It’s widely accepted that parenting is the hardest job we’ll ever do in life – while also being the most rewarding. However, finding time to juggle all of life’s responsibilities can often feel an insurmountable challenge. Staying on top of your work, spending time with friends, socialising, visiting extended family, doing the household shop . . . they all take time and place demands on parents already busy looking after young ones.
Finding ways to save time will help you relax more and relieve the stresses of everyday life. Here are five ways you could free up more of your day and put your time to better use.
Plan the clothing you’ll wear that week
On a Sunday evening, take a moment to plan the outfits you’ll wear that week – everything from your shoes to your dresses and accessories. Most people aren’t at their best in the morning and you’ll likely have a hard enough time trying to get your kids awake, washed and ready – never mind trying to look after yourself. By working out what you’re going to wear that coming week, you’ll save yourself considerable time and stress each day.
Agree a schedule and rules – and stick to them
Spend some time working out a household schedule and rules that work for everyone – you, your partner (if you have one) and your kids. If everyone already knows the rules, you’ll spend far less time discussing or arguing what can and can’t be done.
For example, having a fixed time for dinner lets kids know they can’t stay out late after school playing. Agreeing when your kids need to go to bed will also save you countless arguments at night. Even things like agreeing on the bathroom schedule in the mornings can save pointless quarrels (particularly with teens). As a rule, kids work better to schedules and if they already know the rules, they’re far less likely to break them.
Order food in, once in a while
As a parent, you’re likely not keen on feeding your kids the typical junk food served by burger or pizza takeaways but there is now a huge range of pre-made, gourmet meals available which are suitable for even the most discerning of tastes. For example, vegetarian and vegan meal specialist, jikonilondon.com offers complete meals (available hot or cold) and weekly subscriptions delivered straight to your door.
Ordering pre-prepared dishes will save you considerable time prepping food and doing the washing-up afterwards. Not only that, you’ll likely find you vary your diet more and may even find inspiration for creating your own dishes.
Keep important items in the same place
How often have you been rushing to leave only to find you’ve misplaced your house keys? Give important items like keys, mobile phones, your handbag etc a home. If you already know where things are, you’ll save yourself frantically searching each time you’re going out. Indeed, the same applies to any household items you commonly use e.g. paper, important documents or TV remotes etc.
Learn to delegate
Most kids are inherently lazy – it’s not their fault, they have far more important things to think about like SpongeBob SquarePants. Giving your children simple household tasks will save you a lot of time doing mundane chores. If you give your kids an allowance, agree a set of jobs they need to do to earn it – e.g. setting/clearing the dinner table, helping with the washing-up or keeping their room clean. Having your kids do tasks to earn money is also a valuable life-lesson and helps prepare them for work later in life.