6 Ways to Make Parenting Less Chaotic
Here are six things to start today to make parenting a little bit easier for you.
Parenting can be stressful for most people and many parents face burnout or stress. This is understandable as keeping up with your children whilst providing the best you can is a full time job. Here are six tips on how to reduce the chaos and get more organised.
1. Manage your expectations
Sometimes you might find yourself overloaded with work whilst nursing a teething child. At other times you might need to study with your child and make up for lost time after they have gone to sleep. All of these events can cause us stress but it is important to accept that they are part of life. If your housework suffers as a consequence or you need to order takeaway meals, that’s okay. There will always be something that has to give in stressful situations, especially when your family is involved. Give yourself permission to be okay with that and know that you can’t be everywhere at once.
2. Have a family calendar
It is easy to forget an appointment or a parent’s evening. You might think that you will remember when the time comes but chances are you probably won’t. My trick is to create a shared calendar for the family; this can be a digital or a physical calendar. When you have any recurring or one-off events add it to the calendar. This is a really simple way to manage your time and get everyone on board with anything you might have planned. Get into the habit of checking your calendar and get the whole family involved (if your children are old enough).
3. Don’t have fixed plans
It is best to avoid fixed plans, especially with younger children. Sometimes this is inevitable but the best activities are those that offer flexibility and freedom for you and your children. If your children are older, plans are easier to keep. However younger children and toddlers tend to disrupt plans. Instead, you can offer activities that are not time constrained and if it needs booking plan ahead. Offer a shortlist of activities that suit you and stay local if you prefer.
4. Meal plan
There are a couple of benefits to meal planning. Firstly it can save money. Secondly it can save you time. Having a meal plan will improve your shopping and making dinner will become less stressful later on during the week. You can cook in bulk or during the day. Consider your pantry and fridge items, make the most of food nearing its end. If your children are fully weaned try to make one family meal, this will not only make your life easier but also teach good eating habits.
5. Delegate tasks
Often the daily grind of our lives can leave us with little to no time for ourselves. This is a concern for many parents. Try to reduce your workload, if you are in a position to and you can, delegate jobs; remember you don’t have to do everything. You can get other members of your family to help or even pay for services such as cleaning, gardening, and childcare.
6. Mistakes are opportunities for learning
When we are stressed or overworked we are not always patient or gentle. If you do lose your temper or raise your voice, allow yourself some space to recover and repair any connections with your family. Mistakes do not make you less worthy but should be seen as an opportunity to learn and improve.
- Parenting is hard, try to go easy on yourself
- Manage your expectations and evaluate what is important to you
- Organise your life with a calendar, at least the logistic side of it. It will be one less thing to worry about
- Be flexible with the plans you have
- If you do have a fixed appointment, plan ahead
- Meal planning and prep will reduce chaos around meal times
- Delegate tasks to other family members
- Pay for services if you can afford it
- Mistakes don’t make you a bad parent, use them as opportunities to develop
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