10 Ways to Make Parenting Less Boring

April 1, 2019

Zack and I talked about an article we read on one of our more recent episodes of Mom and Dad Made a Podcast about how sometimes, parenting is just boring. It’s a truth a lot of us dance around admitting, but you certainly aren’t alone if you’re not filled with joy from start to finish each and every time you play legos, line up seventy-five cars or complete a puzzle with your kids. I’m not saying it’s never enjoyable, but I am saying it can be boring to play with your kids. And I’m also saying that that’s okay. I believe boredom is important for both kids and adults alike, but I also believe that there are ways you can make your days at home a little less mind numbing.

Since I have been at home with Owen the last three and a half years without childcare I have adopted some tactics that make my days more manageable, enjoyable and well, less boring. Find my tips and tricks below!

1. Have a schedule. I know this might sound a little ridiculous when one of the major perks of being at home is the flexibility, but I find that I do so much better when I map out our days (most weekdays are the same). For example today I woke up at 5, had time to workout, get ready, have a cup of coffee and work before Owen woke up at 7:30. When he woke up I put work aside as well as my phone and was present with him for two full hours before starting laundry and doing a little more work. When I know I have allocated time for the things I need / want to get done each day I’m so much more present with him during our time together. I realize this can be tricky if you’re little one is younger and isn’t on as much of a routine, but there are always ways to break up your day so that you’re (hopefully) getting what you need!

2. Listen to podcasts. It can be really lonely when you’re a stay-at-home parent. There are days where I just feel starved for adult conversation, but it’s not in the cards. Podcasts have truly been my saving grace. If they’re language appropriate I’ll just listen to them over our speaker while I play in Owen’s room with him and if not, I’ll throw some headphones in and go one ear in one ear out so I can listen but also be there with him. My favorites are The Daily, Armchair Expert, You Made it Weird and you can of course listen to Mom and Dad Made a Podcast or Building Household with Hailey & Amy too!

3. Schedule coffee dates with your friends. To be completely honest with the exception of my best friends having their first baby a week ago, the majority of our friends don’t and none of our siblings have kids. But, we’re so lucky to have them around and we make sure to meet up with at least one person a week. This is honestly great for me, hello adult conversation and caffeine, but it’s good for Owen too! If Owen’s having a harder day or the weather is particularly crappy I invite friends and family over to our place, otherwise we meet them in another neighborhood and I cannot tell you how nice it is to just break up our day that way.

4. Cook and bake together. I’ve honestly always dreamed of the days we’d start teaching Owen to cook and bake and it’s finally happening. It’s seriously the best and creates such a fun, hands on project for us together. It’s something I would most likely be doing anyways so it’s just a special treat that he’s getting into it. Plus that means maybe one less hour of playing on the floor, you know?! As you can see here he’s been helping me make coffee whenever he gets the chance. 

5. Get outside. When I recently updated our schedule I set it up in a way so that we’re either out of the house from 10:30 to the late afternoon or that we come home for lunch and then go back out again in the afternoon. Sometimes all you need to reset or shake off some antsy feelings is to get outside and breathe some fresh air. A lot of the time we will just walk around our neighborhood for an hour or so, run some errands or go to the park or playground. Really looking forward to spring so we can do even more of this!

6. Facetime/ Skype with your family. Both of Owen’s sets of grandparents live across the country and we Facetime them almost daily. It’s nice for me to get to chat with my parents and mother in law and is especially great for Owen to nurture his relationship with them when they’re so far away. Sometimes I even get some dishes done while he’s talking to them or something else around the house. We often refer to it as virtual babysitting, ahah!

7. Give yourself a break. This plays into having a schedule, but in my honest opinion there is no shame in taking advantage of some independent play and checking out for 10 minutes. Have a cup of coffee, make a snack, read an article, do something that will help you feel refreshed when you come back to play with your little ones.

8. Plan one major adventure day a week. We’re so fortunate to live in such an amazing city packed with museums, parks, beaches and so on. I find that if we do one big adventure a week, like The New York Transit Museum, it makes not only the day you go super enjoyable, but the following day feels that much sweeter to relax at home.

9. Do crafts together (kinda). I’m sure I’ve said this a dozen times but if I’m doing computer work Owen is ten times more likely to try to shut my computer and disrupt whatever I’m working on. I’ve found that if I get him set up with a craft or just simple coloring materials I’m able to bring my own notebook along and either plan out my editorial calendar, recipe plan, make a to do list and so on without too much interruption.

10. Keep a notebook close by. Something I notice when I’m playing with Owen that makes me feel restless and bored is when I’m doing my best to be present and play with him but my mind is spinning about everything I have to do. In these instances I try to keep a notebook and pen close by and whenever something comes up write it down and get back to playing. It’s so helpful!

Photography by Amy Frances.

Leave a Comment

  • Madelise

    These are great! Now that kiddo #2 is just having one nap daily, I am trying to get into a new routine during the week and find a more calm rhythm.

    • There’s so much beauty in a routine even if you have to adjust every month or week or day! There’s something about it that just helps me feel more balanced all around. Best of luck to you mama!

  • Stefanie

    Love these great suggestions! I’m goin to pass them along to my husband as well. We really need to get a good schedule down for our boys. Looking forward to trying these out.

    • So glad these are sounding helpful to you Stefanie! The schedule thing is tricky for us, but I find that even if I create it each morning that it’s helpful 🙂 Best of luck to you guys!

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