A Wife Loved Like The Church

Mothering with a timer

Posted on: August 24, 2010

Top Ten {Tuesday} One of my biggest mama-ing tactics is to create order for the girls. It doesn’t have to be clean order {like I’d want} it just has to bring calm to chaos. The best way I’ve been able to do this over the last 2 years is by using my kitchen timer. Sounds strange, but it is a miracle worker! When I set the timer, the Windhamettes know that the timer trumps all {even fits – sometimes…}. Here are my top ten ways of implementing the timer:

1. Sharing – When both girls want the same toy, I set the timer and make them take turns. Once the timer dings, they give the toy up until it’s their turn again.

2. Quiet time – We aim for daily quiet time, where for a specific time they girls sit quietly reading/playing until the timer goes off. This might bring me the most calm in the midst of chaos. I love quiet time.

3. Playing – Before bedtime, we set the timer so the girls know how much longer they have to play. There’s no arguing about when it’s time to be done, since the timer declares that the activity is over.

4. Finishing eating – Julia might be the world’s slowest eater. Ever. At almost every meal I set the timer to let her know she needs to finish her food before I clear the table.

5. Cleaning – This is more for me than the girls, but I set the timer and clean until the timer dings. Once that time is done, there is no more cleaning {except dishes} while they are awake. It helps me keep a balance of not cleaning all day.

6. Time out – Come by my house during the 5 o’clock meltdown and you’ll most likely find Julia in time out.

7. Resting – Some days the girls {read Julia} just needs a break and some rest. Perhaps she didn’t nap well {or at all}, so I make her lay down on the couch for 5-10 minutes and rest.

8. Waiting – We’re working on having the girls wait. Patience is a virtue, right? Seeing me set the timer helps them know their waiting isn’t going to last forever {even thought at times Julia is convinced it will}.

9. Learning numbers – I will point out the time and numbers to the girls and then start counting, explaining the numbers to them. Not sure it’s totally set in, but Julia did count to 10 this morning, so maybe it’s helping!

10. Transitioning – Moving from one activity to the next, I want to give the girls a heads up. I set the timer and when it goes off we move on. The switch tends to go much smoother than abruptly changing activities.

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12 Responses to "Mothering with a timer"

I need to get a timer! I’ve been using my watch to set time limits on certain things, and as Jenny’s learned about telling time (still very vague), I can tell her to watch the clock for certain numbers. This is a GREAT list!

I love this. I need to DO this! What kind of timer do you use? I need to find a good one, because the egg timer and microwave timer aren’t cutting it!

I use my microwave timer, because it’s super easy. It’s a dial knob, so I just turn and set. Maybe try the timer pn your cell phone? I use that one when we’re out and about.

I don’t have kids yet, but I already use a timer for many things. I love how useful and practical it is!!!

Thanks for sharing!

Great list! I love my timer too, but you’ve given me some new ideas how to use it, thanks!

Yeah, I don’t think I understand number five. Could you please explain that to me? πŸ™‚

I just love and 5 and 7, but for 5 I use the timer for time on blogs, email, etc. and that is all I get during kids awake time… the rest has to come in the evenings when they are in bed!

I would be the opposite on number 5. I would probably get a whole heck of a lot more cleaning done if I set a timer and actually made myself clean for 15 minutes straight.

Not to say I never do that…but I probably don’t do it often enough. I spend so much time dreading the cleaning that if I just spent the time actually cleaning I would actually get something done. πŸ˜‰

I do this too! It works like a charm. πŸ™‚ I should probably use it a bit more for myself though, huh! How much “rest time” do you do during the day? Abigail doesn’t nap for some reason for me, but does for the babysitter, so I try to make her “rest” in her room for an hour.
Anyway, just curious. πŸ™‚ I want to have you and the girls over again soon! I have actually been working more nights though. Maybe next week!

[…] Mothering with a timer Β« A wife loved like the church […]

Ok, this is great!! I definitely need to put my timer to use … I love every, single example!!!

We use the timer at our house too! My teen and tween both have very busy schedules with school, church, and sports. I have found that if we set the timer for 15 minutes at night before bed and all pitch in to put everything away in our common areas (kitchen, living room, dining nook), the house stays neater and our stress level is a lot lower!

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