Whether you’re the parent of a newborn, or have a family of two or three kids already, there’s two things you’ll realise by now; (1) parenting is not for the weak – and (2) multitasking is a must!
You may have 1001 things to do at all times, e.g. pack the kids water bottle to school, pick up the teething gel at the chemist, and prepare a healthy meal in a matter of minutes. To be a good parent, you need to have the energy of an athlete, the strength of an ox and the constitution of a horse. In addition to that, the craftiness of a snake and the gentleness of a dove also come in handy.. that’s not too much to ask is it!?
You Don’t Need Superpowers, You Need New Skills
Yes, you can be a good parent without superpowers. For the newbie mum or dad, the challenges of parenting can be overwhelming. We must learn to strike a balance. We must give enough love and care to the young ones while ensuring we take care of our own needs. It’s the sort of message that new dad books and the mom blogs constantly deliver on. Grandparents can be a source of wisdom in these difficult days, for those of us who are lucky enough to have our parents around. Once we become parents, our relationship with our own parents usually improves. That’s because we now understand what they went through to bring us up. But no matter the help that may or may not be around, we certainly have to learn to multi-task like never before!
Worst Case Scenario
Picture a scenario. You’re a stay-at-home parent. A stay-at-home parent who works from home. Sounds good? An important client has just called to ask you where the report is. The one which was due two days before. Only you couldn’t finish it on time because of, well, the kids! So you play it cool and negotiate. Yes, it’s almost done. Just needs a final, last minute check before letting it go. Don’t worry, everything is in control. Only it isn’t. You have just two hours to get the report in. And there are two noisy monsters known as your toddlers in your office environment. Thankfully, they’re fed and changed. But how do you keep them engaged while you finish proofreading the report? Well, it’s time to multitask!
Six Ways To Multitask Like A Parent Pro
Here are my six tips for multi-tasking with kids on the scene. Have read and join the conversation. Add some of your own, in case I’ve missed some.
- Use the baby sling. This is in case you have a baby under one year old. You can carry on working and the little one will probably sleep peacefully. Some mums even manage to breastfeed in a sling, which is great if you can manage it. But even if you don’t breastfeed, no need to feel left out. Even dads can successfully raise babies you know!
- High chair activities. Toddlers are challenging. How do you keep them engaged, happy and safe while you get on with the proofreading? They won’t exactly sit in their high chairs and do jigsaws. And don’t put on a video of their favourite TV show to keep them engaged. That should be the last resort. If they’ll happily stay in their high chairs, fine. But keep the crafts for toddlers going with the colouring books and plasticine handy.
- Lollipops. Okay, you’ll have to make them brush their teeth later and ensure they have their cavity checks. But this old recipe for keeping kids calm is as relevant as ever, even today. As a retired teacher once told me, kids always love a lollipop. Sucking seems to be a comfort tool for preschoolers. It calms them like nothing else can Playpen. Some toddlers stay happily in a playpen with a few of their favourite toys. If they do, you’re in luck. So get on with it
- Use your imagination. My friend’s two-year-old daughter, Rebecca has many expensive toys, but tires of them easily. It’s surprising what she finds interesting. Like the time her dad bought her a pedal car. Rebecca played with the cardboard box the toy arrived in, visualising it as her own little house. Another time, Rebecca’s mum kept her engaged by giving her a wooden spoon and and iron pot with a little cooked rice in the bottom.The child was fascinated, not by the new things, but by the imagination to bring it all to life.
- Seek help if you must. If there’s a grandma or a kind neighbour nearby, call on them and return the favour when appropriate. They should be familiar and trustworthy. They should also know how to keep kids safe, as well as engaged.
Do What Works For You!
Some parenting tips work great for some people Others don’t. You have to discover what works for you and develop your own parenting style. Remember, everybody’s different.