Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Making a Parent's Life Easier

Within the past couple of weeks I've had a couple of friends observe me at home (not in a creepy way, we were hanging out and I was multitasking) and comment that I make "it" (being a parent) look so easy.

*Giggle* Easy?!

Another one said, "You don't freak out, you just roll with it." Why yes I do, otherwise I'd be in constant freak out mode and that helps nobody.

So what do I do that makes "it" easy? Read on. Will all of these work for you and your fam? Maybe not. But one may help and if so, that's awesome.

1) Make schedules. For example, we menu plan and I type it out and it goes on the bulletin board. As I'm making the menu for the week I keep in mind what meals are super easy and the days we could use super easy. If you have multiple family members with activities, make a calendar so everyone can see. Use the calendar to plan ("Well I could grocery shop while Ryan's at soccer practice" if you don't mind missing soccer practice). I even have a cleaning schedule and I don't break it unless there's a disaster. You know why? The toilet can really wait to be cleaned until Saturday (its scheduled day). Nobody will die if we wait until Saturday. Now if they will, that's another story.

2) Multitask. Laundry going, dishwasher going, vacuuming, while my hair is dying? Done it. Just remember you can't multitask things that take a lot if brain power!

3) Plan ahead. If you have 5 minutes, do what will need to be done for later. Prepare dinner (OK that takes longer than 5 minutes). Set out the kids' clothes and pajamas. Or better yet make them do it! This way, when that activity (i.e. making dinner) comes up, you're not scrambling. It's leisurely. Scrambling is stressful.

4) Do now for a better later. If you have kids, they want a relaxed and undivided you. They don't want Texting Mommy or On Work Email Daddy. So if you can do that stuff now to spend a block of time with them later...well that's what I'd do.

5) Most important: give yourself a break. I mean this in two ways. First, literally, take some time for yourself when there's nobody saying, "Mommy? I ha some cheese? Mommy? I watch Handy Manny? Mommy?" (or is that just my house?). Second, forget other people and seriously give yourself a break - the vacuuming will get done eventually (on Sunday says the schedule), and you ARE a good parent even if you don't look like the neighbor who has five kids (and a nanny). Give yourself a break. This isn't Mommy Wars. We're not competing.

What, if any, of these suggestions are you planning on trying? What may work for you and your family? Do you have any other suggestions to add to the list?


  1. hello Liz,

    I Like what you say about multi-tasking and list making. Sometimes I let my self down here, but I know if we didn't multi-task life would be harder.

    I will try and plan life more and my kids may get more of me.

    thank you for this


  2. LOVE! I am such a planner and a task person. I have my Google calendar for work and personal, then I use a notebook for to do tasks and a hunny do list. I try to make my menu on Sundays and then my husband shops for everything on Mondays. I am a big multitasker. The giving myself a break part, always a work in progress.

  3. I like the "make schedules for everyone" recommendation. Why I have always written schedules down for myself and the family, it took me way too long to figure out that I needed to have one schedule with EVERYTHING on it.

    Rachel recently posted The 16 Habits of Highly Unsuccessful People

  4. I really LOVE all your recommendations. They are all important and I think or at least I know I do occasionally forget most especially the one where we should "give yourself a break".

  5. Multi tasking is a necessity when you have many kids. Teaching them to do all the jobs is a good thing. Now that most of them are away from home, they have thanked me. IT wasn't easy while they were growing up tho.