January 16, 2008,
B.F. asks from Spur, TX on January 12, 2008
P.B. answers from San Antonio on January 16, 2008
As a working mom and Parent Coach, I help people do just this. The other moms have a lot of great ideas for you to try. I will share some overall points. The first is to seek the balance between structure and flexibility that works for you. Some folks are on the "no structure whatsoever" end of a spectrum. Some folks are on the "plan everything" end of the spectrum. Most of us fall in between, so find what works for you.
You might try keeping a log of what you are doing during your waking hours for a few days. You may find a few habits that take a lot of time which you can choose to change.
Remember, too, to set aside time for yourself and your family. Your kids are especially good at "living in the moment", so whatever they feel and see going on is what they will consider "normal". The fun and relaxation and connecting is much more important than getting the last load of laundry done or having the house look like something out of Better Homes and Gardens.
Release the pressure to be perfect in most things.
Here are a few additional time saving tips to add to the many you have. Planning ahead for meals, errands, etc. does save time and energy. SET THE EXPECTATION that EVERY FAMILY MEMBER will contribute around the house (at whatever level he or she can) and be part of the team. My sons (and husband) contribute a great deal and they take pride in what they can do and know it is very much appreciated. Hire some help if you can afford it. I have someone do some basic cleaning once a month, which then frees my family and myself for some type of project around the house, like paring down old clothing. When cooking good home-cooked meals, always try to prepare enough to eat off it twice or freeze half of it. Experiment with crockpot cooking to save time. Keep ingredients on hand for "quick meals" for those times when you don't have 1-2 hours to spend in the kitchen. Carry a cleaning bucket containing all your supplies around when doing chores. Use attractive baskets in main living areas to quickly gather loose items.
I hope this helps! Let me know what you plan to do!
2 moms found this helpful
C.C. answers from Dallas on January 14, 2008
I don't even know where to start, but I'm so glad you asked because I wonder this myself everyday. I have a 19 month-old daughter, a husband who travels virtually every week (4-5 nights a week), and a very demanding full time job. Fortunately, I do have a nanny and a cleaning service, but I think that only takes the edge off. I have learned not to worry too much about the stuff that, in my mind, doesn't matter. I don't care if everything is perfectly clean, if there is lint on the floor from the dryer, etc. I do laundry when I can, and if something isn't clean, I wear (or dress the baby, husband) in something else. I don't wash the sheets every week (they get done if and when I have time). My husband goes to the store on the weekends, or I do it on the way home - always a stop-gap solution unfortunately. But it works. I'm in awe of people with structured schedules. I'm guessing my lack of organization will catch up with me when we have baby number 2 in May. My biggest challenge is dinner, for which I have no real solution.
God bless all of you who do this everyday. I never dreamed it would be this hard!
F. answers from Dallas on January 14, 2008
One huge blessing for me has been with dinner. I make all of our meals ahead of time and freeze them. That has helped me have extra time.
C.C. answers from Wichita Falls on January 14, 2008
I read Susan's post before I clicked respond and she sounds like Wonder Woman to me lol! I'm not nearly as driven or organized, so my advice may not seem as spectacular. I'm 33, have two daughters that are 12 and 14, I'm a full time college student and I work 30+ hours a week as an assistant manager of a local sub shop. Our sanity around here depends on scheduled and sacred "down-time", but it takes time to commit to a schedule and make it a habit. First, everyone (especially the children) have to have their clothes, school items and any accessories laid out the night before so there's no manic rush at 7 a.m. the next day. I learned about this ten years ago and it's been such a practical blessing! Secondly, everyone has designated areas to keep picked up and simple daily chores. I have 2-3 hours between my school schedule and my work schedule in the afternoons, so I make use of that time for prepping meals, snacks, and keeping 'my' area in order. We have a community calender (on the fridge) and shopping list. Any upcoming events have to be put on there for everyone to see in advance and anything left off the shopping list is "no one's fault" when I get home from the store without it. Everyone participates and everyone cooperates (most of the time) to keep this place running. Once a week we take a half day (or a full day if we can) to run amuck or lie around or whatever treat we've worked for all week. I schedule myself 30-60 minutes a night that is my time. Don't ask for it, just take it. I take mine when everyone else is asleep and the house is quiet. That's my time to plug in and recharge so I keep my happy disposition ;)
Times have changed, it is no longer 100% a woman's job to keep the hearth and home. It is not humanly possible to work three full time jobs (home, kids, work) and maintain sanity! Gather your troops together and have an honest and frank discussion about everyone pitching in so mom can be a happy mom (and wife can be a happy wife). Good luck!
A.B. answers from Dallas on January 14, 2008
cubbys, baskets, lists, menus, ORGANIZATION and GOD are the only things that save me!!!!
it gets crazy but i have to take the time to love my baby and my hubby or its pointless.
Just want to say, good job to all you working moms out there!!!
S.D. answers from Dallas on January 14, 2008
I work 6 days sometimes 7 days a week so I can feel your pain! I think what keeps me going is to have a great H that shares in the chores. If I am working late he will take care of stuff and visa versa. The biggest thing I do is to look at my week and plan out what child has to be where, the meals for the week....etc. We have a family of 5,2 of which have to wear school uniforms then want to change as soon as they get home. Laundry can be a night mare. We try to do at least 1 -2 loads of Laundry a night to keep on top of it. If all else fails and you can afford it... get a basic cleaning lady to straighten up your house and do a couple loads a laundry. There is no sense in doing everything yourself
S.T. answers from San Antonio on January 14, 2008
I keep the laundry going by throwing a load in the washer in the morning and then tossing it in the dryer when I get home.
I try to organize the kid's clothes (3, almost 2) for the week. I bought one of the canvas organizers that have the days of week and just pop the complete outfit in each section on Sunday. My husband takes the kids to daycare, so this ensures that everything will match.
When I get home, I spend time with my kids first. I have found that if I give them time first, they will give me a little time later when I am cooking dinner.
A.S. answers from San Antonio on January 14, 2008
Just don't forget to prioriitze quality time with hubby. I am reading these posts and we are all in the same boat. Just don't lose yourself. I used to go to bed by 9 myself but realized I never saw my husband if I did that. I had to compromise my time but it worked. We are one busy family but we make sure we have that time alone.