Parents these days are busy! There is work, doctor’s appointments, kids’ activities, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, grocery shopping, and laundry to get done — just to name a few. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when there is so much going on. Feeling organized and on top of everything can help parents feel less stressed in the face of all you have to do. Below are a few time management tips to help parents, like you, function more effectively.
- Have one calendar. Using one calendar for everyone in the household can help manage commitments and ease the scheduling of future appointments. It also can help prevent double-booking yourself and your family.
- Plan ahead. Sometimes easier said than done; however, if you can, take some time at the end of each day to plan for the next day ahead. Also, spending a little time at the end of the week to review schedules, plan meals, coordinate transportation plans, etc. can help make the week ahead run more efficiently. Preparing extra when making meals and freezing them can also help save time with meal preparation during the week.
- Have designated areas for backpacks, toys, coats, mittens, etc. Having one area for these kinds of items can help make morning routines go a little faster. It can also help making picking up go a little quicker, too.
- Delegate responsibilities. Kids can help with some of the day-to-day household chores. Find a chore or activity that children can be responsible for. Depending on your child’s age and level of development, this could be something like folding laundry, getting the mail, or having older kids help get the younger ones ready for bed/school.
- Try not to multi-task. This is an easy thing to fall into; however, some say that when you try to multi-task you are not fully present. Try to designate a set amount of time to various tasks, even if it is just fifteen minutes. If you are able to put your full attention into the task at hand, you will often have better results.
Remember, parents, to take a little time for yourself. Whether that is twenty minutes at the beginning or end of the day just to unwind, read, meditate, or a few hours during the week to take a class, have dinner out with your partner, or get together with friends . . . whatever helps you fill your cup. This not only models good self-care for the children in your home, but can also help you feel like a more centered, less frazzled parent. Ask for help when you need it, from a friend, neighbor, sibling, or parent. You are only human and no one can do it all, all the time.
The Coalition for Children, Youth and Families is here to support all families. If you need more support or information, you can always call us for help…we’d love to hear from you! Call our toll-free number 1-800-762-8063 or we can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.