1.Activities– I try to plan weekly activities well in advance by looking for local kid-friendly events in our area and talking to friends about day camps, playdates, days at the park, or library visits. Sometime this can be tough because my two are seven years apart. My oldest enjoys reading and arts & crafts and indoor play while my son prefers sports and being outside. Both of them really seem to enjoy working together so anything that involves unity usually works. Creating a schedule and placing it somewhere visible for me and the kids helps us keep track of when and where we’ll be.
2. Safety– Whenever I need someone to watch my children whether at work or taking some time to myself, I always make sure the person that I leave my children with is trusted and passes a background check. Did you know Face It got a bill passed in 2017 (SB 236) that closes gaps in background checks for public schools, youth camps, and in-home babysitters? Prior to this those groups were not required to get one! I was mind-blown! You can learn more about SB 236 here.
3. Groceries– I stock up on extra food and extra toiletries. I try to do my weekly grocery shopping in the evenings when most people are not out at the grocery. Also, there’s nothing worse than hearing your child yell from the bathroom “Mom! We’re out of toilet paper!” and immediately remembering “that’s what I meant to pick up from the store.”
4. Back up plan– Outdoor activities are usually our go-to plans during the summer, but the weather doesn’t always cooperate. I also try to have a backup plan if my sitter cancels. So in the event that one or both of these happen I can adapt easily. In the past I did not have a back up plan and learned quickly.
5. Relax– Make sure you find time to take a moment to yourself. I know this can be tough, but even five minutes to collect your thoughts or simply meditate can help reduce your stress and in turn ease the difficulties of parenthood. Remember that it’s okay if things don’t go as planned and to just enjoy the time you do have with your little ones.