(BPT) - You wake up before the sun rises to shower and get ready for the day. Soon you hear the patter of tiny feet upstairs. You get breakfast ready for your little ones and then get them dressed. Between packing bags and preparing lunches, you barely have time to grab breakfast for yourself. You rush out the door just in time to make it to work before that big meeting starts.
And all this happens before 8 a.m.
Being a parent means juggling not just your own schedule, but those of your children as well. Nearly two in three moms have never taken a day completely for themselves, according to a new survey conducted by Luvs and Wakefield Research. It's no surprise most parents long for a little breathing room to relax.
Fortunately, with these five tips and tricks, you can ease your schedule and save time throughout the day. Use that extra time for something you enjoy, whether it's watching your favorite TV show, going for a run or sipping a cup of tea while star gazing.
Make nap time all about you
If you have small kids, you probably use the few hours they nap to do laundry, clean the house or catch up on emails. Instead, once or twice a week, use the break to do something just for you. Read a book, catch up on the DVR or even step into the shower! In fact, the Luvs survey found that a quarter of moms would simply value an uninterrupted shower versus going to the spa.
Changing diapers throughout the day adds up fast in time and money. Parents can look to avoid leaks while keeping little ones comfortable by using Luvs which are extra absorbent and have large stretch tabs for easy fastening. Visit www.luvsdiapers.com to learn more about Luvs Ultra Leakguards with NightLock Plus.
Ready the night before
Mornings are hectic for families, and a bad one can really set the tone for the entire day. Save time and eliminate stress by doing as much as possible the night before. Select clothes for kids and yourself, prepare lunches, pack bags and bathe in the evening. When the alarm goes off, you will be 75 percent ready to go.
Cook double batches
When you cook twice as much, you cover two meals in the time it takes to make just one. Double the casserole for tonight and freeze half for next week. Cook 2 pounds of chicken so you have lunch for tomorrow in addition to dinner. Double the soup and freeze in individual containers so both you and your partner have an easy meal you can grab and go.
Play date exchange
Spearhead a babysitting exchange between you and your parent friends. Offer to bring a few extra kids to the park to give another parent a much-needed break. Then next week, swap play date duties so you can enjoy a few hours alone. Your kids will love having friends along, while you get precious "me time." It's a win-win for everyone.