5 smart time-hacks to bond with junior

Yes, you can work full-time AND raise your child properly. It just takes some planning and ingenuity…


It’s been a hectic work week, and as you look at squeezing in unfinished work tasks between cleaning the house and chores, finding time to spend with your little one just makes you feel even more stressed, doesn’t it?

Or have you just got back home late again — having missed everything since morning-forehead-kisses as you rushed out — and now, bubba’s sleepy and you know they have playschool tomorrow...

Doesn’t it make you feel even more stressed knowing that your child deserves more attention? First off, says Esther Lai, family life educator and life coach:Throw out the guilt. Don’t waste time and energy on guilt over the fact that you are working. Make the best of your resources to feel the joy of being together.”

Only have time to see junior for half an hour after you’ve eaten and before they must go to bed? Share dessert, listen to them over some ice cream you’ve brought home for an after-dinner treat; or share a packet of chips or dried fruit as a snack while you re-pack your bag or prep for the next day. And while your hands are buzzing away, let your ears do the real work of listening to junior…

Lai offers five more suggestions (we’re sure you can add to this list):

“Don’t waste time and energy on guilt over the fact that you are working. Make the best of your resources to feel the joy of being together.”

1) Plan ahead
A small amount of planning goes a long way. Instead of waking up on a weekend wondering what to do and then scouring the internet or reading the newspaper for half the morning before slowly trying to get everyone organised and out of the house, plan it.

During lunch hour sometime in the week, note down a few things that the family would like to do together — an early morning walk or hike, an afternoon bike ride/scootering or a picnic at the beach or a nearby park…

Then each day before you go out, pack some of the things you’ll need somewhere specific that isn’t in your everyday rush out of the door: Food for the picnic? Ground sheets? Check your child’s scooter? Line up all your walking shoes? Then on the day itself, you’ll be ready to go once breakfast is done!

2) Cook together as a family
How about letting the whole family learn a new way of cooking spaghetti (such as in a baking tray/dish); or making sushi instead of splurging on a fancy dinner (and having to shush your child and make sure they behave only in a certain way)? There’s so much fun messing up and cleaning up together and your child will not only enjoy making something that they can then eat, it teaches them a good life skill.

Tip: Use disposable tablecloths that you can roll up and throw away. And yes, perhaps save this for a weekend.

Three more cool bonding ideas coming right up…