It’s hard to resist the adorableness of your son or daughter begging you to “come play.” Those big blue eyes and pouty face are near impossible to say no to. You almost give in, but then a flood of all the things you have to do comes back to you. While it’s important that you have time for your kids, work and other responsibilities are necessary. The key is to find a balance between the two – don’t neglect your children but make sure you get your work done. The best way to do this is by keeping your kids busy while you’re busy. Here’s a few quick and easy ideas:
Arts and Crafts
Nothing keeps a little kid concentrated like a new coloring book or painting. Go to your local craft store or Walmart and buy a cheap art project to keep them occupied while you finished up your work. When you’re both done, you’ll have completed all your work and gotten a new decoration for the fridge.
Here’s a trick: pick out a movie that your kid will enjoy, and sit on the couch next to them as they watch. They’ll be so into the movie they won’t even realize you have your laptop and paperwork out.
Obviously this only works in the summer, but it’s a great way to get a short break. You may not get work done at the pool, but you can relax and spend quality time with your kids. And when you get back home, they’ll be so exhausted they’ll nap for hours – which is when your work time kicks in.
You’re definitely not the only mom in the neighborhood with this dilemma! Find other parents with kids the same age as yours and make plans to swap play dates. You’ll take care of her kid while she does work and vice versa. It’ll leave you and your kids happy.
Kids always complain about chores, so the key is to turn them into a game. Make a chore chart with all your kids’ names and what they have to do. You can make them easy tasks like cleaning up their toys. Whoever does the most chores on the chart gets a prize, say extra dessert or some other incentive. It may help you around the house a little and it’s sure to keep your kids busy with some light competition.
A popsicle will only keep them busy for a few minutes, but it’s a great idea when you have an important phone call to make and need silence. There are plenty of healthier options for popsicles like fruit flavors or even making your own at home, which can turn into a fun bonding activity with your kid.
In today’s day and age, kids are learning how to use technology before they can speak. Hand them your iPad or tablet with downloaded applications and they’ll be able to stay distracted for hours. There are plenty of fun games as well as educational ones, so make sure you get a mix of both.
Finding a balance between work and your family can be tough, yet it is definitely doable. Learn to schedule play time as if it were work time to make sure everything is organized and fits in. Remember that family is your number one priority, but work is unfortunately high on the list there as well.