While joyful and rewarding, life with kids can also be overwhelming for parents trying to ensure routine, outdoor time, personal and self-care, and quality family time. Sometimes the thought of getting it all covered is daunting and seems impossible.
At Littlemore, we value simplicity and care about finding the time and space to enjoy parenthood while giving our children the childhood they deserve. Here are three ways to simplify your day, enjoy more outside time with your children and your family, and maybe give yourself a few extra minutes to do with as you please.
Pack Lunch Night Before
Pack or prepare lunch and snacks the night before for the next day. Even if your littles do not require a packed lunch, you will keep them happy and fed throughout the day by filling a lunch box with snacks, sandwiches, and your child's favorite foods, including Littlemore snack puffs (of course).
Being instantly prepared to serve lunch or feed your child on the go will keep you from stressing over what to feed them or how to entertain them while preparing their meals. Also, you won't have to interrupt whatever flow you find yourself in because lunch will be ready when you need it.
If your kids attend daycare or school, having lunch boxes ready the night before will eliminate one extra step in your hectic morning routine. And we all know less is more when it comes to getting kids out of the house.
Better yet, get your child involved with packing their lunchbox. Use the opportunity to teach them about variety, nutrition, making healthy choices, and planning while getting in some quality time.
Write an Outdoor Bucket List
Create a short and sweet outdoor bucket list. A small list of fun, free, outdoor places to visit, such as hiking spots, beaches, and playgrounds, can ensure that your kiddos get plenty of opportunities to socialize, experience the joy and beauty of nature, and play out their sillies.
Be careful, though. Creating a list that requires more than one visit a week can quickly become overbearing and a burden. You don't want to make outings stressful because you've added the pressure of getting to them all. A shorter list of four to six spots will give you something fun to look forward to, get you and your family outside together regularly, and take you through the season simply. If you finish the list with more time, just add a few more to the list.
Share Your Agenda
Start the day by sharing your agenda for the upcoming day with the kiddos. It is no secret that kids thrive on routine. They love to know what to expect, the boundaries, and the rewards and treats to expect for their day. If they are not aware of what the expectations are, trouble arises, more meltdowns may occur, and miscommunication happens.
With multiple children, a clear plan for the entire family is even more important. Family calendars and communication centers are fantastic and offer great visual supports and reminders if you can manage and maintain them. However, a simple verbal rundown of the day at breakfast as a family can also set the stage for a smoother day where everyone comes together to have a "go team go" moment.
Having just a few simple routines and making an easy to accomplish seasonal bucket list can lighten your parenting load and lessen the stress by adding in some good ole family fun!