“Is spending more time with my child even possible? Between work, chores and changing nappies, I rarely have a second to spare.” Sounds familiar? See how even the slightest change in your daily schedule and your perspective can translate into more fun-time.
Rise and sleep early
You can steal a few minutes by getting up a little earlier. Use this time to nurse our baby before the rest of the family claims your time. Going to bed early will help you get into this routine.
Do preparations the night before
Many chores can be dealt with in that quiet hour after the kids have been put to sleep. If your baby has to go to nursery school, pack your baby’s bag, prepare milk bottles, and clean implements. Take care of your own lunch and outfit for the next day.
Look and feel good in less time
Following a beauty routine can be time-consuming and rob you of time you could’ve spent with your baby. However, avoiding a beauty routine altogether is not the answer either. Maintain a balance by simplifying the process. Get a wash-and-go hairstyle and minimise your make-up. Your aim is maximum results in as little as possible time. Test a few make-up and hair styling products on the market specifically made for easy-wear. If your body has not returned to its former glory yet, spruce up your pre-pregnancy clothing with a few new basic items.
If you haven’t had use for it in a year’s time, chuck it. Opt for clear and open surfaces and floors. While decorating the house goes a long way in lifting one’s spirits, rather invest in good functional decor and get rid of the purely decorative items. Not only will this help you cut back on cleaning time, but it will also make the environment even safer for your baby or toddler.
Focus on storage. Every item needs to be assigned to an easily accessible bin to eliminate spending hours collecting scattered toys, laundry, baby products, and so on. Assigning tasks to members of your family will reduce the overall time spent on chores and teach responsibility to children as young as two years. Try to keep to set times for chores.
Easy does it
Use easily maintained items in your home. Opt for the easily washable, one-step comforter, rather than using a duvet that leaves you with two items to wash and takes two steps to assemble. Buy wrinkle-free clothing to cut back on ironing.
Plan to plan
Set out a day during the week to dot down your to do’s for the week. Setting up a routine will go a long way in removing stressors and automatically crossing off those items on your list. Plan your events and easy half-hour meals. When you cook, try to cook double meals and freeze half of it, like a bolognaise sauce or soup.
Wiping away shopping woes
Keep a shopping list on your fridge to dot down finished items, effectively avoiding scrambling around at the last minute and numerous trips to the store. Get a babysitter once a month so you can do the grocery shopping with less effort. It will save hours and you’ll avoid those embarrassing temper-tantrums in the middle of the grocery store, or the extra sweet or toy that never should’ve left the shelf.
Your day can easily be filled with activities others have planned for you. Though social interaction for both you and your child are important, limiting these are advisable. Saying no extends to more than external events. Saying no to activities within the home could also be healthy and help avoid incomplete projects and burnout.
Say no to too many distractions. If it’s peace and quiet you need, switch off the television and introduce story time. Steve and Ruth Bennet, parents and co-authors of activity books – including 365 TV-free Activities You Can Do With Your Child – suggest a Reading Tree. Claim a tree in the great outdoors for story time, and read them their favourite books while sitting on a blanket enjoying the fresh breeze.
Don’t take yourself too seriously
Try to have fun while doing the mundane. Put on some soothing music and shake that bum. A lighter mood could lighten that of your whole family.