Welcome to the 21st century.
It’s the century where both parents work and the children go to school and extracurricular activities – yet a family is expected to have a clean and organized household, healthy dinners on the table and quality time to connect and bond.
Where is this magical time that only perfect Instagram families seem to have?
It’s there, you just have to find it.
One of the easiest way to find extra time is to multitask your responsibilities – to yourself, your family and your household.
Just beware of multitasking too much – you don’t want to disregard your family’s need for your attention by focusing on some menial task.
For example, when your little one is telling you about their day at school, it’s probably not a good time to catch up on your emails.
Otherwise, multitasking can be an extremely effective way to get things done quicker and free up some of that precious time.
Multitasking Hacks for Busy Parents
The secret to multitasking is to try and pair up two menial tasks that don’t require 100% of your attention or by involving your family in the task as a way to bond and spend time with them.
Here are some examples of ways you can multitask:
- Exercise with your kids. While some moms enjoy their alone time at the gym, some just want to move more and are hesitant to carve into whatever little free time they have to do so. Grab the kids and hit the sidewalks and the parks and walk, play and move as a family. You’re engaging with your little ones and keeping them active while taking care of your own physical health. Win win.
- Clean with your kids. You can combine the arduous task of housecleaning with entertaining your kiddos by making chores an activity instead of…well…a chore. You’d be amazed how keen small children are to help you fold laundry or dry dishes. If your little ones need a bit more persuasion, make the chores fun by having competitions or incorporating imaginative play.
- Feed your kids lunch while grocery shopping. As long as your kids aren’t eating in a cart everyday, there’s nothing wrong with getting two things done at once. Pack a lunch, plop them in the cart and get your shopping done.
- Talk to your mom while you cook supper. If you’re like me and like to keep in touch with your mom (or other friend or relative) on a regular basis, chat away while you prepare supper. Unless they need your undivided attention and support, you can easily divide your attention between cooking and talking.
- Hide and Go Seek. If your child is still young enough to enjoy a good game of hide-and-go-seek around the home, you need to take full advantage of this. Whenever it’s my daughter’s turn to hide, I take my sweet time puttering and putting things away while I “look” for her. She thinks she has found the best hiding spot and I can a bit of tidying up done at the same time.
- Never leave a room empty handed. Even if you’re simply taking a quick trip to the bathroom, grab something, bring it with you and put it in the room it belongs. You can cut down on the chaos of clutter this way.
- Fold laundry while you watch tv. This one seems obvious, since most of us do it, but I wanted to mention it because it’s actually an important self-care moment. If catching up on your favorite Netflix series makes you happy, you need to indulge in this activity – may as well alleviate the guilt of “not getting anything done” by folding laundry at the same time.
As long as you pay attention to your family’s emotional well-being, there’s no reason not to double up on your tasks.