Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Whilst it is very admirable to want to be a complete Super Mum and be able to work as well as looking after your family and house, sometimes asking for help is the sensible thing to do. Plus, when it comes to your family, sharing the organisational responsibilities can actually be a great exercise in learning valuable life skills.
Here are some easy ways to share the load:
Most mums already have a calendar so that they can keep track of school, after school clubs, doctor’s appointments etc. It might be useful to have to electronically on your phone or laptop, but also keep a physical version on show where all the family can see it. Allocate activities to each family member so that there is an ongoing reminder for them each day. You could use pictures or stickers if your little ones can not read yet.
It’s also really helpful to have a whiteboard or chalkboard so that you can keep an ongoing to-do list and shopping list. Make sure that everyone can reach it, so if they take the last thing from the cupboard they can add to the list.
Have an allocated ‘location’ for your most used items, such as school bags, shoes and keys. You should spend less time looking for lost things, if they are put in their place as you come through the door.
You could set up a ‘task swap’ with other local parents, such as you taking their child to school in the morning in exchange for them looking after your child for an hour after school. It gives you more time and is also great for your child’s social skills.
Make all of your family members responsible for their own bags, and for the packing of them the night before they are needed! There will only be a few instances of forgotten items before it becomes auto-pilot.
Even if your children are little, there will be small tasks you can ask them to complete, especially clearing away the things they have been playing with! This is not only a help for you, but teaches them important life lessons of looking after their possessions and keeping the house tidy. Once they are older, you can progress on to loading the dishwasher or helping to put the supermarket shopping away. Whilst it may be a bit scary the first few times (and you will need to supervise) they might surprise you with their care and attention.
It may feel strange to prioritise time for yourself above your family, but actually it’s really important to nurture yourself as well as them. You’ll feel rested, relaxed and motivated with even the smallest amount of time spent on something you choose, whether that’s getting a pampering treatment or curling up with a good book.
Book some time into your schedule and ask your partner, a friend or relative to look after the children. That way, you are more likely to stick to your ‘appointment’.
It may feel like giving in to ask for help, but in the right circumstances it can be a benefit to both you and your whole family, making for a happier household all round.
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