Tips to Help Busy Mothers Manage Their Time

1. Make sure everyone in the family who can fog a mirror has their own chores to do. Have a family meeting and discuss everything that needs to be done and divvy up the work among family members. Even young children can do simple chores such as:

  • Putting away their toys
  • Dusting
  • Helping to set the table
  • Helping to make their bed
  • Put away their laundry

Teenagers can do many of the same tasks as adults, including:

  • Shopping for groceries
  • Cutting the grass
  • Starting dinner
  • Doing their own laundry

You are doing older teens who may be going off to college soon a favor by having them know how to do simple shopping meal planning and their own laundry. Living away from home for the first time is a big adjustment in itself, so know some housekeeping basics in advance may help to ease the transition.

Put a chore chart up on the fridge with everyone's assigned chores for the week and have the kids check off when their chores are done. Have rewards or sanctions in place for children who do or do not complete their rewards on time. For example, children who consistently put their toys away for a month may get to go to the store to buy a new toy. Or just the opposite, children who do not put their toys away may lose any toys left out for a certain period of time.

2. Establish a study are and set study time for homework each day for school age children. Encourage older children to write their assignments down in their planners, and to write big tasks, like tests and projects due, on the family or moms calendar so you can help to keep them on track with their due dates.

3. Have a weekly family meeting where everyone can get together to discuss schedules, conflicts, vacations, etc. Some of the things we have discussed at family meetings include: chore allocations, where to go (if anywhere) over school holidays, where to take our summer vacation, deciding on what kind of cell phones and plans we wanted to get, voting on home remodeling projects, planning classes, clubs and school trips, etc.

4. Try to have a set schedule for daily, weekly, monthly and annual tasks. Kids do best with a consistent routine. Try to have meals at the same time each day. When my kids were young I used to have dinner when my husband would come home from work so we could eat together as a family. It was a nice idea, but he had such an erratic work schedule it just didn't work to have dinner at six on some nights and eight on other nights. I ended up having dinner at 6:30 every night, at a time my husband could make most nights.

5. Keep the TV off in the morning and any other times you need your kids to focus on the task(s) at hand. My husband used to like to have a cup of coffee and watch the news in the morning. Then he would drop the kids off at school on his way to work. The problem was that every morning someone was late, and the kids often made it to school with just minutes to spare and were occasionally tardy. Recently my husband changed jobs to one with an earlier start time, so I started taking the kids to school. Interestingly, we didn't have as many problems being on time anymore, and I realized it was because I always turned the TV off as soon as my husband left for work. Until he changed jobs I never realized how big a distraction having the TV on in the morning was for my children. It took their focus off their main task at hand of getting ready for school on time.



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We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves.
Henry Ward Beecher

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The fate of the child is always the work of his mother.


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The mother's heart is in the child's schoolroom. - Henry Ward Beecher

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