Right now its summer and unless your kids are away at camp or with family, you likely have them home with you all day every day.
It's nice to spend time together. We done puzzles together, bbq'd, played outside together, and had playdates. I love that I have been lucky enough to spend half the summer home on maternity leave.
At the same time, I sometimes miss the respite when the non-napping kid is in school and the napping kids are napping. Or my hour lunch break where I shut the office door and do stuff for myself.
Having this time to get things done is important, but it can be a lot harder over the summer. Below are my tips for still getting the important things done when the kids are around.
Get Up Earlier Than Them
We've all heard this one before and it seems so daunting, especially if your kids are early risers. Consider pushing back their bedtimes so they can get up a little later.
The thing is, time without the kids in the morning is far more valuable than in the evening. By the end of the day you are exhausted. You just want to relax. This means that the same task done in the evening will take longer and be far less efficient,
Shifting the bedtimes may mean less alone time in the evening, but its totally worth it. Plus you may not have to shift it as much as you think if you use your morning mental clarity to do things more efficiently.
Make A Plan
When you do have some quiet time, it important to have a plan for what you need to get done. What's the most important? Paying the bills, back to school paperwork, doing the laundry, washing the dishes, listening to podcasts, meal prep?
Know what you are going to do during each break that you get so that you make the most of that time. Write down everything you have to do and prioritize it.
Just having it written down and out your head can relieve mental stress and pressure. It gives you something you can check off and get that feeling of accomplishment. Plus, with everything written down in front of you, its easier to decide what to do first.
Let Them Help
There are a lot of jobs around the house that the kids can help with. If you need to do the dishes, let the kids do the drying. If you are doing laundry, let the kids match the socks. If you need to dust, have a race to see who can dust the shelf the fastest.
If you make the chores fun, your kids will want to help. Here are some chores even young kids can help with:
- Putting things away
- Setting the table
- Taking out the trash
- Feeding pets
If you need to clean up the living room, give your kid something to put away. then have them race back to put away the next thing. See how many things they can put away in a certain amount of time.
If you want them to set the table, play restaurant. Have them take everyone's orders, set the table, and help serve the food. Throw a dish towel over their arm and let them really play the part.
The chores themselves may take a little more time, but you will get to get them done and spend quality family time at the same time. Making chores fun takes some creativity, but you can let yourself have fun too!
Take the Pressure Off
Summer is a time to relax and enjoy your family. So don't put so much pressure on yourself for perfection.
I mean certain things have to get done like paying the bills and getting paperwork done, but other things can slide. If you miss a day of vacuuming, its not the end of the world.
This is where prioritization comes in. Do the things that have to get done on your own when the kids are asleep or otherwise entertained. Game-ify the tasks that the kids can help with and then let the rest go.
You will be happier and the house won't fall apart, I promise.
What tactics do you use to get things done with the kids around? Share them in the comments!