The other key to any progress in my prayer life is ROUTINE. Without a routine, my prayer life goes exactly where you expect it to: nowhere. When I'm on vacation, or even having a busy weekend, I'm not usually saying any extra prayers beyond a morning offering and consecration renewal at bedtime.
I have completed several novenas in recent weeks, and that surprises me to no end. Again, Grace. But I have done a couple of things differently.
These days I'm trying, really trying, to sit somewhere besides the computer when I first get up and I don't feel like interacting with "live" people. It doesn't always work, but it's better, and it helps that the morning prayer books are in the same room as the computer, so I can just take my habitual direction and just go 2 steps to the left, instead of the right! There are mornings when I really long to talk to Jesus, and I don't, and it shows. :-(
Fives days a week, I have to get in the car to take people to school, or pick someone up, so I've gotten into a pretty good habit of making that first trip out Rosary Time. I know myself well enough to know that if I don't do it on the first trip, I probably won't get to it. Sometimes I pray it with the kids, but not always. The rosary should be the priority, but I also like to give them time to talk to me.
I also try to pray the rosary when I walk the dog around the neighborhood. For various reasons (like I'm a lazy slob!) that hasn't been happening much lately, but I've been driving, so it works.
The dog always needs a shorter walk in the late morning which has become the time that I pray novenas. Yes, I walk and keep my nose in the prayer book! I prefer a book to praying at the computer, but Pray More Novenas is a great resource if you don't mind praying at the computer or don't have the particular novena booklet at home.
Basically, tying certain activities to prayer has been the greatest help. Weekly adoration has helped a lot, too. There are times (ha! every week, almost!) that I don't want to get up and go, but on the days I give in to my laziness, I invariably lie awake feeling guilty. So, just do it. God is good enough to make everything else work out during the day.
Another mom who was part of this conversation, lamented that they can't consecrate their home to the Two Hearts because they won't be able to follow through with the subsequent requirements:
Frequent Holy Communion
Daily Family Rosary
Monthly Holy Hour
Daily Renewal of Consecration
(These are the requirements listed on our family certificate)
I can't keep the 10 Commandments perfectly, but I haven't give up trying! I think the most important thing is to make the consecration and keep working at perfect fulfillment of the rules. It is my fervent hope that the graces we've received will make up for the inevitable gaps in my parenting skills and prayer life!
I'm not surrounded by little ones anymore, so maybe this is all due to my age (urgh!), but that doesn't mean we didn't try when they were little. There's never a perfect time that makes it easy to pray! I have a good friend who used to pray more than one rosary per day as she did it while lying in bed with small children who wanted her with them as they went to sleep!
Think over your day and find those routine moments that lend themselves to prayer. Keep track of Hail Mary's on paper throughout the day. I sometimes pray Memorares for individuals, one at a time, while I'm pumping gas. I'll pray for family members as I fold their laundry. And no matter what your age, whenever you're awake in the middle of the night, pray. Someone needs it.