Finding work-life balance as a parent is a difficult task. Just managing your own work, hobbies, and personal care can be a lot. Then adding in parenting responsibilities can make it easy to get overwhelmed. When dropping kids off at school, picking them up, and arranging any other appointments, it can quickly feel like there’s not enough time left in the day.
Effectively managing a family is a full-time job in itself, but parents often struggle to find the time to prioritize those tasks. Any way to save a few minutes is welcomed by most people, especially parents who can spend saved time with their kiddos. If you are a working parent, you may find yourself struggling to stay afloat. Take the guesswork out of your family schedule and save time with these three quick tips.
1. Online Services Save Time and Sanity
A lot of what takes up parents’ precious time is driving here, there, and everywhere. From soccer practice to the grocery store, it’s easy to feel stuck waiting in lines and traffic. Obviously, it’s not possible to cut out every line, but there are a few to eliminate.
Making sure your family is healthy is a top priority for every household. Keeping up with prescriptions and office visits for everyone can be very time-consuming. It is also just hard to find an available appointment that fits nicely into life’s schedule.
Fortunately in the age of technology, there is an online solution. Visiting doctors online can save drive time and filling medications. According to HealthTap, most online prescriptions can be filled by your pharmacy in less than four hours. It is now as simple as using a smartphone to chat with a doctor and get an online prescription. This tool could be a lifesaver when it comes to smaller appointments and getting needed medications.
Another necessary, but time-stealing, chore is grocery shopping. Not only do you have to try not to get distracted while shopping, but the checkout lines can be so long. Getting groceries is obviously not a chore you can skip, but there are new ways to do it now. There are time-saving options such as curbside pick up and having them delivered to your door. You can enjoy feeding your family without having the hassle of running up and down the shopping aisles.
2. Preparation Limits Time Wasted in the Kitchen
Even if you save time shopping, getting dinner ready is a time-consuming task throughout the week. By the time everyone gets home from daycare, school, and work, there is barely enough time left in the day. While picking up fast food or something quick on the way home may seem like a good solution, it is not feasible every night. There has got to be a way to save time and enjoy a healthy family meal at home.
One way to combat the weekday time battle is to set up a meal prep session at the beginning of the week. Preparing a few meals and lunches ahead of time will save you several hours a night and leave room for what matters most. If you do not want to commit to cooking full meals ahead of time, a similar method is batch cooking.
Batch cooking means that you are still preparing beforehand, but instead of full meals, you are prepping ingredients or base items. It is kind of like preparing parts of different meals that you can grab and go to make different dishes throughout the week. For example, you could cook a batch of chicken when preparing. Then throughout the week, you could put it on salads, make tacos, or even put some on a sandwich. Batch cooking provides a little bit of flexibility where meal prepping does not.
If you are looking to cut down on preparation completely, there is also a variety of services looking to simplify that for you. The heat and eat industry has come up in the world in terms of nutrition and quality. A quick Google search will land several options of meal kit subscription services to match your family’s needs. Many of them are also diet-friendly and can help you avoid certain allergens if needed. You no longer have to feel guilty for choosing the fast way to save time in your day.
3. Assigning Chores Divides the Workload
Everyone has probably heard the phrase, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” When trying to manage a household and make the most out of the hours in a day, this message holds true. Dividing small household chores to the members of your family saves the workload from falling on just one or two people. There are many ways to divide up tasks into age-appropriate chores.
You may receive some complaints from the younger members of your household, but there are ways to reinforce helpful behavior and make it fun. Try giving the kids an initiative to complete these tasks such as a point system to earn special treats or initiatives. Be sure to keep the rewards age appropriate as well. Earning a family movie night of their choice would be fun for your third grader. Your teenager, however, may need an extended curfew to do something with friends.
Delegating housework will save busy parents some time and teach children responsibility. Doing this also teaches self-help skills and independence, which saves you even more time in the long run. Think of what you can do when you’re not looking for your child’s jersey because they washed it themselves. There will be more time to breathe in the morning rush before school when your kids pack lunch themselves.
It’s easy to wish for more hours in a day. Unfortunately, that’s a wish that won’t come true. Saving time for your family is important, although a challenge.
Don’t forget there are ways to save time. Choose delivery and online services to skip a line here and there. Simplify meals by preparing ahead of time. When it comes to managing the house upkeep, it’s best to divide and conquer. Your family will thank you for the time better spent together, and you’ll likely enjoy it too.