Age is just a number. It's a statement you often hear from adults who feel like their accumulation of years and experiences hasn’t changed their childlike spirit. Maturity levels and personal outlooks vary among adults, even when they assume the role of parent. Sometimes you may feel like you’re a kid in an adult’s body, which may, depending on whom you ask, disrupt your effectiveness as a parent.
Of course, you can still stay in touch with your inner child, while simultaneously adjusting specific aspects of your lifestyle. You can still feel young while you develop more mature and responsible habits. Here's a list of essential tips and methods that will guide you toward taking up a more adult, parental presence:
A keen sense or practice of organization can help streamline your daily lifestyle. Your house should be tidy, so you can easily find items required for your children’s school day and recreational activities. The more organized you are, the more likely they will be successful in developing the same habits. You'll feel like — and be seen as — a reliable parent for your kids when you can establish a system that compartmentalizes physical objects and creates an environment for a functional household. Bright Horizons, a family and childcare organization, offers tips for parents to create a more organized home, like developing cleaning routines, setting up kids areas, and utilizing different types of containers.
Keeping track of all your family's obligations and activities can be difficult without a bonafide scheduling system. To develop better habits and be more organized, hang a physical calendar in your home that serves as a visual reminder of upcoming events. This reminder system will help ensure you don’t overlook any important dates or arrive late to any of your family’s activities or appointments. If you're more tech-savvy, take advantage of your smartphone’s scheduling and calendar features, so you receive alerts for upcoming obligations.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Preparedness can help you get through some situations and help prevent any logistical headaches. Now, there are daily routines that should already be on your radar, like packing your child's school lunches. To be prepared on that front, make sure you leave the grocery store with lunchbox-friendly items, so you aren’t scrambling to find food for your child the morning before school.
Additionally, you should also think about what kind of routine maintenance is required for your home and automobile. For example, you should always keep your car in good working order. Make sure you take it in for tuning, oil changes, brake checks and tire rotations. You should also be prepared for variations of seasons, which will affect your driving safety. With that in mind, if you live in snowy or icy areas in the winter, make sure to equip your vehicle with winter tires, so you can have safe and fun family excursions.
Keep your finances in order in case of emergency or to splurge on a big purchase that will benefit your family. Set up a budget in which you identify how much money, on average, you spend in a week, month and year. Set goals for your savings and spending, so you can responsibly handle your finances and monitor where your money is going.
Need help getting started? Utilize financial organization tools, like the Mint app, which will help you set goals for particular areas of spending. The app allows you to set a budget limit for lifestyle costs, like clothing, eating out, groceries, transportation, utilities, entertainment and more. It even provides you with alerts if you're near or have surpassed your spending limits.