There is no denying that parenting can sometimes be profoundly difficult. While caring for your little one is a joyful process by which precious memories are made, juggling work and family life is challenging. Identifying hacks, shortcuts, and coping methods can be lifesaving, giving you more time and energy to focus on more important things, like spending time with your children.
Here are some helpful tips for coping with life as a busy mom, dad or caregiver.
Mornings are notoriously stressful for busy families. Getting everybody up and ready for school, college and work can feel like a military operation, particularly on dreary mornings when staying in bed is the more desirable option. Avoid the chaos by organising your children’s outfits into labelled drawers or bins, making getting dressed one less thing to worry about.
As a busy parent or caregiver, it can be easy to let the household chores slide. However, once the clutter mounts up, your home becomes an overwhelming, chaotic environment. Avoid letting things get out of control by cleaning little and often each day. It may be worth tying the 15-minute cleaning schedule, whereby you set a timer for 15 minutes, doing as much as you can in this short allocated time slot.
As mentioned previously, mornings in a busy household can be rushed and disorderly. To make as little work as possible for yourself when you’ve barely finished your morning coffee, prepare as much as you can the night before. This might involve preparing packed lunches, setting the breakfast table or laying out school uniforms - whatever works to make the following morning a breeze.
Running a household and caring for a family leaves minimal time for self-care, hobbies and relaxation. While you may go above and beyond for your loved ones, it is vital to safeguard your own physical and mental well-being. Allowing yourself time for small acts of self-care each evening can do wonders for your welfare. Once the kids are in bed, apply a soothing facemask, watch your favourite movie or enjoy a glass of wine.
One of the most damaging things you can do as a parent is to compare yourself to others. Pitting yourself against other parents is a surefire way to make your confidence and motivation plummet. While that one friend or colleague may seem more successful and capable, they are likely dealing with their own set of problems. Focus on yourself and your family, and you’ll soon notice the positive difference in your self-esteem.
Regular doses of fresh air will do wonders for your family’s well-being and immune system. While you may not have time for daily outdoor escapades, it is vital to grab any opportunity you can. Grab the baby stroller and take a quick walk around your local park, or visit a nature reserve for an exciting educational experience.
Clutter soon builds up when various household items don’t have homes. Nothing is worse than being late for school/work and unable to find necessities like keys or homework. Make sure everything has its place, from the kids’ toys to your reading glasses - this way, you know where everything is and tidy-up time is made remarkably easier. Furthermore, demonstrating good organisational habits will have a positive impact on your children.
Dragging your children around a busy supermarket when you’re all tired and irritable is a recipe for disaster. While the cupboards may be bare, there are alternative methods of providing your household with fresh, healthy meals. Consider shopping online or subscribing to a meal kit company, so you can keep the fridge stocked, and your family fed without the hassle.
Speaking of minimising hassle, if you can afford to outsource help, it can make family life substantially easier to cope with. That said, booking a weekly household cleaning service can be much more affordable than you might think. You can enlist help for various everyday household tasks and dilemmas you may be struggling with - everything from tutoring to gardening to party planning.