Yes, I’m a stay at home mom. No, I don’t actively play with my children all day long. They get plenty of engagement from me but sometimes I need a few moments for daily logistics. It’s then that I count on the babies to play and entertain themselves, not always an easy feat. Sometimes it requires a little economics.
Take for example the Tupperware drawer. The tupperware drawer… will keep Karson and Lucy entertained for at least 10 or 15 minutes. Putting the drawer back together when they’re done only takes me about a minute or so. That equates to at least ten minutes of occupation and what I like to call “some bang for your buck.”
But sometimes the calculation isn’t always black and white. Maybe I’ve spent 8 minutes setting up some silly Pinterest activity. It only held their attention for 12 minutes but I also have to factor in that they’re really gaining some great hand eye coordination that makes the extra effort worth it. Plus, I got a net of four minutes of uninterrupted time to clean up the giant mess made during the lunch hour.
As you can see time is the main currency we’re working with here but the exchange of goods can vary.
And every once in a while when things really get desperate, I have to work on credit, borrowing time I don’t have because it’s that essential. I might be leaving the house and need two more minutes to finish getting dressed. Karson and Lucy might spend those two minutes pulling all the clothes off the lower shelves in my closet. But if that’s what it takes to get my two minutes, it might be worth the 15 minutes it takes to put all the clothes back later when I get home.
I’m not the only one who thinks I have this figured out. Karson and Lucy, like most young ones, have discovered they can wield their own currency in cuteness. They might have weaseled into a drawer I thought they couldn’t reach or pulled out all of the wipes because I left the closure open. But the time I’ll spend putting the mess back together is easily worth the big cheesy, small tooth grins and giggles they give me when they know they’ve been caught.
I know this all sounds silly but this is the stuff that goes through my head on a daily basis. As a parent, I’m always thinking ahead, planning and calculating. When people ask me how I had time to do my hair or do something like bake cookies, it’s all thanks to economics.
And at the end of the day, though short on hours which are not always the best form of worth, I always find I’m rich from snuggles, slobbery kisses, smiles and laughs.