Mother: only one word, so many meanings. Whether you are a working mum or a stay-at-home mum, your jobs and tasks are endless and don’t lack in variety. Caregivers, cooks, cleaners, psychologists, chauffeurs, doctors, managers, hairdressers, dieticians, accountants, teachers, waitresses, maids and nurses are just few of the roles we take on daily.There just aren’t enough hours in the day, we just don’t have enough arms to handle all the things we have to do. However, what we mastered is improvisation and lateral thinking, so let’s put that multitasking brain of ours to work, and figure out how to keep our sanity!

We have already talked basics and we have laid down the grounds for some fundamental organizing tips and advice. It is now time to find ways to manage our valuable time and establish vital family rules.

Help your children prepare their school bags the night before. Soon, they will be able to do it themselves every night. This is a great way for your children to stay organized and independent, while helping you save precious time and a lot of hassle.

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Teach your children how to answer the phone. Leave a small notebook and a pen next to the phone and instruct your older children to write down phone numbers, names and important messages. In time, they will feel a sense of pride and maturity in helping you out this way.

Prepare the baby’s bag the night before. If you have a  baby or small children and you have arranged to spend time out of the house, make sure you have their bag, with everything they will need in it, ready from the night before. This tactic has saved me a lot of time and helped me organize better. Arrange that earlier and avoid situations where while changing the baby you realize you forgot to pack the wipes!

Keep cut-up food in the freezer. That is an amazing idea which totally comes in handy. Cut up vegetables such as carrots, onions, garlic, peppers, courgettes and anything else you can think of, divide them into small portions and seal them firmly in bags. Frozen, they can last for a long time. I also keep cut-up fresh herbs in the freezer such as dill, coriander, basil and parsley. I do the same for meats and fish placing required portions in separate bags.

Keep cut-up carrots and celery in the fridge. In the weekend, cut up a whole bag of carrots and celery, place them in a container filled with water and place them in the fridge. Comes in handy as a great snack and for children’s’ lunchbox at school.

Set the coffee machine on a timer. If you and/or your partner drink coffee, fill in the coffee machine from the night before and put it on a timer for the next morning. Waking up to the smell of freshly made coffee is a wonderful morning feeling and you won’t have to do that while running around getting the children ready for school.

Set some family rules. All households have them and they give the family some direction. They are the things that represent your beliefs and your family’s values. Once a year, sit down with your older children and decide or reevaluate  rules and the consequences of not following them. You can write down all those rules in a big paper and hang them on the wall so that everyone can see them.
They could be rules on behavior, studying, sleep arrangements or even on your family’s general philosophy, for example : ‘We treat other people with respect’, etc.

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Parents should follow the house rules, too! Children learn by imitation so parents are not exempt from the family’s rules. It would, for example, be very hypocritical if you asked your children not to swear while you do it continuously!

Praise more, punish less! Young mothers around the world should know by now that harsh punishment is never that effective. Praise is! Choose to express approval of your children’s good behavior more often than pointing out their mistakes.

All wonderful moms around the world – relax!! Rome wasn’t built in a day and you cannot fit a 70 hour schedule in the same day either! I promise I will provide you with some very practical ideas and tips to make your parental life  easier and you feeling more chilled out and loosen up. Till next time.

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