There never seem to be enough hours in the day. After I come home from work, I just want to eat dinner and rest. However, I want to sneak in as much time with my kids before it’s time to put them to bed.
It’s easier for me to do nothing at all, but I had to change for me to maximize my family time. So, I reviewed my daily routine and found “pockets of time” I can use to spend more time with my kiddos.
And, no, I don’t have a time machine. Instead, I had to get creative and work around my work schedule. Here are four creative ways to maximize family time with a busy schedule.
1. Prepare Yourself the Night Before
This method is easier said than done. We all know that if we prepare the night before, we would all be winning. But, we all need to say it out loud and admit it is the answer.
Before, I would set an alarm clock and drag myself out of bed. I took a quick shower to wake myself up before I had to wake the kids up.
Already, I found a way to improve. My change was taking a proper shower after I put the kids to bed. I listen to an audiobook while I get ready for bed. I also make sure to be in bed by 10:00 p.m. Mama needs her sleep!
You’ll wake up as a more friendly mommy when you are well-rested. You won’t also have the feeling of prying yourself out of bed regardless of how cozy that warm blanket feels.
2. Make Lunches After Dinner
I think that I’m buying myself more time even if I just prepare lunches in the morning. After all, it only takes 15 minutes to prepare lunches, right? Not exactly.
While making lunch sandwiches in the morning, I’m running around between each kid’s room to make sure they’re awake, dressed, brushed, teeth, went potty, etc. Oh yea, I have to prepare breakfast too.
By preparing lunches after dinner, you remove one less thing to do the following day. Also, having the kids set aside their clothes the night before makes the morning a little easier. You avoid morning debates about function versus fashion.
The fewer “to-do” items you do in the morning, the more time you have to spend enjoying breakfast with your munchkins.
3. Don’t Do Chores Alone
When I do chores around the house, I like to do things a certain way.
For example, when I do laundry, I’m mindful of not mixing heavy garments with light garments. This strategy prevents the heavy clothes, such as sweaters, from soaking up all the soap, preventing the other clothes from getting washed.
However, although I prefer doing things a particular way, that doesn’t mean I can’t use a little help. I maximize my family time by including my kids in house chores.
For example, they bring your dirty clothes to the laundry room, separate them, and push the buttons on the washing machine. Aside from spending quality time with my kids, I’m also teaching them life skills!
This mommy hack is not limited to house chores. You can run errands with your kids and make it a kid’s day out. While you go shopping for your household needs, you can treat them with a fun snack or any item you feel they deserve.
4. Silence Social Media
It’s easy for anyone to get distracted by their phone. Therefore, maximize your time with your family by spending less time with things that steal you away from them.
You can download an app that limits your time on social media. Or, you can simply turn it off.
Don’t let your kids feel like they’re competing for your attention, especially with a smartphone. They’ll appreciate it when you put it away and fill their bucket.
If you want to maximize your family time, keep a lookout for “pockets of time.” These moments don’t have to be an hour-long in one sitting. Instead, find ways to spend 10 to 15 minutes with your children.
Having a conversation with your kids about starting their day right or asking how their day went are simple ways to start. After a while, you’ll begin to becoming Mommy Matrix, seeing multiple opportunities to spend more time with your kids.