10 Tips for Working Parents

time_stands_stillAs a full time working mom I sometimes find myself out of time. No time for anything but still lots of things that I feel need to be done. I am so blessed that I am not a single working mom and that my husband is willing and happy to do his part to make things happen in our home.  Now that we have a teen and a 5 year old we almost have this two working parents, school aged children, and a mostly clean house thing down to a science.

Tips for Working Parents to make it easier…

  1. Get up before everyone else: I get up an hour before everyone and am showered, made-up, and dressed before I even see another family member. I usually have time to read my Bible and surf the web for a few minutes before the rest of the family starts to stir. Being ready to go before the others are up will free you to help the kids.
  2. Only grocery shop one time a week:   It is a waste of time to have to go to the store every few days. Make a menu for the week and ensure that all ingredients for all meals are on the grocery list. Check non-grocery items prior to shopping to ensure that you have enough to last the week.
  3. Keep a running shopping list:  When you are low on a grocery or household item put it on a list, add to the list as needed. This will make composing your list on shopping day easier and you will be less likely to forget a needed item.
  4. Communication Folders: If you have elementary children take care of their communication folder the minute you walk in the door.  Have your school age kid clean out their lunch box, and pack what they can right then. My daughter gets her “pre-packed juice and other items or fruit” and I do the rest quickly in the morning. If you have teens give them the 3rd degree concerning homework right when they walk in the door, and make them responsible for their own lunch.
  5. Train you kids to help:  My kids have chores that they do to help with dinner prep and getting out the door each morning. Even though she is only 5 Madilyn sweeps the floor after dinner, packs most of her own lunch, picks out her clothing and so much more. Her independence is helpful.
  6. Plan outfits ahead of time:  All family members should decide the night before what they are wearing. There should be no searching for shoes, sweaters or clean under ware.  Every night after dinner I layout my clothing for the next day, and so do my kids.  Both of my kids don’t dare to come downstairs on a school day without being dressed for the day.
  7. Don’t give a choice for breakfast:  I used to give my kids a choice. However, I found that it took my daughter way too long to decide. Now she gets whatever I decide to serve.
  8. Keep up with laundry:  Put a load in the washer when you get up in the morning and if it is finished washing before you leave move it to the dyer.  Then fold it after dinner while watching one of your favorite television shows.  I will be honest much of the time we don’t get to the actual folding for a few days.  However, when we keep up with laundry on a daily basis it is nice.
  9. Declutter the main living areas:  each night my son cleans the kitchen and my daughter cleans the living room. This helps the house to stay mostly clutter free and it looks clean.  David and I help out with these tasks so it only takes about 10 minutes. It is time well spent. We are teaching our kids skills they will need in the future and making our home comfortable.
  10. Use alarm clocks for children:  Don’t spend time trying to get your kids up. Teach them to wake up to an alarm. If your child is like mine you may need to make a rule that they are not allowed to come downstairs until the alarm goes off.

We found that these things were easy to incorporate into our daily lives, and they quickly became habit. Gone are the days of hurry or we are going to be late moments. Gone are the days of me feeling like I have to do everything myself. We are a family so it is up to all of us to make our household work and run smoothly.

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