Time and Toddlers wait for no one.
Parents, especially toddler parents, are always strapped for time. Though, these tiny humans are your life’s greatest joys, taking care of them, is a herculean task as well!
Parenting is hard work, without shortcuts. But, you can iron out the creases for a smoother family life, with better time management.
So, here are a few tips that have helped me effectively manage my time
1. Plan your Day/Week
Though a lot of parents argue that, planning the week, sounds better in concept, and cannot really be implemented, I beg to differ.
Knowing what comes next brings in a lot of clarity and security in your thoughts, and they are not cluttered. The more cluttered your thoughts the more confused in physical reality you are going to be. So get a clarity of how you see your day and week.
Make a weekly plan for the entire family (if everyone is on the same page), and especially for you personally! Put it up somewhere, where it’s visible, so everyone is looped in.
Whether you use a planner, scribble pad, a paper stuck up the fridge, or a fancy phone app. Pen down your plan! Writing it down is important. Free up the space in your brain for other stuff.
Being in a predictable routine always helps clear the mental chaos, and reduces your stress in the physical world.
2. Share the Load !
Gone are the days where parenting is just something the mothers need to look into. So, delegate delegate delegate. You do it at work, you need to do it at home too. Parenting isn’t a one man show. Helping other family members be independent with their own tasks is your way to go. So you need to delegate chores either to other family members, and/or domestic helpers. Your growing toddlers would love to feel responsible too. So, based on their age and capacity, give out small responsibilities to them, that could ease the burden off your shoulders a bit. Say for instance, winding up the toys, or laying the table.
When you take the small mundane chores off your chest, not only do you have more time, but you also have your children well occupied and accountable!
We often set up processes that are so over complicated, that it ends up becoming your responsibility to do them, because only you can. The simple processes of the house, like where to keep the laundered clothes, to setting the table, to watering the garden, should be simplified, to a level that even the youngest 5 year old can easily lend a hand.
Always ensure, your expectations do not exceed the capacity that a child at that particular age can deliver. You cannot expect a 5 year old to do a certain chore, like he is 18!
3. The Dreaded question. What should I cook?
While rustling up a meal doesn’t take much time, the debate before that, about what you should cook, is most time consuming. While someone hates spinach, someone wants it only in a particular manner, and then most of the time, you end up making something as simple as a khichdi, much to everyone’s dismay!
So, instead of impulsive unplans, try and plan your meals at the beginning of the week. Take into consideration everybody’s likes and dislikes, including yours, include the mandatory vegetables, you think the diets must include, and shop for your supplies accordingly. You should also include your toddlers in helping you plan the meals for the week. Helps a lot if your toddlers are picky eaters. Planning ahead, can reduce the turnaround time before meals, and in turn give you more time!
The key to effective time management, is to prioritize work as urgent, important, can be done later and not needed. Then execute them, as per this, and you will see how you slowly tick the boxes , towards more time on hands. Wrap up most of your most important jobs, when the infants/toddlers are asleep, or your young ones are at school. We all are blessed with the exact same amount of time. It is how we utilize and optimize it is what can make all the difference.
Be real about your own expectations. This is your time, and your child’s. What others expect from you shouldn’t matter, unless it actually helps you grow. Remember always, what others expect + the reality will always amount to piled up frustrations, while your expectation and your reality, will always give you the space to grow. As a parent. As a human. At the end of the day, when you hit the bed should have a positive grateful feeling, and not a negative one!
Thank you Veera for choosing me as your Mumma <3