Advertising
Advertising

The 2 Things You Need to Know to Find More Time in the Day

The 2 Things You Need to Know to Find More Time in the Day

Are you a busy parent that’s already prioritizing work and family but want time for more? Well, I want you to know it’s possible. In fact, I think that if you apply these two things tips, you’ll have more time and feel less busy.

1. Be efficient in all that you do

You should always be asking yourself “What’s the best way to do this?” Focus on doing everything in the order that makes the most sense. The opposite of this is multi-tasking, which you should avoid. When you multi-task you get distracted and don’t do anything well.

In being efficient, you’ll also want to keep it simple. For example, when making dinner focus on doing only that and have a repertoire of meals that are fast. Once you’ve made them a time or two, you’ll know the order in which to prepare and cook the ingredients. It doesn’t even have to be a “recipe”, it can be just a protein and veg, which is what I often do. That makes grocery shopping easier too because I just get the number of protein and veg I need and mix and match throughout the week. I keep it simple when I’m cooking too. If I’m grilling, I cook both meat and veg on the grill (which also saves on clean-up time). If I’m cooking it in the oven, same thing. If I want really fast, I do burritos or tacos. I can get them on the table in 10 minutes.

Advertising

This works for the little things too, like putting everything that needs to go downstairs by the gate. This way you take everything downstairs on one trip. If you have 3 minutes of free time, you can clean the bathtub (yes, it can be done in 3 minutes). If you need to return something to a store, put it with the grocery bags so you remember to do it on the same trip. Think about everything you do this way. What is the most efficient order to do things? What can you do first that makes the other tasks easier?

2. Manage your time, don’t let it manage you.

Really think about how you’re using your time. Write down your daily and weekly tasks. How does your schedule look? How do you want it to look? You have to look at this before you can add more in. If your more is that you want to work out but you don’t think you have the time, think about this. You have three options: before work, during work, after work.

  • Before work. Can you get up earlier? Will that affect any other parts of your day? Will your spouse be responsible for the kids if they wake up early? Will you still get as much sleep as you want?
  • During work. Is there a gym at your office you can use? One thats close to the office? If you work out during the day, will you have to stay at the office longer? Will it affect daycare drop-off or pick-up?
  • After work. Can you do it after work but before you pick up the kids? If your husband/wife picks up the kids, can you arrive home 30 minutes later than you normally do? Can you do it after the kids go to bed? If so, what will you have to give up?

Ask yourself these questions. Use the answers to decide where you want to fit this in your schedule. Then test it out and see if it works for you. If not, what changes will make it work?

Advertising

Basically, this is just being efficient with your schedule. Don’t just do things at a certain time because that’s the way you always did them. You might think you only like to work out in the morning. But if the evening is the best time for you, is it better to try doing it then or just never do it?

Will this work for me?

I used to think I couldn’t get up before my kids. I used the argument that I didn’t know what time they were going to wake up. Then I tried getting up 5 minutes before them. And it worked – for the first week. The second week it didn’t, so I got up earlier. Then I decided that I liked having time in the morning and I wanted to get up at 5am every day. I asked my husband if he would be in charge of the kids from 5 – 6am. He said yes. It doesn’t always work out, but it does more often than not, and now it is part of my routine.

Now imagine if that were an activity you wanted to do. Are you willing to make changes to make that happen? We can’t literally add time to our day, but we can choose how we spend our time and make the most of it. And that feels like more time.

Advertising

As a parent, you will have to be flexible because you just can’t predict what your kids will do or what situations will come up. If you want to get up early but think it won’t work out, shoot for 3 days a week.

What happens when you start managing your time?

You’ll take your relaxation time more seriously too. No more sitting on the couch half-watching a show half-trolling Facebook because you’re bored. If it’s your time to spend with your husband or wife, you will want to make it meaningful.

Same for your time with your kids. Decide on a time of the day to focus on your kids. Be intentional with your time and you will be able to accomplish more, strengthen your relationships, and lead the life you want to lead.

Advertising

It’s your turn now, what are you going to add into your life?

Featured photo credit: picjumbo via picjumbo.com

More by this author

How To Find More Time In The Day - The Two Things You Need To Know The 2 Things You Need to Know to Find More Time in the Day 5 Tips to Be More Productive at Home 5 Tips To Increase Productivity At Home Without Sacrificing Quality Time With Your Kids

Trending in Parenting

1 14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All 2 Signs of Postnatal Depression And What to Do When It Strikes 3 How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids) 4 The Leading Causes of Prenatal Depression and How to Manage it Best 5 What Happened to Family Dinners? Why We Should Bring Them Back

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Published on December 14, 2018

14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 27% of children under the age of 18 are living with a single parent.[1] That’s over 1/4th of the U.S. population.There is a common misconception that children who grow up in single parent homes are not as successful as children living in two-parent homes.

One crucial detail that was often left out of studies when comparing single and two-parent homes was the stability of the household. There is a correlation between family structure and family stability, but this study shows that children who grow up in stable single-parent homes do as well as those in married households in terms of academic abilities and behavior.

But providing stability is easier said than done. With only one adult to act as a parent, some tasks are inherently more challenging. However, there are a few helpful things you can do to make the parenting journey a little easier for yourself and stay sane while doing it.

1. Don’t Neglect Self-Care

Before anything else can be done, you must be caring for your own needs adequately. Only when you are feeling well-rested and healthy can you be at your best for your children.

Many parents tend to put their kids’ needs first and their owns last, but that will result in a never-ending cycle of exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy. Make time to eat regularly and healthfully, get plenty of rest, and squeeze in exercise whenever you can. Even a short walk around the neighborhood will help your body get much-needed movement and fresh air.

Your children depend on you, and it’s up to you to make sure that you are well-equipped and ready to take on that responsibility.

2. Join Forces with Other Single Parents

At times, it may seem like you’re the only person who knows what it’s like to be a single parent. However, the statistics say that there are many others who know exactly what you’re going through.

Find single parents locally, through your kid’s school, extracurricular activities, or even an app. There are also numerous online communities that can offer support and advice, through Facebook or sites like Single Mom Nation.

Although single moms make up the majority of single parents, there are more than 2.6 million single dads in the U.S. A great way to connect is through Meetup. Other single parents will more than happy to arrange babysitting swaps, playdates, and carpools.

Join forces in order to form mutually beneficial relationships.

Advertising

3. Build a Community

In addition to finding support with other single parents, also build a community comprised of families of all different types. Rather than focus solely on the single parent aspect of your identity, look for parents and kids who share other things in common.

Join a playgroup, get plugged in at a church, or get to know the parents of the kids involved in the same extracurricular activities. Having a community of a variety of people and families will bring diversity and excitement into your and your kids’ lives.

4. Accept Help

Don’t try to be a superhero and do it all yourself. There are probably people in your life who care about you and your kids and want to help you. Let them know what types of things would be most appreciated, whether it’s bringing meals once a week, helping with rides to school, or giving you time to yourself.

There is no shame in asking for help and accepting assistance from loved ones. You will not be perceived as weak or incompetent. You are being a good parent by being resourceful and allowing others to give you a much-needed break.

5. Get Creative with Childcare

Raising a child on a single income is a challenge, with the high cost of daycares, nannies, and other conventional childcare services. More affordable options are possible if you go a less traditional route.

If you have space and live in a college town, offer a college student housing in exchange for regular childcare. Or swap kids with other single parents so that your kids have friends to play with while the parents get time to themselves.

When I was younger, my parents had a group of five family friends, and all of the children would rotate to a different house each day of the week, during the summer months. The kids would have a great time playing with each other, and the parents’ job becomes a lot easier. That’s what you would call a win-win situation.

6. Plan Ahead for Emergencies

As a single parent, a backup plan or two is a must in emergency situations. Make a list of people you know you can call in a moment’s notice. There will be times in which you need help, and it’s important to know ahead of time who you can rely on.

Look into whether or not your area offers emergency babysitting services or a drop-in daycare. Knowing who will be able to care for your child in the event of an emergency can relieve one potential source of anxiety in stressful situations.

7. Create a Routine

Routines are crucial for young children because knowing what to expect gives them a semblance of control. This is even more important when in a single parent home.

Advertising

If the child travels between homes or has multiple caretakers, life can seem extremely chaotic and unpredictable. Establish a routine and schedule for your child as much as possible. This can include bedtime, before/after school, chores, meal times, and even a weekend routine.

Having a routine does not mean things cannot change. It is merely a default schedule to fall back on when no additional events or activities are going on. When your children know what to expect, they will be less resistant because they know what to expect, and days will run much more smoothly.

8. Be Consistent with Rules and Discipline

If your child has multiple caretakers, such as another parent, grandparent, or babysitter, communicate clearly on how discipline will be handled. Talk to your ex, if you are sharing custody, as well as any other caretakers about the rules and the agreed-upon approach to discipline.

When a child realizes that certain rules can be bent with certain people, he/she will use it to their advantage, causing additional issues with limits, behavior, and discipline down the road.

This article may help you to discipline your child better:

How to Discipline a Child (The Complete Guide for Different Ages)

9. Stay Positive

Everyone has heard the saying, “Mind over matter.” But there really is so much power behind your mentality. It can change your perspective and make a difficult situation so much better.

Your kids will be able to detect even the smallest shift in your attitude. When the responsibilities of motherhood are overwhelming, stay focused on the positive things in your life, such as your friends and family. This will produce a much more stable home environment.

Maintain your sense of humor and don’t be afraid to be silly. Look towards the future and the great things that are still to come for you and your family. Rediscover and redefine your family values.

10. Move Past the Guilt

In a single parent home, it is impossible to act as both parents, regardless of how hard you try. Let go of the things that you cannot do as a single parent, and instead, think of the great things you ARE able to provide for your children.

Advertising

Leave behind the notion that life would be easier or better with two parents. This is simply not true. There is a multitude of pros and cons to all family dynamics, and the one you are providing for your kids now is the one that they need.

Don’t get bogged down by guilt or regret. Take control of your life and be the best parent you can by being present and engaged with them on a daily basis.

11. Answer Questions Honestly

Your kids may have questions about why their home situation is different from many of their friends. When asked, don’t sugarcoat the situation or give them an answer that is not accurate.

Depending on their age, take this opportunity to explain the truth of what happened and how the current circumstances came about. Not all families have two parents, whether that is due to divorce, death, or whatever else life brings.

Don’t give more detail than necessary or talk badly about the other parent. But strive to be truthful and honest. Your children will benefit more from your candor than a made-up story.

12. Treat Kids Like Kids

In the absence of a partner, it can be tempting to rely on your children for comfort, companionship, or sympathy. But your kids are not equipped to play this role for you.

There are many details within an adult relationship that children are not able to understand or process, and it will only cause confusion and resentment.

Do not take out your anger on your kids. Separate your emotional needs from your role as a mother. If you find yourself depending on your kids too much, look for adult friends or family members that you can talk to about your issues.

13. Find Role Models

Find positive role models of the opposite sex for your child. It’s crucial that your child does not form negative associations with an entire gender of people.

Find close friends or family members that would be willing to spend one-on-one time with your kids. Encourage them to form meaningful relationships with people that you trust and that they can look up to.

Advertising

Role models can make a huge difference in the path that a child decides to take, so be intentional about the ones that you put in your kids’ lives.

14. Be Affectionate and Give Praise

Your children need your affection and praise on a daily basis. Engage with your kids as often as possible by playing with them, going on outings, and encouraging open dialogue.

Affirm them in the things that they are doing well, no matter how small. Praise their efforts, rather than their achievements. This will inspire them to continue to put forth hard work and not give up when success is not achieved.

Rather than spending money on gifts, spend time and effort in making lasting memories.

Final Thoughts

Being a single parent is a challenging responsibility to take on. Without the help of a partner to fall back on, single parents have a lot more to take on.

However, studies show that growing up in a single parent home does not have a negative effect on achievement in school. As long as the family is a stable and safe environment, kids are able to excel and do well in life.

Use these tips in order to be a reliable and capable parent for your kids, while maintaining your own well-being and sanity.

More Resources About Parenting

Featured photo credit: Bruno Nascimento via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next