Parents: Make Life Easier for Yourself

  • Decide what is most important. People are more important than things. It is always important to cuddle, play, and talk with your child.
  • Tidy is more important than clean. No one will see the dust on the woodwork, but toys all over the floor are dangerous. Put the toys into a box and put the box in a corner. The room will look much better, you will feel good about it, and it will only take a few minutes.
  • Be as organized as you can. Every day, make a list of what you have to do. This could include planning meals, cleaning, errands, appointments, and anything else you need to get done that day.
  • Work out ways to get things done quickly and easily. There are ways to save time and energy. For example, prepare enough stew for two meals then freeze half for another day. Do as much as you can by phone or online.
  • Share the work. You do not have to do everything on your own. Share the work with your partner, if possible. Ask for help from friends and family members. Ask a neighbour or a friend to watch your child for an hour or so while you take a break. Maybe you can watch her child in return or do some other favour.
  • Prepare for problems BEFORE they happen. Problems will seem smaller if you've already figured out how to handle them. What will you do if your child has a fever? Or if your babysitter gets sick?

Key Message
Give yourself credit for what you do. Do not feel guilty about what you do not get done.

What Can Wait?


When you feel you have too much to do, take a break and make a list. Write down all the jobs that you think you need to do. Decide whether each job is a must do job or a should do job. Work on the must do jobs first. You do not have to think about the should do jobs right away. They can wait.

Examples of must do jobs:

  • Feed your child.
  • Take care of a sick child.
  • Get some rest and exercise.
  • Pay your bills.
  • Make sure your child goes to school or daycare.

Examples of should do jobs:

  • Clean the floor.
  • Do laundry
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Mow the lawn.

You cannot delay should do jobs forever. If you have no more clean clothes to wear, doing laundry is a must do job! Ask yourself: "Will something bad happen if I don't do this job?" If the answer is yes, then this is a must do job.

Spend your time doing must do jobs and having fun with your family and friends.

What Can You Get Help With?

Look to your community.

Help and support from neighbours, friends, and family can make many problems easier to handle. Stay connected to your family and friends. Reach out to other people.

  • Buy and cook food as a group or use a community kitchen program.
  • Arrange a car pool.
  • Join a babysitting co-op. In a co-op, parents trade babysitting time instead of paying for it.

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Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

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