Ask Us! How do I get it all done in one day?

1488520We don’t  fly around with a magic black umbrella or claim to have the skills of Mary Poppins, but our Nanny Team Counselors do have over 100 years of combined experience placing great Nanny candidates in childcare jobs all over the Bay Area. When it comes to navigating the world of professional in-home childcare, we’ve just about seen it all. So go ahead, Ask Us!

My job has Family Assistant responsibilities in addition to childcare. Some days it’s tough to get it all done. Do you have suggestions as to how to manage the children and the household duties? – Julie

Dear Julie,

We all know multitasking can be difficult, especially when it comes to getting things done with children by your side. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of Family Assistant duties that are included in a Nanny’s job description. Here are a few suggestions for how to get household chores done efficiently.

Grocery Shopping and Running Errands

  • Get shopping and errands done early in the day. Grocery stores tend to be less busy in the morning. They often have the freshest produce in the morning, too. Children are also less likely to be overtired and hungry.
  • Turn shopping into an adventure. Use your imagination with children. Are you just picking up fish or are you going deep-sea fishing? The sky’s the limit when it comes to imagination. Creating your story or theme to fit the children’s interest will speed the errand and curb meltdowns.
  • Use the items in the aisles of the store as a language learning experience. Associating words and objects is great for children. Point out items and say their names. If you speak a second language, and the parents want you to speak in that language to your charge, you should say the word in the secondary language, too.
  • Bring healthy snacks. There’s nothing worse than a hungry child in a grocery store. Make sure the snacks are parent-approved and easy for children to manage by themselves.
  • Plan ahead. If you are responsible for preparing meals, make a menu for the week and make a grocery list from the menus. You could even use a website like Pinterest to save your best recipes.
  • Use an App like “Our Groceries” or “Grocery IQ” to have the family share their lists with you so you can get as much as possible in one visit and limit trips back to the store.

Some duties are best suited for nap time, but if your charges are too old for a nap, the duties can be accomplished while the children are doing an independent activity like coloring or homework. Always make sure your charges are within your sight and within arms’ reach. Creating the most efficient work flow is helpful to make sure all of your tasks are completed. The duties outlined below can be done simultaneously.

Laundry: When the children go down for a nap, start a load of laundry. Laundry has a delay, so after you start the load, you have a period of time to get other things done. While the laundry is going, clean up any dishes from breakfast or lunch. Starting with a clean workspace will allow for easier meal prep.

Meal Prep: After you have cleaned the kitchen, dive into meal prep. Marinate the protein and chop the vegetables. Cook what can be prepared ahead of time, realizing that some things should be cooked right before serving. Wash all the dishes you used in your meal prep and wipe down the counters. Switch over the laundry and start a new load.

Light Housekeeping: Nannies are not expected to do deep cleaning, but they are expected to keep the house tidy. Pick up any stray toys and vacuum or sweep the floor if needed. If you have the bandwidth, take on small organizational projects. After the home is back in order, take a moment to sit down and rest while you fold the laundry.

The beginning of nap time might seem like a sprint, but getting the bulk of household chores done while the children are sleeping will significantly lessen your load when the little ones are awake and ready to play. While folding laundry listen to a podcast or music (without headphones). Having that mental recharge will keep you energized for the rest of the day.