Parenting is a busy, challenging juggle, especially if you also have a paid job to squeeze in. It not only requires practice, it also requires support that can help you. Here are six smart hacks all busy parents should consider using.
Keep a family calendar
Gone are the days of the white board staring at you in the kitchen. Instead make an online calendar so you, your partner and your older children can access it at any time.
There are quite a few good apps around that you can use to do this. For example, the COZI family organiser brings all the tasks together, including shopping lists, to do lists, calendar, family journal and even recipes and meal planning.
If you don’t fancy an app then use the calendar on your computer – you can colour code your home or family obligations, so they are clearly separate from your work ones.
Prepare meals in advance
Planning is key to this – work out the meals in advance and prepare as much as you can the night before so if the next day is pressurised you are secure in the knowledge that this isn’t going to get on top of you when you get home.
One of the best life hacks for parents is to do some bulk cooking at the weekend. Bulk cooking can also be fun if the family can help do it as well. You can then freeze some and have the rest lined up for the beginning of the week.
Get the kids involved in helping you out
Whilst children have homework, they can still help you out. By doing some chores around the house they become a member of the team and can learn a lot about life and resilience through doing them.
This can be a way for them to earn a little pocket money or allowance and in this way, they can also learn the value of money. If they are part of the team it makes them feel good about supporting you as well.
You may need to say no to some things
Allow yourself a guilt free ‘No’ if you need the space. School events, PTA requests, Charity volunteering, your children’s requests to do things – all of these can become too much.
Ration the ‘yes’s’ so you do a few things with ease rather than lots of things with the pressure that can bring. Your time is valuable, and you need to value that too.
Set up a gift cupboard
Buying birthday gifts in advance can save you time (as well as money). Stock up and buy several of something or get them when they are on sale. This way you will always have something to take to your child’s classmates parties avoiding that last-minute dash and panic.
Outsource and get someone to help you
Lots of teenagers would love a job and they don’t just have to do babysitting – they can help you tidy up, do the shopping, pick up your children, or even take them to school in the morning.
There are also lots of older, retired people around who would love to help-out for some extra money. These can be a useful and responsible resource in the community.
The Hairforce falls into the ‘hire someone to help you’ category of hacks for parents. We are a resource that is here to make your busy, demanding life easier. We take the hard slog of head lice checking and clearing off your hands and get it done professionally in a fraction of the time.