” would work.ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Thanks Kerri!! This is SO incredible helpful. We do play Minecraft, and although its super creative it counts as their “tablet” time and they have a limit of 30 minutes 4x per week. Any more than that and we just had cranky children. They are much happier with limits!

      We also have tried which we found while visiting a Science Museum. We’ve talked about also giving them an hour a week of “computer” time where they can write stories for the blog, code, or even Cara has found she likes to draw shapes in Google Docs. That would increase some screen time (free time for me) but not crazily so.

      Storyonline looks amazing!! Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for telling me about this. I’m really excited!! 🙂 🙂ReplyCancel

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