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Multi-tasking tips for better productivity as a parent
Don't you wish at times that you could clone yourself? A typical parenting day is complicated and hazardous, with your presence required somewhere and everywhere every minute of the day.
As a mother of four children I do have a lot on my plate, from the crying baby to the attention seeking child, the housework to be completed, the relative who needs a helping hand... Yes there definitely is not enough of “parent” to go around. Therefore the solution is not to run off in anguish, but find ways to be an efficient multi-tasker which in turn will turn your parenting skills up a notch.
Here are some tips to turn on and turn up the productivity.
1. Do-it-all parents are not allowed: Nowhere in the game of parenting does it say you have to be a super-parent, meaning someone who does it all. If you're trying to be the working mother, doting daughter, accomplished housekeeper or Michelin star chef, then it will eventually start to take a toll on your sanity and mental health. Yes, there will be days that the children will just have to do with a sandwich rather than a three course meal, and that is okay! Learn to make the important things your priority rather than let them slide because you were trying to do it all.
2. It's okay to get help: There is no shame in outsourcing tasks or getting someone to help you with the kids. Yes you want your house cleaned in a certain way, but why spend all your precious time doing that rather than spending time with the kid? Delegate and go make memories with your kids.
3. Be organised: Yes it might sound boring and when do you have the time to do this, and anyway it never works out the way you want... Oh yes the list of excuses are endless. Just get pen and paper and even if they're mundane tasks, write them down, make a list and tick them off. In your hurried state this will actually be therapeutic and will calm the madness for in that moment when you know you are not getting anything done, refer to your plan of action and just get on with it.
4. Remember the children: Remember that, whether you have one or many, children are also individuals with their own thoughts and ideas. Sometimes they like to express their views rather than always be told what to do. So rather than waste time with tantrums and arguments, know your children and parent accordingly. Each one might need to be treated differently, but more will get done and you will progress further as a parent.
5. Create successful habits: As a parent with plenty to do, it is important to create successful habits. For example during the mornings with kids away, you will do the cooking for the day. This should become a habit. These little successful ways of managing your time will help with churning out the bigger picture - that is successfully raising your children.
6. Time for self: Yes, you are busy, yes you have a million tasks to complete, but remember - a tired out, sleep deprived, irritable you, is not going to be useful to anyone. Remember to find the “me” time to recoup, rejuvenate and be able to meet the parenting force, head on!
"Sometimes the day just overwhelms me. I feel like I am always rushing around doing things for the kids, with no time for myself or other projects. Every day is a battle" - Inoka, stay at home mother of two children, aged 5 & 10
"My family and I have a plan of action on how thinks should work. My husband does the morning routine, I focus more on the evening. We make sure we spend time with our little one, it's all about being organised" - Anne, working mother with one child, aged 9
Text by Mayuri Jayasinghe