Being a parent is a tough job, and this becomes clear when your children reach toddlerhood and beyond. Living with children will be difficult, even chaotic at times. There is no way around it. Laundry, toys, driving, school and extracurriculars, housework, sports, clubs, not to mention meal times, going anywhere in public, toilet training, playdates and homework, and so much more all play a part. The good news is, you can contain this chaos; there are ways to simplify life when you have small children. Read on to find out more.
Use One Calendar
If you have children, you are undoubtedly involved in a variety of activities. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with your own job, social, and volunteer schedule, your significant other’s schedule, and your children’s school events, extracurricular activities, and special events such as birthday parties. With only one calendar, you can keep yourself organized. If your school or coach gives you an event calendar, add those days to your single calendar. Put all of your activities on your calendar, and don’t forget about things like library book due dates, doctor’s appointments, your turn at carpool, and early pick-up day at school.
Routines are essential in every family with children, especially daily, weekly, and nightly routines. This makes everyone’s schedule predictable, establishes habits for success, and eliminates numerous disagreements. Mealtimes, bathing, cleaning and chores, schoolwork, and some exercise time are all examples of daily routines. Regular sports practices, household chores, and errands such as food shopping may all be part of a weekly schedule. A nightly routine, which is especially important for young children, can make bedtime simpler for them when they know that following cleaning up toys comes bath time, pajamas, storytime, and finally, sleep time.
Mornings are often the most hectic time of day, but preparing ahead of time will help the home operate much more smoothly. Prepare kids lunchbox ideas, get clothing ready, and gather school bags and materials for any upcoming events the night before. Check your schedule each night to see what activities you have planned so that nothing falls between the cracks. You’ll be ready to go in the morning, and the rest of your day will go more smoothly as a result of your calm start.
Make sure you have a supply of children’s essentials in your bag or vehicle. If you have babies, it means keeping a filled diaper bag at all times. For toddlers and older children, this might include additional snacks, refillable water bottles, some backup clothes for potty training or messy food accidents, a first aid kit, and a few books or small toys to keep kids busy in the vehicle or during unexpected wait periods. Even after your children are toilet trained, baby wipes are a must-have for clearing up almost any mess, from sticky fingers to spilled food and playground dirt.
Schedule Family Time
Don’t forget to plan regular relaxation time with the family, such as an evening to sit on the couch with popcorn and milkshakes to watch movies, a game night, or a weekend trip to the park. Read together, bake cookies together, whatever you like – the important thing is to spend time together that isn’t spent racing around town. Make spending time together a priority, and let family members pick the activity in turns so that everyone feels like they’re on the same side.