When you are a parent, time seems to be at a premium. Most parents of a first child feel overwhelmed by parental duties to infants and toddlers. They rarely rest easy until their offspring begins pre-school or kindergarten. Yet, there are ways to manage time so it is divided according to children’s and parents’ needs.
Objective Overview of Time vs Parental Duties
Every parent scratches their head when they feel time has slipped through their fingers and they’ve left much unaccomplished. This is the point where a parent needs to outline their daily routines and create an objective overview of how much time they are spending on each duty.
For example, there are almost always parents who find they must run errands to the grocery store, pharmacy, dry cleaners or to shop for their children’s needs.
The way to increase management of your time is to study locations of these errands and piggyback them on a timely, defined travel route.
Take note of the best times of the day when errands can be done without being stuck in traffic or might interfere with children’s nap time and other activities.
Most school age children’s activities take place after school. You know these activity times are set in stone making it easy to work around them.
A modern solution is to embrace online apps. You can do your grocery shopping online and go pick up without having to take the kids out of the car. You can also order prescription refills from your pharmacy with an online app.
Whether or not you are a working parent, distractions are not beneficial to increase time management. As an adult, we need to be self-disciplined to avoid time wasting distractions like lengthy phone calls, detours away from duties at hand or idle daydreaming.
Prioritizing Parenting vs Free Time
Try to view parenting duties through the prism of routine vs. non-routine tasks. If you can see a pattern to your daily tasks, these are part of a routine you can complete more quickly. If there a non-routine tasks, decide which can be delayed until you have more free time.
Exam specific daily duties
One way to increase time management is to look closely at how you perform your specific daily duties. For instance, housework is better left when children are occupied.
If children are old enough, share tasks with them such as dusting, vacuuming or just picking up of clutter. Impress upon them they are sharing and that allows both of you more free time to enjoy activities together.
Providing recreational activities for parent and children
Not all recreational activities need to be regimented. Make games of your daily duties to increase free time. Then when there is free time, provide recreational activities like short hikes, a lunchtime picnic or a trip to the library.
When time for a parent is so valuable, there are five ways to add quality and value to time spent as if it was part of the household budget.