It is difficult to juggle between doing household chores and caring for an infant. Taking care of an infant alone drains your physical and emotional energy. We all sail in the same boat when it comes to the logistics of combining your new baby duties and your old life. And if you have more than one child so obviously, you have to take care of them, their school and other stuff too. Add one or may be two activities, and the juggling act gets even more intricate. No matter how harder and efficiently you apply all your time management skills, their schedule is not always predictable. So, how to manage household chores with an infant?
Here is what I do having a 7 months baby and an elementary schooler at home…
- Set targets: Time takes a whole new dimension when you are a parent. Every second is valuable. By setting targets, I mean short-term goals. Everyone has their own way of finishing up tasks. To me, setting up daily target works best. I think I work better and more effectively when I have a deadline for finishing up that particular task. Focus on small time frame.
- Do some preparation in advance: Ahh..I wish I had something in my freezer so that I can fix lunch/dinner quickly or someone can do the prep work. Life would have been so easy with this small but much needed help.
Most of the time, after finishing up baby’s requirements, very less time is left to cook full meals. In such case, doing things in advance when you have some spare time works great. Have you seen those TV cooking shows when the chef has a beautiful table all set to start cooking? Why not to do the same for yourself too? For example, chopping veggies and packing them in zip-locks or fridge bags; making few dips to go with sandwiches or rolls. You will be surprised to see how helpful it is when you are running out of time or are very tired to start from all these time-consuming steps.
- Identify your baby’s longest nap schedule: That’s the best time to finish up your chores. I always say, if my stars are in my favor then nap time can also be a wonderful time to stop, sit down, and actually relax for a few minutes in quiet! Utilizing your baby’s daytime sleep times can also be a wonderful way to take the time to prepare a few meals as well. By doing this, you will feel a sense of accomplishment once that part is done.
- Make the best use of the baby’s bedtime: Once the baby gets little older and a proper bedtime has been established, you still have few hours before you go to bed. Make the best of this time. Do some prep for the next day. I pack my daughter’s snack box, take out her other snacks out, do some prep for her lunchbox to avoid rush in the morning and yes, I work on my posts.
- Decide on your children’s clothes (with their input when age appropriate), before bedtime: This will save you a lot of frustration and time in the mornings.
- Pause before saying “yes”: Don’t hesitate in saying “no” to something that you cannot handle. Remember things are not the same. Beyond the basic things you must do, reserve your energy for the things that make you feel happy and excited.
At the end of most days as a parent, we all feel exhausted. We want to just relax. Its okay to feel that way, and it is okay to take few minutes of doing nothing but don’t let those few minutes turn into hours! If you want to make the next day easier, a little bit of planning goes a really long way. Make sure that you take the necessary time to organize your day, you will thank yourself tomorrow!