Managing time with three kids can get pretty hectic. Now that the kids are older there are multiple extracurricular activities, homework, and school projects we have to mix in with our already busy schedule. Figuring out the best way to manage everything was definitely a matter of trial and error. It was very overwhelming at first when we saw how many things we had going on but here are some tips to help you be successful in managing your kids’ activities, work, and your personal life.
- Share calendars on your phone. Google calendar is a great tool for this. We have everything on this shared calendar from practices to work travel to family trips. You name it and it’s on there. This a great way to map out your days, weeks, and months, and you can even set reminders so you won’t forget.
- Be ahead of the game. If you know one of your kids have a big project due, don’t procrastinate!! You and your kids will both suffer. If there are materials you know will be needed make sure you pick them up when you are out running errands so you don’t have to make a special trip. If you know your kids have practice or a game set everything out the night before and pack any snacks that may be necessary ahead of time. This way you won’t be scrambling around that day.
- Carpool. Sometimes we have work or personal appointments, etc. that conflict with picking our kids up from school or practices. Get to know your neighbors and find out if anyone goes to the same school, or coordinate with the other parents on your child’s team. This is mutually beneficial for both parties and I can guarantee there are other people in the same boat who would appreciate the help as well.
- Ask for help. We all wish we could be super mom or super dad but it’s not realistic and no one expects you to manage it all. Don’t be afraid to ask for help whether it be a friends, family member, or neighbor. You can always return the favor at another time so don’t feel guilty.
- Have a routine. This is key! Since our kids were all babies, we have had a routine. This makes things so much more manageable, and your kids know what to expect so a lot of time they can initiate the tasks on their own. Routines aren’t just for bedtime so use them for everything!
- Plan your meals for the week. Meal planning is so helpful for me especially during the week. This also gives me a grocery list so I can make sure I get everything I need in one trip to the store. Sunday night is a great time to get your list together.
- Communication. Communicating on a day-to-day basis is a big help. This keeps you on the same page and limits the opportunity for surprises to sneak in. My husband travels a lot for work so this is particularly helpful for us. Don’t be afraid to communicate your frustrations with one another either because this can help eliminate stress.
- Only schedule what you can handle. I learned this one the hard way. I used to stretch myself pretty thin because I felt like I had to do it all. This wasn’t good for anyone because I just took my stress out on those around me. Don’t feel the need to say yes to every play date, birthday party, or sign your kids up for every sport available. Balance is the key! Don’t be afraid to say no.
I Know that it takes time and effort from both you and your partner to get a good routine or plan going. But once you figure it out, it really works as long as you are committed and willing to do it! 🙂