(BPT) - School days mean hectic schedules for most families. Older kids head to the classroom, younger ones go to day care, and parents try to manage the early mornings and increased extracurricular activities. How can parents stay organized, reduce stress and stay involved in their kids’ education and care?
The increased demands of school time are even more complex for members of the sandwich generation – people who care for their own children while also caring for their aging parents. If you care for your kids and other loved ones, it’s easy to quickly become overwhelmed and confused.
No one knows this better than Julie Gilbert Newrai. Just weeks after she gave birth, her husband had a sudden stroke that required brain surgery. As she tried to juggle a career, parenthood, newborn day care and her husband’s rehabilitation, she became frustrated. After struggling to keep track of important information and getting put on hold when calling day care and medical centers, she created a solution.
She decided to look for ways technology would better help her manage her hectic life and founded PreciouStatus. The award-winning mobile technology used by day cares, hospitals and care centers allows loved ones to receive in-the-moment news via email. Users immediately know when children eat or how long they nap. For family members receiving medical care, users receive information when therapies are completed or medicine is received. Users even get photos, so Mom and Dad can get visual updates about little Jack’s field trip or Grandpa’s physical therapy progress.
Gilbert Newrai offers these tips for managing hectic schedules during the busy school year to ensure kids and families thrive.
1. Build a life infrastructure
Parents try to do it all, particularly women. That’s why it’s important to find a balanced approach to managing your work and home life. Map out what needs to be done each day and then make deals with your partner. Split the necessary to-do’s, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. It takes a village to raise a modern child, so help from friends and relatives is a necessity. Don’t beat yourself up over asking your friend to stop for milk on the way to your house or hiring a housecleaner once a month. You’ll be a better parent and better executive.
2. Create a cooking schedule
School means early breakfasts and bag lunches. Numerous studies show good nutrition supports healthy brains and bodies while also boosting the immune system, so be sure both you and your children eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods, including fruits and vegetables. Try choosing time during the weekend when life is a little less busy for a chop-and-cook session. Cut up veggies ahead of time and pop into individual containers for easy packing and snacking throughout the week. You can also use this time to prep weekday dinners so that when you get home from work, the basics are done and you just need to heat and garnish.
3. Utilize technology
Technology can help keep busy parents organized and sane. Use sharable online calendars to manage work and family schedules and never miss a deadline or start of a soccer game again. Make sure to synch your calendar to your spouse’s so you both stay in the loop. Ask day cares, schools and eldercare centers about PreciouStatus so you can better manage your loved ones’ days, even when you can’t be there. Pet parents enjoy PreciousPetStatus used at kennels, pet day cares and veterinary centers for mobile updates on their furry family members.
4. Bond with teachers and caregivers
It’s important to really know who is caring for your children and loved ones. Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher and your family’s nurses and other caregivers. Put a face with names and open the doors of conversation. Be positive and proactive by letting them know you want to hear from them, including both good and bad updates. Engaging with caregivers helps you be a better parent/family member and in return helps them feel valued. And don’t be afraid to recognize caregivers for a job well-done – good teachers and nurses deserve a pat on the back for going above and beyond.