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Taking time to switch off

Peonies by Emily Quinton, Makelight

Hello! This is the second in my 'Take Time' series, where I share some of my tips and tricks for how I try hard to juggle a lot of things - bringing up four children, running my own business, writing a book and supporting my husband is his startup adventures. 

This week is half-term. It is crazy, loud, messy, chaotic and I am slightly on the edge! It is also so, so lovely to have all my children at home together and I know they are all loving it. 

Yesterday afternoon when I was madly trying to juggle everything and feeling like I was making a mess of everything, I suddenly remembered how I used to commit to turning my phone off - or at least putting out of easy reach - for a few hours each day. There is no doubt that my phone is incredible and enables me to juggle lots of things, and it also helps me to have a few minutes of calm when I dip into Pinterest or Instagram. But, it also means that I can be easily distracted and suddenly I haven't just got four children to look after, talk to and entertain but also social media accounts to update, blogs to read, emails to reply to, ideas to jot down, photos to take...the list goes on. 

At some times of day this can work. My littlest is napping, my other three are busy playing together happily. But the trouble is that it is not like that all day long. I am also aware that when I stretch myself too thinly I get really short tempered and I lose my patience. I am a pretty patient person but when I am tired and busy juggling too many balls, I don't feel very patient at all. 

There is a big crunch time when you have young children that occurs about 4pm every single day. Everyone has a meltdown...almost continually until they are finally asleep by 6.30/7pm. It is the toughest few hours of the day and requires total concentration. If you are in the right zone, these hours can be very lovely. These precious hours can be full of cuddles, playing, stories, talking and just being together in the moment. 

I know that when I am in the moment during those hours that my day has a much higher chance of ending happily. I know that when I tuck them up in their beds I am full of love and happiness, and not sheer joy that it's finally bedtime! 

So, I am going to challenge myself to switch off from everything but motherhood between 4-7pm each day. Or at least Monday-Friday! I know it will help so much. I have done it before and wish I hadn't slipped back into the trap of staring at that little screen a bit too much. 

Are you in too? It doesn't have to be these hours. I think we could all benefit from time away from our phones each day don't you? I can guarantee you will feel refreshed, inspired and probably a lot calmer. 


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