Find yourself like a headless chicken, whirling in circles and continuously multitasking? Want to slow down, savour life more, and spend that elusive ‘quality time’ with your family? Well read on…
Hand over and let them in
Children have boundless energy and at the same time often want to be at the heart of what you’re doing. This often leads to high jinks, and an irritated parent.
Try turning their energy in a positive direction. Explain what you’re doing, let them join in, give them a task. Start young and think of it as spending good quality time with your kids – as well as training up your future helpers!
Sometimes there are jobs that are simply too difficult to enlist help with, or that you need to do on your own.
Explain how long it will take, and promise them a bit of time with them when you finish (for instance, reading a book, or helping them with a project).
Feeling that you’re doing everything? Feeling resentful? Then start to divide up the jobs, and give over the responsibility.
Not only will it help reduce your workload, but you’ll be doing your children a favour as they’ll be learning to organise themselves.
Start with simple things: putting dirty football clothes by the washing machine; hanging out the swimming towels; making beds. Be firm, encouraging and full of praise and it’ll reap rewards.
Ask for help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t get into the rut of moaning and being angry. Ask for help – from your children and your partner. Don’t talk about the problem, create solutions.
If you’re feeling like you’re like a juggler with lots of plates in the air, just about to come crashing down … then stop! What’s the most important job? Do it first. Then tackle the next one.
Try to reduce interruptions. If you’re on a deadline try not to get distracted or diverted. If someone rings for a chat, explain that you can’t talk now and can they ring back. If your children ask you to help with something, explain that they’ll have to wait for a minute.
One day at home
The combination of work, school, and after-school activities, can make life very busy indeed. It can often leave us stressed out, feeling like a taxi service, and our children pale and exhausted. Remember that down time is essential – and family time too.
Try to dedicate a day where you don’t go anywhere, and when your family can just go with its own flow, without deadlines and clock-watching. You will find it amazing how replenishing it can be.
Think back at the end of every day and choose the moment when you were happiest. It’s often surprising, and not the thing you would have predicted.
Remember this moment, and try and have more of them!