“Foresight is a parent’s finest weapon.” Life as a busy mother raising a family can feel like a combat-zone some days. I wanted to share a few more tips this week of how I’ve chosen to handle the weapon of foresight.
- Give advanced warning when a transition will be happening… when you’re 5 minutes from leaving a friend’s house or when switching from one thing (play time) to another (setting the table). It’s harder for kids to just drop everything and go ~ if it’s not their plan. So let them know ahead of time what’s going to happen.
- Make a menu for a week or two, or for a month at a time. Plan out what you’ll be serving and what items you need on-hand to make that happen. Make your grocery list from this. While it can feel quite overwhelming (especially initially) to plan out your meals, in the long run it’ll save so much time and brain energy. You’ll be happy to be able to just look at your menu to see what needs to be prepared for the day and to know that you have everything you need in your home!
- Break big projects or tasks down into smaller, more manageable portions to be done a little at a time. For example, cleaning your house might seem near impossible on a Friday morning with the young ones banging around your ankles, but if you split up the ‘house cleaning’ into daily jobs (Monday – dust the living room and wash it’s windows, Tuesday – straighten the laundry room and wash 2 loads, Wednesday – wipe out the refrigerator and mop the kitchen floor, etc) that can be done daily in 15 minute chunks, you’re more likely to accomplish your goal!
- Try cutting up all your fresh veggies in one day and having them available for easy snacking the whole week long, rather than cutting a few each day. They’re good for you and easy to grab when you need some yummies in a hurry.
- Going away? Packing for the whole family can be a big job. Train the kids early on to do their own packing…with your supervision! Give them a picture (pre-readers) or word list of what should be included as well as the number of each item needed. Send them to their rooms with the list and a pencil (to cross off each item as they lay it on their bed). Then go in and inspect their selections and watch them put everything in a bag or suitcase. Before you know it, they’ll be ready to do this totally on their own!
- Got a special project that needs to be done by a set deadline? Plan ahead! Can you work on it a bit at a time during nap time? Do the kids need to be gone for a few hours to accomplish this task? Can you get a friend lined up to watch the kids while you work like crazy… and then offer to do the same for her? Be creative!
The battle rages on! Consider other stress-filled events in your life. Now make a list of how you can plan ahead to make those times more pleasant for everyone! For some areas of your day, you’ve already developed a well-thought-out routine. Would you share it with us? You have your own words of wisdom on that subject and I’d sure love to hear your insight on foresight!