You and/or your spouse might be juggling long hours at work, presenting in front of well-dressed business personals, purchasing grocery, attending your children’s many weekday and weekend activities, staying awake till they are asleep, managing home, and even caring for the elders. With this much to do, you rarely find time for yourself.
Families are busy there is no doubt about it, especially when you have children at home roaming and screaming around you. While focusing on managing their woes parents often tend to forget things. Sometimes, things start falling apart – bills do not get paid on time, tax returns are late, appointments are missed. Despite your best efforts, you never seem to catch up. You can no longer go out for weekends or host events at your home, and all this is due to an unorganized family.
If there is one thing that I have learned from parenting two kids – it is that I feel in control when I do not have to comprise with my schedule and when I can sit back and relax for a bit after a tiring day at work. Though such moments are rare when you have kids around for that point in time, you feel less stressed. I have the energy to do daily stuff, and I am more patient with my kids.
Managing a family is not an easy task, and I really do not want to know how my mom managed to raise such a naughty child while taking care of everyone back in her days. So much technology and the increased possibility of social interaction have made life a lot easier.
Through the years, I have met people who are experiencing what I am, and through them, I have found a few shortcuts that keep things pretty organized. By no means have I mastered keeping up with it all, but some simple tricks have helped me a lot.
Do Not Do Too Much by Yourself
This might sound a bit rude or not so cute of me but yes, practice not to say YES for anything and everything, especially with kids. Yes, they will pamper you, they will cry, but you have to stay strong and not let their cute face lure you ‘for that moment’. If you keep fulfilling their unnecessary demands over and over again, they will become habitual to it, and thus this will add up to your work and their bad habits.
Moreover, once you start doing everything for everyone you will be so much occupied from dusk till dawn, which will only leave you irritated and tired at the end of the day. If not kids, you can consider taking help from your partner or someone you feel can help you with your work.
Works like paying bills, making beds, helping kids with homework or asking your partner to help you in the kitchen, will do no harm instead, you both will get more time for chitchats. Moreover, kitchen romance is a thing worth trying.
Plan What you Need to do in Advance
“Being organized” sounds so relaxing right? But is a broad commitment. There is no way you can be productive if you do not have a road map or a plan for the day. Make a list of your to-dos and prioritize it. The list will include everything you have been looking forward to. From hanging out with friends to buying grocery pen down everything. Carry the list wherever you go so you can add up to it if needed. You can also consider planning for your partner if he/she tends to forget things often.
Once you have laid out your intentions, you will need to have a way to check in with yourself on your daily goals and also a way to break down your longer-term goals into weekly actionable steps.
This is where technology will help you. You can use Google Calendar to schedule everything. Share a copy with your spouse or family member and ask them to remind you of what you need to do the next day. Plans will poke you to be active. You will know what you need to work on and for how long.
Don’t let Romance Shed Away
Even on your busiest day, you should not let romance take the backseat as it empowers you to carry on with life. Your partner should not feel that you do not have time for him/her. To keep the love pumping mark out day in the calendar for a date night or a movie or anything you both love to do together.
Make all the arrangements in advance both for the two of you and your kids (you can consider babysitting as an option) so that you will be able to enjoy your night out together. Dress up for your partner just like the way you did back in college days, and show them that nothing has changed.
If possible, go for a short holiday with your partner while your children have fun at the weekend summer camp or at their grandmother’s house. Do not let the burden of everyday activities snuff out the romance in your life.
Commit to Routines
Routines are the lifeblood of the household. If you have a daily schedule that your family is committed to, you will notice your household runs more smoothly and efficiently. Creating household routines and practicing them will help your household in managing time expectations.
Sleep early so you can start your day early. Figure out when you will be able to take out time for laundry, tidy up the house, run the dishwasher, and set out everything you will need to get the kids out the door such as backpacks and lunch boxes for a streamlined exit in the morning. In addition, make sure you prepare yourself for unexpected tasks.
Carefully designing a routine that works best for everyone will help us to be productive, in control, and be the best person we can possibly be. Plus, if you kids will practice a routine from an early age, they will be more punctual and focused towards their goals.
The Cooking Saga
A bit off topic but this needs to be included because only a working-woman knows how difficult it is to cook after a long day bothers you. Plus, you just cannot order online because you do not want your family to get sick from eating unhealthy packed-food. Thus, cooking cannot be ignored but simplified.
Try simple tricks like meal planning for the week. Plan the menu for the week and go grocery shopping on weekends. This will spare you much stress and uncertainty when you come back from office tired and hungry. Remember when you are organized, only then you can keep your family organized.
To make the work easier, get all the ingredients ready the previous night, chop the vegetables, make sure the utensils that will be used for cooking are already washed, species are sorted, etc.
Menu planning does call for some cooking in the evenings. You can surely take help from your spouse as I mentioned above. Other benefits of meal planning include less consumption of packaged and unhealthy fast-food, more of eating Nutritious homemade meals and less spending on eating out. Also, you can cut down on unnecessary grocery purchases mid-week.
Always Strive to Create a Bond
If you want your family to develop strong bonds and values, you need to take out some time to practice the same with them. Giving everyone their personal space is important, but by making sure that they do not go off the track. You should be aware what they are busy with when you are not around them especially with children.
For at least several days a week, come together as a family and spend some quality time together. Not in a separate room but being together, helping each other, playing board games, sitting down to dinner as a family, or just having conversations about life.
Yes, we all want to be successful, but not just in professional life but successful as a human. The more time you spend just being together, outside of all extracurricular activities, is time invested in being a family.
Spend time with children so that you can teach them to be decent human beings. Spend time with your spouse, so you can share all your highs and lows with them. This is what a family should be like.
With these organization tips for busy families, hopefully you will uncover a little extra time and be able to do something for yourself, while taking care of your family. As a mother I will surely advice you to invest in “Me” time. It is important to recharge so you are an even better mom, wife and home manager.
Saun is a family counsellor and has been associated with onlineassignmentwriting since its start. He works with clients around the globe and has helped many people to help their family relationships.