Some great tips on keeping the madness of family life at bay.
As the saying goes, we
all have 24 hours in our day. How is it that some people manage to fit so much
into their day and I feel like a hamster on a wheel all the time?
I asked around for a
few tips from those who look calm and competent all the time. They assured me that I was just seeing them
on good days, but nonetheless, their tips seemed on the button to me.
1. Stock nappy bags
Keep it stocked. Wet
wipes, nappy sacks, spare nappies, spare warm and cool clothing, snack
container for baby and for you, sports bottles of water for you both. If you
formula feed, then pop in a flask of boiled water and a flask of cold water,
some bottles and some formula before you go out.
Read more: Baby's changing bag & toddler's backpack: what to pack
Make sure you get the
nappy bag ready every evening so you’re ready to go the next morning, no matter
2. Pre-pack lunch boxes
Prepare them the night
before and pop in the fridge. You can always add the sandwich in the morning if
your child doesn’t like a sandwich that has been in the fridge all night. Bake
vegetable muffins and other healthy goodies once in a while for easy lunch box
3. Buy birthday party gifts in advance
Thankfully as children
get bigger you no longer get invited to every party in the class. When they’re in pre-primary though, you’ll attend
about 20 parties of school friends a year, plus a few more from your friends’
Bulk gift ordering
online. That is all I have to say. Buy what’s on special. Even if you can’t
buy in bulk, ordering online for delivery when you send the RSVP to the party,
4. Get a family calendar
You need one of those
huge ones with columns. I have a column for each family member and the
children’s nanny. Everything goes on there – business trips, school galas,
doctor’s appointments, play dates, parties, neighbourhood watch patrols,
teacher meetings, volunteer organisation meetings, school projects, test and exam
dates, school outing dates, scout events, swimming and ballet events, leave
days, recording of sick leave, asylum renewal dates, vaccination dates.
Read more: Run your family like a boss
As a school notice (or
any invitation or other meeting notice) comes in, I complete the reply, add it
to the calendar, put the reply back in the homework diary and we’re done.
5. Get two car seats
Buying an extra car seat, this cuts down on a lot of driving around and swapping car seats and
leaving car seats at places. We also each carry one of those safety cover things
you put on a seat belt to ensure it doesn’t cut into a child’s neck if they have
to use the adult seat belt – it’s handy when we unexpectedly have to lift an
additional child. If our children have to go with others, we send these in
their bag instead of the whole chair. We also gave one to my mother as she is
very short and an adult seat belt doesn’t fit her either; she says travelling
is far more comfortable now.
What other time saving tips have you found
useful? Email us at email@example.com.