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Surviving a Hectic Week: Four Tips for Busy Parents

Life is frantic, to say the least, and if you have children, you know there is always something going on. It's challenging to find time in a busy day to stop, connect, and smell the coffee. Being a working parent is a financial necessity for many, while others value the work/life balance that comes with a career. It's crucial to remember that the quality of time spent together is just as important (or sometimes more important) as the quantity. Being a parent means you need to learn time management skills. To survive a hectic week, follow these four tips, and you may find that implementing them as part of your routine will help your weeks to become less hectic.

Be Organized

Your home doesn’t have to be immaculately clean but if your household is well-organized, life will go a lot more smoothly. Set up systems whereby the family keeps track of their own belongings. Have a space where everyone hangs jackets and backpacks and places their keys. More than a few minutes are often wasted running around looking for things when you need to leave the house.

This also implies that the remainder of your house is reasonably well-organized. If every object has its place, then it’s much easier to locate items in a hurry. Then after use, the things are returned to their original location.

Be Prepared

Set a routine that works for your family. These can help generate some order in an otherwise chaotic day, especially when it comes to the insanity of parenthood. Having routines and being prepared frees up time and mental space to allow you to take a breather after dinner rather than catching up on laundry duties or running to the grocery store for essentials! Being prepared can afford you that extra time to sit around the table enjoying your favorite cup of coffee made with Gourmesso capsules while the children tell you about their day at school. There is no better quality time than communicating with your children.

Menu and meal planning is another way you can be prepared. Involve the whole family so that meals can be easy, pre-prepared, or even portable on days when there are activities at dinner time. You can also set out uniforms and pack lunch boxes the night before to ensure you are well prepared.


Technology is Your Friend

Always keep a running “to-do list” with you and then commit these to your calendar. Many people still prefer to use paper calendars with big blocks of enough space to write everything in, while others have turned to technology. Technology has also come a long way in terms of assisting in scheduling. Google Calendar is a fantastic, free tool where you can color-code all your family's activities, places, and repeated dates, sync it to your smartphone, and grant access to anybody who needs it.

Every morning, check your (paper or digital) calendar to see what is planned for the day and change it as needed. This will allow you to keep track of each family member's numerous must-dos and appointments!

If your work takes you on the road, embrace technology to stay connected. This is a great survival tactic for a hectic week. Skype is a fantastic tool – you can even read your child his or her bedtime story when you are away.


Share the Load

Responsibilities in the home should be shared. Delegating chores may initially be a challenge – but make it fair, fun, and rewarding. Children can and should be given age-appropriate duties from a young age. While getting everyone on board will take time and effort upfront, it will pay dividends in the long term. Each duty that another family member completes that you used to do frees up time for you to accomplish something else. Giving oneself the gift of time is a wonderful thing to do. And it is vital for your mental health! When your child has a role and responsibilities in the home, you are also investing in their development as better, more self-sufficient humans.

Next time you have a hectic week ahead, remember these tips and apply them to your life. You will find yourself not only surviving but flourishing!