A look at ways to make more time in your day as a parent is a guest post by Jill Barat
Jill Barat, is a Doctor of Pharmacy at Strut Health with a unique background in specialty pharmacy, innovative compounding products, supplements, and integrative medicine with a passion for helping patients live their best lives.
7 Ways To Make More Time In Your Day As A Parent
Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, you work from home, or you work out of the house but are struggling to make more time for family when you are home, there are always a few tips you can use to maximize the time in your day.
There are always things that need to get done, but some things seem to take so much longer when you are also taking care of your kids. Below, we will cover a few tips and tricks that you can use to try and maximize quality time with your family, while maintaining a sustainable schedule, and getting things done.
Wake up an hour or two before the kids
It is tempting to tap that snooze button until right before you need to wake the kids up. But, if you can manage to wake up an hour or two before the rest of the household, you may find that you are setting yourself up for a more relaxing, productive, and satisfying day.
Starting your morning with rushing around to get everyone ready can start your day off on the wrong foot. Instead, have a quiet morning slow-start. Grab your favorite caffeinated beverage, get breakfast prepped and ready, do some morning stretching, jot down your to-do list for the day, or just gaze out the window for a minute or two.
A calm and intentional hour or two when you first wake up can set the stage for a more streamlined day. Give it a try for a few weeks, and you won’t even miss that extra hour or two of shut-eye.
Use telehealth doctor’s appointments when possible
We’ve all been there. You or your little one wake up with something going on (rash, pink-eye, a fever), and you know that today is going to have to be a doctor’s visit day.
All too often, a visit to the doctor for a usually run-of-the-mill issue can tank your productivity for the whole day (not to mention, wear out a little one who already isn’t feeling well).
With telemedicine, you can now often find online virtual doctor’s visits for easily diagnosable situations. Does your little one have a rash or an earache? You may be able to get a diagnosis online, and swing by the pharmacy to pick up any required prescriptions within an hour. This creates more time for resting and healing, and less time waiting in the doctor’s office.
Maybe you, as the parent, have something going on that you need to be checked out like acne that won’t quit, hair that seems to be thinning, or a toenail fungus situation. If you are struggling to find the right day to make an appointment, telehealth services may be able to help you get treatment online and have prescriptions shipped to your door in days. Minor issues could potentially be handled in an hour online after the kids are asleep or napping, instead of taking up half a day driving around town.
Invest in a daily/weekly/monthly planner – Ways To Make More Time In Your Day As A Parent
Sometimes all it takes to make your day more productive is to get your to-do list out of your head and onto some paper.
Invest in a daily/weekly/monthly planner that is small enough to fit in your usual purse/bag so that you can whip it out and add things as they come up. Did you run into a friend that invited you to dinner this weekend? Jot it down. Do you need to give the dog its flea medication on the first of every month? Notate it for the rest of the year and move on.
Sometimes your day can feel more hectic because you have a mental to-do list stressing you out. Try to organize your day each morning with the daily section of your planner and you may find it going much more smoothly than usual.
Stick to a nighttime routine for the kids
If your evenings with the family are too unscheduled you may not be able to find the time to fit in the things you want to get done, like laundry, self-care, or wrapping up that work presentation.
Start early with introducing a rough schedule for the kids, like always having dinner at 6 pm or bedtime at 10 pm. You don’t have to go overboard planning out every moment, but by having a relatively fixed time for meals and bedtimes, you can start figuring out when you can work on other things you want to accomplish.
Ways To Make More Time In Your Day As A Parent – Meal plan and prep on Sundays
If you are cooking and planning every meal on the fly, it can start to seem like you are always in the kitchen.
Most people have a more casual day on Sunday, so take a few hours and meal plan and prep on that day to buy yourself more time throughout the week.
Go ahead and pre-make your lunches for work for the week and have them ready to grab in the morning, or, if you know some afternoons are going to be particularly busy, whip up an easy dinner that can be frozen or stored in the fridge for a few days.
It takes a little discipline to carve out the planning and prepping day, but once you see how much time and energy it can save during a hectic week when you input these ways to make more time in your day as a parent , this are tips you will likely hold on to.
Join in on your “screen-free” time rules
Parents are pretty quick to point out when the kids have used up their allotted “screen time” for the day, but they may be overlooking just how much time they are wasting scrolling on their devices.
Wasted time on your phone or computer can turn out to be much more than you expected. If you already have “screen time” rules for the kids, try them out for yourself as well for a few days and see if you feel like there is more productive time in your day.
Involve your kids in your exercise schedule
Your exercise routine may be one of the first things that goes when you are faced with a busy schedule, but it doesn’t have to be.
Just because it is trickier to sneak off to your yoga class or lift weights in the gym when you have kids in tow, doesn’t mean you have to give up exercise altogether.
Think about activities that can allow you to spend time with your family and kids while also getting a pretty good workout in. Bike riding, speed walking around the local park, rollerblading, and swimming together can be great ways to stay active while spending time with your family.
As a bonus, you will instill into your kids the importance of physical activity and staying healthy.
Ways To Make More Time In Your Day As A Parent is a feature post