By definition, parents are busy, parents working outside the home as well take busy to an extreme! I witnessed the extreme LIFE when I did a grandnanny shift recently. Young families have a LOT on their plates!
NO one can do everything on their own (you remember Hillary’s It takes a village….) so look outward to see how to ease some of the burdens of day-to-day working, parenting and living.
Below are some tips to make your LIFE run smoother and easier!
• Housekeeping chores—there are very few people I’ve known who don’t think they should devote more time towards cleaning, sweeping or folding. BUT there are only so many hours in the day! Some families opt for professional cleaning services; many others make a concerted effort to enlist their family members. With the whole family involved, the message that family work is a shared family responsibility comes across loud and clear! Start by discussing with your significant other all the things that need to be done. This article does a great job in sorting out who does what and to what degree. Keeping family members on task with chores are a lot easier with organizational tools like my friend’s Sarah Barnard’s Chart ala Carte.
• Do you have kidlets in school and/or daycare? Sometimes getting them up and out of bed…let alone out the door and/or in the car…is challenging. Try bringing PLAY into your morning! I wrote a piece for 3o Seconds that’ll make coming to the breakfast table something your kiddo wants to do!
• Speaking of food…homemade food is usually more healthful and economical. If your kiddos are too young to make their own lunches, consider doing them en masse for the coming week. Hard to imagine? I get it, but making use of time management tricks like bundling up the lunch making process frees up time in the end. Read this to see exactly how you do it!
• Speaking of kiddos in school…many times they have extracurricular activities. Getting them to and from those activities can sometimes be difficult! Arranging carpools is always an option, but what if most of the families have both parents working outside the home…the likelihood of one of them being available to ferry the pack to practice or a game gets shaky. And maybe your kiddo has a coach like one
of my son’s (“(Arriving) On time is late” 😨 ) Instead of risking being ‘late’ or missing out completely look to Pogo Rides—it’s kind of like Uber for getting kids’ to activities.
• Maybe your kiddo’s aren’t old enough for public (or full-time private) school and, yet, too young to be home alone while you’re at work. You’ve done your due diligence and have interviewed, checked references, and visited child care options—beit home daycare settings, nannies, or au pairs—but even with all that planning there will be times when your regularly scheduled child care isn’t sufficient. Say your partner goes out of town and you’re required at work before child care opens, there’s always need for back-up care so plan for it! Companies like Sound Care Agency help families with their child care emergencies.
• Working parents are still parents and their number one job is parenting. Parents are their children’s 1st and most important teachers. Not all parents are early childhood educators though and that’s where Play & Grow™ comes in! Play & Grow understands parents don’t have the luxury of spare time. That’s why Play & Grow™ is committed to making it easier for them to let their children PLAY! Our Go PLAY Activity Cards™ note detailed material lists and step-by-step plans for hands-on, play-based activities for meaningful moments of learning parents can do with their kiddos. Parents will save time and energy—precious commodities!!– referring to the Cards AND will create priceless memories engaging with their children.
Of course, you can’t get help if you don’t ask. So let people know how they can help! If you have difficulty asking for help read this for guidance.
Parenting is a full time job. Having realistic expectations of your child and what you/your partner can do is important too. Self-care is also important for everyone, but especially so for parents and critically so for parents who also work outside the home. Re-read 3 Key Points for Parents on Play to help set your expectations plus remember to look for the short meditation—that’s a great tool to add in your self-care toolkit!
Yours in Play!