Even as technology has made life simpler on the whole, it feels like parenting is getting harder and harder. With many parents no longer content letting their kids run around at the park anymore, many people find themselves jetting back and forth from work to soccer practice to flute lessons, all with dinner plans lingering at the backs of their minds. Here are some tips for those parents who can never seem to get a free minute.
1. Communicate and Cooperate
They say it “takes a village to raise a child.” You probably don’t have easy access to a village to help you out with your parenting, but you also have to remember they aren’t doing it alone. Communication between spouses and also between the parents and the children is vital. If you are extremely busy with work and parenting, it is important to set expectations for all parties and make sure everybody is willing to chip in.
In addition, families are not isolated in society. You probably have friends and neighbors with families like yours, so reach out to them for help when it makes sense to do so. For example, if a neighbor is driving their children to school, you might be able to set up a carpool to make things easier on both families. (Plus, you’ll be saving the planet.)
Don’t forget your kids are also there to contribute. In preparing your children for the real world, you will need to teach your children some responsibility and work ethic. Don’t be afraid to lay down the law and demand some help around the house from your kids. To operate at its highest level, the family needs a little cooperation and unity.
2. Organize Everything
If you have kids, you already know that organization isn’t usually a strong suit for children. You can teach them to put away their toys a million times, and they’ll still wind up leaving a couple in the middle of the kitchen.
Fortunately, you have more resources for organization, and you know how important it is. Do everything you can to simplify and organize when it comes to parenting responsibilities. Instead of keeping different calendars for each parent and the kids, use one combined calendar so everyone knows what everyone else has going on ahead of time. Planning ahead is vital for busy parents because you are able to work with your spouse and your children to balance responsibilities and make contingency plans in case anything comes up at the last second.
In addition, you should work to consolidate important information into one place. Keep all of the family’s medical information together by using resources like the Family Medical Manager app. Stack up all of the bills in one place as they come in so you can take them all out at once. Having important information together makes it a lot easier once you actually need to use it.
3. Don’t Try to Be Perfect
Above all, it is important to realize while you may feel like a superhuman parent, everybody is human and nobody is perfect. Pay attention to your children’s needs, but keep in mind they are children. Kids are kids, and they aren’t going to notice if certain things aren’t absolutely perfect.
A good example is laundry. Many kids actually like wearing the same pair of jeans a couple of times without washing them. Washing every single article of clothing after one wear is a good way to add unnecessary work to your plate. You can also consolidate by serving leftovers on occasion. The family appreciates a fresh cooked meal, but if you bring that meal out for a second round a night or two later, you probably won’t get too much backlash from the kids, unless they hated it to begin with.
Ben Blanchard is the Programming Services Manager for Acadian, the creator of the Family Medical Manager app. The Family Medical Manager app is the definitive medical record app for families and individuals.