At this stage in your child’s life, you need to put into practice and master all the things you learned in the past few years. You should be a pro by this time regarding managing time with your child. Just when things were getting easier on you mom!…your child is getting bigger and more interested in additional activities, whether in school, practicing sports or something else. Once again, these changes will force you to become an expert at managing your time.
PREPARING FOODS AHEAD OF TIME AND SNACKS!
This is one of the best ideas to help you during this time!… some children don’t eat as much, while others will eat a lot, especially if they practice sports. You’ll feel like you have a tiny teenager at home. So be prepared to cook! Make a list of the snacks your child enjoys to eat at home or in school.
Besides making this list, take an additional hour of your grocery shopping day to wash all your fruits and vegetables and leave them ready to use or eat raw. You can even cut some of them up and put in containers. You can cut up onions, peppers, carrots, broccoli and several other fruits and vegetables so they are ready to use in a matter of minutes. You can also purchase pre-sliced meats and separate them into containers so you can make a sandwich, etc. in a matter of minutes.
If you don’t like the sauces ready for use, prepare a couple of sauces you know you’ll use during that week and put them in the fridge. I know this might sound like a lot of work but trust me, you’ll feel relief when you get home and you can actually make dinner in 30 minutes or so, just like in TV shows, hahaha!
RE-ARRANGE THE CALENDAR
Pre-ks and kindergartens will have at least one additional activity a month. This will vary between schools, but your child will feel incredibly happy if you make the time and attend these events. In addition to these, he/she might be involved in playing sports. Sports activities can be a couple of times a week as well as music or plays.
All of these activities will keep taking up your free time, so it’s time to become a little more creative on ways to manage your time. Your rule of thumb should always be to follow a certain schedule no matter how many times you need to revise it. This will always be better than struggling with a ton of activities, work, housework, and personal life and feeling like you are not accomplishing much. With a schedule, you can see exactly where your time is going. It will also show you where you can make changes.
YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO MAKE THE TIME
Once your child reaches first grade, he/she will definitely demand more of your time. In the past, if you had to work and take care of a million things during the week, your little one would probably miss you but would not know how to express it. Small children can be distracted when you duck out of day care to go to work. But normally around 4 ½ and as they get older, you’ll notice they will question you if you don’t give them some quality time. We are all busy and it’s difficult sometimes to give them all the time we would like.
Regardless of how you decide to manage your time, and how many activities you and your child are involved in, keep in mind that this little person of yours is the most important person of all! He/she should never feel left out or abandoned by the one person they totally depend on–YOU!! There are many ways to juggle daily activities and household duties so your child feels like the most important person in your life. Every case is different, but if you see your child very early in the morning and then you don’t get to see him/her until it’s almost bedtime, make those 20-30 minutes before going to bed special for your child.
Ask them about their day and what they learned, read them a story, or just cuddle up in bed until they fall asleep. And when the weekend comes, try to spend as much time as possible with your child. Make them feel special as if the universe revolves around them! Make the best of your time, mommy! MAKE IT COUNT!!
You want your child to remember all the times you were there for him/her. Even if you may feel like it is not important, the time you spend with your child is the most important time in their lives. You should cherish every moment that you can spend with your child. Children grow very fast, and time has a way of slipping by very quickly. You do not want to look back and regret time that you did not spend with your precious child.
Also, remember that time spent together strengthens the bond between you. When a child feels loved, protected and cared for, that child will grow up to be a wonderful person! It is our job, as parents, to love, protect and care for our children from the moment they are conceived. And once they are born, that job becomes even more important. We all want our children to be happy, healthy, compassionate, and loving as they grow and when they are grown. The time you put into them now will determine what kind of individual they will become. None of us are perfect, but if we try our best, our best is usually good enough!