- Allow extra time to avoid “crunch time”
Every working parent understands how difficult it can be to keep it all together. One minute you’re on time to take three kids to school at 7:30 AM, and the next minute one of your kids spills his breakfast on himself, the other one can’t find her homework, and suddenly you are late to work. The best way for the morning to start of well is to have a little extra time. This can be as simple as getting up 30 minutes earlier to allow extra time for all of those little mishaps that are bound to happen. It also allows for a better start in the morning because if you’re stressing and you’re late you are bound to lose patience. The more patience you have, the better mom you are.
- It’s all in the preparation
You can save a lot of time by keeping organized. Activities such as going out to buy a Halloween costume for your child can be time consuming and often get left to the last minute. But if you pre-order that costume online and make picking it out a fun activity with your child you not only get the first pick but you also save tons of time later on. Planning out purchases and activities is a sure way to save time and avoid stress!
- Give up the perfection
I interview experts all day for my parenting website, Kids in the House , but I’m constantly humbled by my kids. I remember being at an event with my son a few years ago. He wanted a cookie, and after I told him he couldn’t have a second one he threw the biggest tantrum I’d ever seen. I remember another parent coming over to me and jokingly saying, “How’s the parenting site going?” In that moment I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, because I started a parenting company a lot of people expect me to have everything figured out for myself!” But the reality is—what parent truly has it all figured out? There is no way to be a perfect parent, all you can do is the best you can at any given moment and try to get as much help and support as you can.
- Quality over Quantity
One thing that I have found to be really important is making an effort to spend a little time each week with each of my kids individually. This can be anything from picking up my son after school and getting a snack together to reading a book with one of my daughters for a half an hour. Even activities like going to the grocery store can be fun if you sell your kid on the fact that you are going to have designated “mommy and me” time. I think it’s important for working parents to carve out a little time, no matter how limited, for each child so he or she feels seen and heard.
- Balance is a myth
It’s all about giving up the guilt. I myself have struggled with the work/life balance and felt the guilt of not being enough for everyone. I think my trick to being happy and successful in both business and motherhood is to eliminate that feeling of guilt about not having enough time. I do my best to focus on my kids when I am with them and to focus on my work when I am at the office. It will never be an exact even split of time, and I’ve just learned to accept that I cannot be in two places at once, and I can’t hold myself to such an impossible expectation.
Leana Greene is the founder and CEO of kidsinthehouse.com, the world’s largest parenting video library. With over 8000 videos, Kids in the House is a website that provides parenting advice for all parenting styles through educational videos featuring over 450 of the country’s top parenting experts, including pediatricians, doctors, authors, celebrities and parents themselves Leana, originally from Sweden, is an entrepreneur at heart and a mother of three. She started her first company, Absolute Court Reporting, in her early twenties and was also was active in the entertainment industry as a model, producer, and had five Billboard hits. She is the winner of two ABA Stevie Awards for best use of video and an Edison Award for Innovation.
Photo Courtesy of Gabriela Pinto [FLICKR]