How to have a lazy afternoon and still get housework done

One of our lazy afternoons outside last year!

We're having some lovely weather today so I've decided to take it easy and have a lazy afternoon - let the girls play outside as much as they like and sneak a book and a blanket out there for me :)

Spending the afternoon comfy in the back yard works well for us because:
  • The house stays tidy as everyone's outside
  • Snacks are easy - some fruit cut up on a shared plate and blanket means a picnic for them and not as much washing up for me
  • The kids play happily together without needing much direct input from me (just basic supervision as Georgia always wants to eat the tomatoes out of our garden!)
  • I feel like we're on holidays which is very relaxing for Mum
  • The kids run around so much that they're definitely tired enough for bedtime later!
The trick to making a lazy afternoon work is to make sure my work and housework doesn't build up for tomorrow - so I focus on 3 things in the morning:
  1. I get at least 1 load of washing done 
  2. I complete my Easy Cleaning technique in one room
  3. I put a low maintenance dinner on to cook nice and early in the slow cooker (or I at least prep it early so I just have to throw it all into the oven when it's time to go on later). Tonight we're having this simple chicken dish by Jamie Oliver.
How to keep the kids busy outside while you relax:
  • Take a couple of  plastic bowls filled with water and some bath toys outside and you have a makeshift water play area (I sometimes put a drop or two of food colouring in the water too) - it will keep them busy for ages
  • Put them in their swimmers and throw on the sprinkler (or just spray them lightly with the garden hose while you sit down and get comfy)
  • Ask them to put on a show for you while you be the 'audience' (grab a couple of teddies to bump up audience numbers if you like)
  • Play 'hospitals': you lie down and relax on your blanket and the kids can give you your 'check up'
  • Play 'toy hide and seek': when the kids are counting, just throw the toy from wherever you're sitting into different parts of the backyard
  • Get everyone to lay down, look up and tell you what shapes the clouds are making
Want to join them? Don't forget these games where you can have fun too:
  • 'What's the time Mr Wolf' is an old favourite at our house
  • Good old 'Duck, duck, goose' never fails
  • Or just kick the ball around for a game of soccer!
Pick an afternoon for yourself this week, give these ideas a try and let me know how you feel afterwards :)

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Marissa Roberts helps busy mothers find more time in the day to do everything. She teaches family friendly organising and time management techniques to mums looking for more work, life and family balance. Get her FREE ebook “5 Steps to an Easy Morning" at