I would’ve never believed when my kids were little that every night of my life I would be in my car from the minute school let out until my kids went to bed. The days of the 7pm bed times are gone and now our kids stay up way later than we do. Maybe a sign of the times, overscheduling, overachieving or just the fact that so many more activities are available to kids and their families, today. Why have 1 interest when you can have 3?
The challenge is time for many families and while 4 hours of Pandora and Spotify are lovely per day, there are some interesting ideas to help parents get out of the car and back into our families lives!
Make sure you choose the right activities for your child! I tried so hard to get my son into soccer and baseball, but the fact of the matter was, there was no interest there, no matter what my husband or I did, so I let him lead and determine what he liked. This really helps to cut down on multiple overlapping activities.
Keep a great family calendar! I have learned a written calendar regardless of the latest and greatest technology really helps organize a busy family. You have to do what works for you! This way my entire family can see where they need to be and at what time. Display it proudly!!
Pack the activity bags the night before, while this sounds a little over zealous, it has made my life so much easier. Put the bags in the car the night before. A prepared parent is a smart parent. Have you ever gotten to an activity without the necessary gear (I have)? It makes for an unpleasant experience/meltdown. Take the extra minute at night and arm yourself with activity bags…you will thank me later.
Meal planning is another one of those (are you serious I am this person) tips that I can’t stress enough. Plan your meals and eat your plan. It’s healthier, less expensive and a time saver. As a busy parent, giving our kids healthy nutrition is important and not to mention way better for the parent in the car for hours on end. When you come home to a plan you and your family don’t make a mad dash for the cupboard! (that has never happened in my household).
Those are just a few tips that I have learned along the way and I thought it would be helpful if I passed them on to you. Enjoy your crazy busy school years, they seem to fly by quickly. Looking forward to school year 2014/2015…who’s with me? Three Cheers for the bus driver!