Nap time: The most glorious time of day. If you have young children at home, these few precious hours can be the most productive of your day. As soon as your children are tucked in their beds, it is time to break out the to-do list and get to work. However, there are a few items on your to-do list that shouldn't wait until the kids are asleep. In fact, as unproductive as it may sound, it is more effective to accomplish these tasks during the day, while your kids are awake.
Here are five things you should accomplish when your children are watching.
Nap time seems to be the perfect time to get your house in order. However, you shouldn't make it a habit. Children need to learn how to clean. They need to understand they don't live in a magic house that cleans itself. Parents must teach their kids to clean, even if it takes twice the amount of time. There are many chores children can do, no matter their age. Take the time to teach your kids and don't do everything for them while they are sleeping.
Exercise is a great stress relief and the perfect time to yourself. However, you can still keep it that way, even while the children are awake. Plan a time to exercise when your spouse is at home and can watch the kids or invite a friend with children to exercise and let the kids play while you sweat. Your children don't have to watch your entire exercise routine, but they need to know that you take care of your body and that being healthy is important to you. If it is important to you, it is more likely to become important to them.
3. Scripture study and prayer
Don't be afraid to let your children know how important your spiritual health is to you. When you go into your room to pray, pray with the door open. Read your scriptures at the kitchen table while your children are playing nearby. However, sometimes you need to study and pray alone, particularly during times when you are earnestly seeking for an answer. But even during those trying moments, still take the time to show your children how important your faith and testimony are to you.
4. Managing money
Many kids grow up and and have no idea how to balance a checkbook or maintain a budget. They don't understand how investing works and what it means to save money. When your children are old enough, teach them the basics of money. As they grow up, let them see you pay the bills and go to the bank. Show them how to clip coupons and say no to things you want in order to save money. Be an example of how to be financially savvy.
During the day, we can get so caught up in the demands of life that we forget to enjoy the life we have. Live in the present and enjoy the stage of life you are in. It is easy to get discouraged and worn out; but take the time to play with your kids, visit with friends and serve those around you. Don't wait until it is quiet to work on your happiness. Instead, work on it all day long.
These five things are perfectly acceptable activities to do during nap time, but shouldn't always only be done during those precious few hours. Children learn from examples and their greatest examples are those they see at home. Let your children work next to you and teach them the importance of certain tasks. You may be doing your children a disservice if you are trying to get things done faster and when everyone is sound asleep.
Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.