I was the stay-at-home parent for 10 years. 10 years! I only went back to work full time recently, and even now, I work from home, so the lines are very blurred. Anyone who says being a stay-at-home parent isn’t a full-time job has obviously never tried it. It’s stressful, tiring, and demanding – but luckily, it’s also incredibly rewarding. In this collaborative post, we will share 5 time saving tips for stay-at-home parents that you are going to want to consider.
Even so, it’s always essential to make time for yourself. Sure – you’ll be wracked with the ever-present Stay-at-home mom guilt, but that never goes away – you just have to learn to live with it. If you find that you are left with very little free time thanks to all the running around you do, here are five fantastic time saving tips for stay-at-home-parents that you should try.
Why Do you Need To Find Time For You when you’re a Stay-At-Home Parent?
I absolutely don’t regret all the years of my career that I gave up to be a stay-at-home mom because the rewards and benefits to my children were worth it. Although to be fair, a lot of the time, like many people, I didn’t have a choice. My husband and I moved around a lot when our girls were babies, and a lot of the time, I didn’t have a work permit, or I didn’t have access to childcare.
However, I do regret not studying to keep my mind focused and active on things that I care about. Let’s not kid ourselves, kids are boring. If you’ve only just found this blog, I have loads of material that can attest to the fact that being a SAHM can be mind-numbingly boring sometimes! Kids are hard work, and they really do test your patience levels to the end of the earth!!!
I’m now studying full-time (I’m crazy – it’s so hard, but you do have to laugh! lol), having gone to university for the first time in my life at 39 years old. I just turned 40, and I hope to graduate at the end of the year. I can tell you that it’s hard! These time-saving tips for stay-at-home-parents that I’m sharing with you now are not to simply free up time to sit on the sofa. No. It’s to take back control of your own time so that you have more time to do things other than all the chores and childcare. Things that you want to do.
Finding time for self-improvement can be challenging when you have a family to care for, and returning to a university campus would be almost impossible for most parents. However, just because you have your kids to raise doesn’t mean bettering yourself is impossible. Consider investing in distance learning from the experts at Anglia Ruskin University. This way, you can study on a schedule that suits your needs.
Time Saving Tips for Stay-at-home-parents, that save your sanity!
Whilst I have decided to study, I’d love to know what you would do with all the time you manage to save. Start a side-hustle, volunteer somewhere, spend more quality time with the kids or your partner, or even maybe … start a blog! Yup – just like this one. Whatever you want to do, though, let’s discuss the 5 time saving tips for stay-at-home parents so you can start to dream of other things to do just for you!
Get into a Routine – TODAY!
We’re always told that stable and consistent routines are good for our little ones – in fact, I’ve even written about why I believe their routine is good for me. But in fact, it’s great for us too!
Of course, you shouldn’t remove all spontaneity from your day-to-day life, but a routine will make your busy schedule much more manageable, especially a strong morning routine! Try to stick to a regular bedtime for yourself too, and set the alarm for the same time each day … if you’re a morning person, you could even try waking up a little earlier to get a few of your tasks out of the way – all the more time for you later, or to spend those extra five minutes nagging the kids to brush their teeth or ensure they have cleaner ears!
Create To Do Lists
Creating a to-do list and sticking to it is one of the most effective time saving tips for stay-at-home parents because it helps you prioritise and focus on what is important. Each evening, sit down and make yourself a list of tasks you have to do the next day. This will save you from wasting time figuring out what you need to do next. And seriously, the satisfaction of ticking things off your list or aggressively crossing them off (whatever works for you) is second to only one other thing …
It’s important to prioritise your time, making sure you tackle the most important jobs first. That way, if you run out of time, you have a lot less to worry about. Use an app such as WorkFlowy to help you manage your tasks and time.
Having to do your weekly shop and plan out every meal can take a lot of valuable time out of your schedule, but it can also save you a huge amount of time and money. But meal prepping and meal planning aren’t the only ways to save you time. You could also consider signing up to a meal subscription service.
There are services out there that can do all the hard work for you. Use a meal subscription kit such as Gousto and receive tasty meal kits delivered to your door – all you have to do is cook and do the washing up! Gousto even offers family boxes so you can find plenty of recipes to give your children nutritious meals.
Ask for Help – seriously!
One of the things I wish I’d learnt early on was that it’s okay for ask for help – no one expects you to do everything yourself! And if they do, that’s completely unrealistic.
Giving your kids chores to do will take some pressure from your shoulders and will also help them develop essential life skills and a sense of responsibility from an early age. You will need to supervise them, and it will get better as they get older, but they must learn to share the responsibility of household work at an age-appropriate level.
And for other tasks you might not enjoy or even have time for, consider calling in the professionals! Even hiring a cleaner for just a couple of hours a week can take the heat off you. Or maybe it’s the ironing that sucks the life out of you takes up time that could be better used for something more stimulating. Getting that little bit of help can really save you time and your sanity.
Limit Your Own Screen-Time
I’m not preaching here. I am super bad at this one. I spend way more time on my phone scrolling through Tik-Tok or Instagram than I should. I could blame some of that on ‘it’s work, I’m checking out the latest influencer trends’, but in reality, I’m trying to avoid the vacuuming, or the laundry, or picking up more clothes off my daughter’s bedroom floor – I am the Queen of Procrastination when it comes to housework.
But we all know that you can go down the rabbit hole of social media, and without even realising it, you’ve lost half a day. I’ve found the best way to put your phone on charge in another room. Please don’t keep it in your pocket because you’ll be tempted to check your notifications every few minutes and then quickly get lost in something else. The same for TV time – limit yourself to one or two episodes of your latest favourite Netflix show – don’t sit and binge the whole series in one day – save that for the weekends with your significant other.
I hope these 5 simple time saving tips for stay-at-home parents have given you some food for thought and an opportunity to consider what else you can do. But seriously, at the end of the day, being a stay-at-home parent is one of the most demanding jobs you can do, especially when they are at home and not in school yet. If all you can manage is to keep the kids alive today, that’s okay. Don’t try to do it all when you’re having hard days, and don’t compare yourself to others! You do you, live your life, the life you want to. If these time saving tips help you achieve that! Awesome!
I’d love to hear how you use that extra 30 minutes or 2 hours a day – drop your stories or your tips in the comments below.