Most of us look forward to the end of the working week. For many, Friday represents a ‘finish line.’ As school routines and work commitments collide, weeks still seem to fly by. Then, before we know it, it’s time to get our heads around Christmas! With family weekends filled with sport, errands, socialising, housework, gardening and parties, they’re often too busy but can still be fun.
Weekends are great because our routines can be a little more flexible. Then with a thud, Sunday night arrives and the idea of another week on the weekday treadmill can feel overwhelming.
It’s helpful to take stock of our commitments and prioritise tasks. Ask the following:
‘What takes up time when organising your working week?’
Try to delegate tasks to other family members if they can help out. You don’t have to do it all. Plan the following:
- Lunches (is the fridge stocked with bread, milk, cheese, fruit, cold-cuts, cheese etc. for the week?)
- Have school notices been read (emails or, pulled out of school bags!) in readiness for the new week? Older kids can be responsible for their own notices.
- Has homework been followed up? Ask your child early about what is expected and if they need help. If your child attends a tutor, ask their teacher to make allowances with homework. It’s about priorities and caring for our kids.
- Are there clean uniforms ready for the first few days? (Wash on a Saturday to avoid wet uniforms on Monday.)
- Are extra-curricular commitments paid for and organised? Can transport be better organised? Can your child travel with another parent to activities, with you returning the favour to simplify your parental duties?
- Will your child need After School Care and is it organised?
- Are a few simple, healthy dinners organised for the week? Can double quantities/recipes be prepared? (Left-overs are a delicious time-saver!) Freeze meals.
- Is your child’s Sunday night routine relaxed, (are the kids in bed at a reasonable time so that they aren’t tired before the new school week starts?)
Your family values and routines will be different from others. If you feel as though you’re on a perpetual treadmill, it is worth assessing commitments and prioritising them. The list of ‘things to do’ will always be there but time with our kids, while they’re young, won’t be. Put what you value first and assess whether the rest can wait.
As adults, kids won’t remember if their school shirts weren’t ironed perfectly or if they only do one extra-curricular sport compared to their friends who did three, but they will remember if they felt relaxed and happy at home because their family managed to balance school, family life and other commitments.
Realising that sometimes we might be doing too much as parents and then making a conscious decision to care for ourselves, might be a welcome change if we wish to do be there for our kids.
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