If you’re a busy parent, and you feel like you’re head is always in too many places at once, try these tips — they will help you get through a typically hectic week.
ONE. Take half hour every Sunday to plan your week. This is something that really pays off for me. Take note of any deadlines, appointments, kids activities and even write down a quick dinner plan and grocery list as well as a scheduled time to go grocery shopping. Once you have it all written down, you can start the week off right because you have a plan in place. Let the entire family in on the weekly schedule so everyone knows where they have to be and when. My five-year-old is so programmed by now that as soon as we get in the car in the mornings to drive to school, he asks me what our plans are for the evening and what is going on tomorrow, and continuously reminds me of things and asks questions. He has a little desk where I write his to-do’s too, so if he has a birthday coming up, I make sure he knows to start thinking about a gift and crafting up a card, for example. Its amazing how enthusiastic kids become when they feel like they are in on the plan.
TWO. Sometimes dinner time creeps up on you. I work in food but there are some days that even I don’t have anything planned for dinner. Confession, this happens more often than I’m proud of. The first words out of my boys mouths as soon as I ask that magical question “what do you guys want to eat for dinner”, is “pizza!” If you know my family, you know we love Pizza Nova. A typical order we make is two Medium Pizzas, Pizza Pollo and a classic pepperoni and cheese pizza, both with a whole wheat crust. I like to round things out with a Balsamic Mediterranean Salad and 10 spicy chicken wings. Besides being the first Canadian pizza company to introduce ethically sourced proteins that are raised without antibiotics, their “Puro Promise”, they’ve literally saved dinner time on more occasions than I can count. Plus, it’s food that you can feel good about feeding your family and it’s always fresh and delicious. Being a busy mom, I love my work but I make sure that I make time for my family, and dinner time is sacred to us so, the less time I can spend preparing dinner, the better. This little tip does double duty too because there is always a few slices left over for lunches the next day — and what kid doesn’t love getting pizza in their lunch?
THREE. Don’t spread yourself too thin. It would be great to meet friends, entertain at home, meet other moms for play dates, bring your kids to every kind of activity under the sun and volunteer at their school, but this isn’t realistic. If there’s one thing I learned really fast as soon as I had kids it was that I got nowhere by trying to do too much. Kids get tired too, so make sure that you have a good balance of social/activity time as well as time to connect with yourself and your family at home.
FOUR. Delegate some tasks to your partner or your kids. Sometimes something as simple as your child emptying the dishwasher can make you feel a lot less stressed. It’s one less item on your to-do list plus, it makes you feel good that someone else is in it with you and supporting you.
FIVE. Sleep. We’ve heard it a million times before. Whenever I am having a bad week, I can almost always attribute it to a lack of sleep. Focus and patience is impossible when you’re sleep deprived. Try to get to bed early so that when those early risers get up, you’ll be ready to start the day with them, and you’ll be fresh and focused. If possible, wake up half an hour before your kids — try it, it is life changing. Get yourself ready first and then you can focus all your attention on getting their day started.
I hope these tips can help make your life a little less hectic.
If you’re from Ontario, I hope you enjoy your Family Day long weekend!
*This blog post was created in partnership with Pizza Nova and I was compensated, however, and as always, all opinions are my own.
I have such fond memories of our family dinners when I was a child. My mother would make a variety of Italian