7 Ways To Wisely Use Waiting Time During Children’s Practices

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About a week or so ago I was over reading a post on Crystal Paine’s site, Money Saving Mom, entitled “9 Ways Moms Can Find Time For Quiet In Their Day”.

7 ways to wisely use waiting time during children's practices

In the comment section of that post I wrote something that got a fair amount of discussion going between readers.

Here is my favorite way to catch some quite time for myself when life just won’t seem to give me some. I pack a pillow, a blanket, a good book, and something to drink along with me on a day where one of my children has a practice somewhere. I drop them off and then instead of watching I crawl into the back of my SUV put one of the back seats down and then curl up with my blanket and my pillow, and read and sip my drink. Often I will fall asleep and wake up to my child knocking on the window (mine are 12,14, and 19) . That back of the SUV nap time always fills my introvert tank, and I think it proves that if you are creative you can figure out how to make time for “me time” in any schedule.

I have to admit I almost didn’t leave the comment because…well…I admitted to sleeping in my SUV, and that is a little weird. I am so glad I did though because a few moms commented to say that they had never thought of doing something like that and now they had to try it.

Since I did admit it, I thought I might as well share with you all my other practice time secrets.

7 Wise Ways To  Use Waiting Time During Children’s Practices

1. Get work done

If the location where my child has a practice has wifi, I will often bring along my laptop and get a bit of work done.

Before I had a blog to work on I would often bring coupons to clip, thank you notes to write out, or whatever other portable chore I could bring with me.

2. Squeeze in a workout

My daughter does gymnastics in a gym that has an indoor track. For just $1 I can walk or run around the track during her lesson. The best part is that her lessons are held right in the middle of the track so  I can see her doing back flips and hand stands the whole time.

I will often download a podcast or two to enjoy while I walk or run.

3. Enjoy working on handicrafts

I am a little addicted to knitting dishcloths, scarves, fingerless gloves, and even the odd baby blanket or lap blanket. I always have my current knitting project stashed in a bag I can grab on the way out the door so that I can sit and watch my child’s practice while I knit.

I might even listen to podcast while I knit and keep an eye on the lesson.

4. Catch up with friends

If my child is taking a lesson or at a practice with one of my friend’s children, I like to  sit and enjoy catching up with my friend. In the busy season I am in with my children right now girlfriend chat time is a rare treat.

If there are no friends around physically, I might catch up with friends via text.

5. Just relax, watch, and enjoy a mom treat

Even though my 2 children still in sports (who are turning 13 and 15 this month) no longer need me close by to watch every move, I still like to sit and watch a practice now and then just to see the progress in my child’s ability.

To make the time I do watch a bit more special  on the way to a child’s practice I might use some of my Swagbucks earned Starbucks gift cards to grab a fancy coffee and then just watch my child’s progress while I sip my coffee. Other times I get a bag of peanut M&M’s to munch on.

There is just something about a treat  in hand and an hour to enjoy it while I watch my child’s progress in activities they love. It is like the whole popcorn and a movie thing.

6. I run an errand

I  usually don’t run errands during practices unless the practice is going to be longer than an hour. Practices under an hour are just too short of a time period to run around and knock out errands.  For longer practices I will make a list of errands I could get done in that part of town and work my way down the list until I run out of time or errands.

7. Nap and Read

This practice time activity is  the one I mentioned in the comments on Crystal’s post and this is the one I enjoy doing the most. Most days there simply isn’t enough downtime in my day to enjoy a few chapters of a book all in one sitting or to close my eyes and drift off to sleep for a bit.

I keep a pillow and a blanket in the back of my SUV. I keep my kindle app on my phone loaded with books ready to read. That way, should  the opportunity arise, I am ready to recharge my introvert batteries with a nap and a book while my child is practicing the sport or activity they love. That is a win-win in my books.

What do you like to do while your children are at practice?

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Comments

  1. I completely understand the napping in the car thing, I think it sounds great. A friend of mine used to have three kids, all in baseball so her weeknights were overlapping practices. She would do some work, then listen to music and nap in her van. My kids were too little for me to do that, but I thought it was a genius idea!

    What podcasts do you listen to? I haven’t tried any because I detest talk radio and was afraid it was basically the same thing. Everyone (including my teen) is listening to them, though, so maybe I’m missing out!

    • Victoria says:

      I listen to mostly podcasts related to blogging. It is my “school” time. I like all the ones by Pat Flynn (he has 3, Ask Pat, Smart Passive Income, and On Day Business Breakthrough) , as well as Learning With Leslie, and Brilliant Business Moms. I learn a lot that I can apply to my blog without taking extra time to actually learn.

  2. When my son was taking karate, that turned into my 2 nights a week with a laptop and a table at Panera. It was the best! I was so sad when he stopped going. Now I spend time playing with my 4 year old while my 8 year old has soccer practice. No wifi reception at the field means I’m not even tempted to go online.

    Thanks for the great ideas! I would love to squeeze in a nap during a practice 🙂

  3. Packrat Nomad says:

    I commend you for your nap time! Another suggestion- since dance lessons and gear eat up a good portion of our home educating budget I have joined the FB sale groups in the area local to the dance studio. I post things to sell on the days leading up to practice and use the time she’s there (3hrs one day, 2hrs the next) to meet up and earn some cash! 🙂 If you’re a crafter, this is a great time to make/sell your wares!

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