Mums’ Guide to Managing Time - Guest Post by Brigitte Evans
Being a mum is pretty darn close to being a superhero – if superheroes also had day jobs and organized a household on the daily. But nobody is born a perfect mother, and the only way you can learn is through trial and error. One of the skills that mums need to master as soon as possible is good time management. It is crucial to running a household and it is something that will be very specific to each family. But, there are some tips that will help you get started:
This might seem like too large of a task, but it will actually make your life so much easier in the long run. If you can’t keep all of the dates in your head (and, really, who can?), get a large whiteboard or calendar and write down all activities for all of the kids. You can also have a small personal planner that you can carry with you or use an app on your phone. This way, you can schedule kid drop-offs, pick-ups, after school activities and play dates. You can also know when you will be free to do any housework or devote the time to your own hobbies and needs.
You are not alone. Even if you are raising your children by yourself, there will always be someone – a parent, a neighbour or a friend; someone who can help you out when everything becomes simply too much. This can mean getting someone to pick up groceries for you, watch the kids for a few hours, help with the housework, pick the kids up from school and anything else that you feel you can’t handle at that moment. It’s perfectly okay to ask for help, and nobody will think you are a bad mother because of it.
Free your hands
Any mother will agree – sometimes even two hands are not enough. But it gets even harder when we’re carrying groceries, holding our baby or have our hands full of kid gear. A good way to free your hands around the house if you have a baby is to use a baby carrier, so that your baby will always be with you and feel your touch, but you will still have your hands free to get things done. If you are heading out, always choose a backpack over a shoulder bag or purse, so your hands are free to interact with your kids, and load up the stroller with everything that it can handle.
Let your kids be bored
There is a lot of pressure on mums today to always be there for their children. But this sometimes crosses the line and becomes a rule that every mum needs to entertain her child constantly. However, experts suggest it’s good for kids to be bored, and you simply can’t afford the time to be with your kids non-stop. Let them entertain themselves, play with each other, and develop their imagination.
Know your time
The worst thing that can happen to someone trying to manage and organize their time is not to know how long something will take. So you should always be prepared and know how much time you have in between each activity. If you’re not sure how long something will take, make sure you have with you your phone, a good book, or your kid’s homework, so that you are not sitting aimlessly in a waiting room or in your car. A planner will help you a great deal with that, and you will soon learn the habit of asking “How long do you expect this to take?”
Time management isn’t always straightforward and exact: you will have to pick your battles, know when to give up and sometimes accept that you can’t do everything you planned. Try to never sacrifice sleep unless absolutely necessary, because even the perfectly planned day won’t turn out well if you’re not at your best. So take it one day at a time and try to take some time for yourself to make sure you don’t lose your mind.