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Prioritize Well-being on Your To-do List

Becoming an Organized in a Busy World

As a parent, you’re constantly juggling obligations and chores — preparing food, doing school runs, managing the kids’ schedule. These all need to be planned ahead. To help you become a more organized parent, there are a few key tips that you can try.

First, keep cooking simple…your house isn’t a restaurant after all! Try to create a weekly menu that all the family will like and that is easy to prepare. Rotating meals on a weekly basis means you can, for the most part, plan your shopping list once and reuse it each week.

You could also cook large batches at a time to freeze and reheat later in the week. But change things up every couple of months — your diet needs variety and excitement.

You can’t accommodate every request

Sometimes as a parent, you’ll also get requests to cook something for a special occasion, like a scout meeting or a birthday party. This can put pressure on you — especially if you’ve already a busy schedule. Be realistic about what you’ve got time for — you can’t accommodate every request. So don’t feel guilty about getting store-bought treats, or offering to pay for party items instead.

Next, think about exchanging your services with neighbors or other parents. If they hate a chore that you love, you could offer to trade chores. Say, you hate washing windows but love gardening. You could trade one chore for the other, and vice versa.

Alternatively, you could pay a high school or college student to carry out some basic chores. By having them do babysitting, mowing the lawn, or painting around the house, you’re not only saving yourself time and effort, but also teaching them key life skills, such as taking responsibility.

Having a Plan B

And, of course, having a “Plan B” in case your best-laid plans go astray is vitally important. If a family member gets sick, you get a flat tire, or are stuck in a storm, having an arrangement in place with a neighbor, relative, or friend to help you out will give you some peace of mind.

Another tip is to avoid letting children overschedule themselves. Soccer practice, music lessons, dance classes — the list of after-school activities can seem endless, with each one requiring a pickup or drop- off. Instead, have your older kids pick their favorite activities and drop the rest. This leaves more time for assignments or family-based activities.

Finally, to manage you and your kids time better, curb time spent on computers, tablets, playing video games, or watching TV. Time wasted watching TV, or on Internet-enabled devices, could be better spent on family hobbies or outdoors activities.

This doesn’t mean you need to stop using these devices altogether. For example, you could choose certain times of the day when children can play video games, or make a list of TV shows that they’re allowed to watch. Applying these few steps can have an immeasurable — and positive — impact on both your workload and the quality of your family time.