Whether you work from home while tending to the children or exclusively provide for the kids each and every day, being a stay at home mom/parent is a full-time job all in itself.
A stay at home mom/parent must manage their time wisely. If it's the laundry that needs to be folded or a quick post on Instagram to promote a brand you work with, finding the time to do your tasks takes creativity and speed.
The SAHM/P may feel like it's all too much at times; balancing taking care of their young while maintaining a home and/or career.
Read below, as we have listed ten sneaky times during your day where you can squeeze in a little — or a lot — of time to get your stuff done.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many of us use our children's nap as some well-deserved downtime for ourselves.
Yes, by all means: if you need to take a physical and mental rest from the day's care, do so. But, if you have a small child who naps more than once a day, try to minimize your rest time to only one nap.
For example: if you are more rested in the morning and find yourself dragging on during the afternoon, focus your time and energy on working or doing the dishes during their morning's nap. Once the afternoon nap comes around, rest yourself.
Whether you invite friends over along with their parents or you go to the library for a play-date, consider telling the other parent that you must get work done.
They will often understand and volunteer to be the sole Baby Watcher.
If you have the luxury of working remotely (say, at the library while your children and their friends play), then you have the ability to bring work (AKA your digital device) to the day's activity.
I am sure we can all agree that eating together as a family during meals is incredibly important for multiple reasons. Not only is it valuable bonding time, but it also signals down-time to collectively enjoy the meal.
However, those small snacks (that occur through out the day) may actually provide a convenient window of time for you to scrub those toilets before your parent's visit or vacuum up the cheerios that the baby spilt the night previous.
Don't guilt yourself if you can't be "present" during your child's snack. As long as you're enjoying their main meals together, have a quick "get away" while they snack.
Most children will take 30-60 minute naps until the age of 4. If your child and/or children are those of the few that refuse to nap before the school years, encourage some quiet time.
Whether this is quiet block play in the middle or the day while you listen to classic music or free-read time in your "book nook" while you finish up that last-minute work e-mail, it's ok (and actually important) to encourage independent play.
6 OUTDOOR PLAY
Weather and age permitting, working and cleaning up outside is always welcome while your child or children play.
Speaking of independent play, there's truly nothing more rewarding than allowing your young child to explore the outdoors on their own.
If you have to bring your laptop and/or phone with you to write that last editorial piece or need to bring the gardening sheers with you to trim the dead branches, do so while your child uses their imagination to play with the wilderness.
Better yet: if it is an activity/chore that your child is safely capable of joining in on, that could be an incredible job for the two of you to work on, together!
Whether you have a partner to assist in the bed-time routine or you have successfully been able to sleep-train your baby and/or toddler to fall asleep without assistance, bed time is a great time during your day to buckle down and get your stuff done.
Many parents actually believe some chores (like washing the dishes or folding laundry) can be more therapeutic than annoying. So, what a better way to end your night?
Imagine tackling this task without distraction... What a dream come true!
4 BATH TIME
If you have a partner and/or caretake to provide a night time bath for your child and/or children, this is also a great time to wind down yourself and focus on the things you have to get done.
If your partner has been away all day at work, this is great bonding time for the child and parent to interact in a fun and calming way before bed.
Whether this provides you 20 minutes to finish that custom graphic you were commissioned to do or an hour to knit that baby hat your sister wanted you to create, bath time is a great time to get your things done.
Especially knowing that your child is happy spending this quality time with someone they love, it will be a guilt-free block of time where you can completely focus and not worry about your child's potential boredom.
3 DURING TOY CLEANUP
When we said creative, we meant creative!
Any other parent know The Clean Up Song or make one up to encourage tidiness in your home?
Well, the length of time it takes your small child to put away their enormous mess may give you enough time for that conference call.
Better yet: you know that this clean up routine is recurring; your toddler is constantly making a mess. Though they may not organize their toys as well as you had hoped, it still provides some you-time.
Not only will this encourage cleaning up after themselves, but you will be able to squeeze in some extra time to yourself to get your stuff done.
2 WHILE ON THE TOILET
Here's the thing: this trick will only work if your child does not already follow you to the washroom. So, it may only benefit a select few of you.
This idea is specifically for those who need to finish up that reading that was assigned to you or have something to work on digitally, but no one can "rush" you on the toilet if they know you have to get "stuff" done.
Whether you have to place your baby in the playpen so you can "multitask" on your personal needs or throw down a layer of crayons with a colouring book for the 3 year old to enjoy during this time of need, excusing yourself to the washroom can be a great excuse to get some stuff done.
1 PUT THE TV ON
There — we said it. Put that Television on and don't feel guilty for once.
According to Live Science, most children under the age of 2 are subjected to 1.8 hours of television a day. To make you feel better: you're not the only parent whom resorts to television when they need to get away.
Many professionals warn parents to completely keep screen-time away from their children before the age of 2. But, to be frank: screen time is a very convenient and easy way to provide some distraction for young children.
Whether you have to throw on an educational video from youtube for just 5 minutes or a 2-hour show that is strictly visual stimuli, sometimes you just need to do what you need to do! And, that's ok.