I am often asked by friends and family how I do it all. They want to know how the heck I take two young children to two different places in the morning, make it to work, work an 8 hour day, then turn around, get both kids…head home…cook a home cooked meal, then clean the kitchen, give baths, story-time…etc, etc. You get the point.
So I got all geared up to write this article. And my fingers hovered over the keyboard for several minutes…and nothing. How do I do it? How am I not nuts…or, maybe I am nuts but how am I still doing it all. I could give you my daily schedule, tell you I’m not stressed most of the time, that I have it all figured out and hold it all together. That I know exactly all the secrets to time management and organization. I know the tricks to multitasking and ultimately always get the job done. But—that would be total BS!
There are days I wake up and am threatening to rip both my children’s heads off (you think I’m kidding!) if they don’t get a move on it. Callie loves to sleep in and is a bear cat in the morning! Clayton isn’t much better. I can’t count the days I’ve driven to work crying because I was going to be late, the kids just weren’t cooperating, I’d forgotten Callie’s lunch, or all the other things that could and did go wrong that morning.
There’s also been many nights I’ve had breakdowns because my house wasn’t clean. I have serious OCD about my house, and can’t handle it being dirty or messy. Working full time and having two young children makes this nearly impossible…but I can’t convince my brain. So, Shannon being the great husband he is helps extra that night, giving baths and helping me fold the laundry afterwards.
The top tips to making my household run smoothly, when it does, are simple: make your menu for the week, then your grocery list by aisle. If you want to cook healthy meals, you should be shopping on the outer skirts of the grocery store mainly (dairy, produce, fresh foods). Do a load of laundry every other night. Enlist your hubby’s help to split chores, then pick one day consistently to do them. Our day is Saturday or Sunday am for floors, deep kitchen cleaning, and bathrooms. The hubby should also be helping for bath nights, story nights, whatever works for you. If you are a working mommy, then you should not be doing it all! Some husbands cook (mine doesn’t, which is okay because I love cooking!) so you can trade off cooking nights as well. Have a schedule on your fridge for groceries, meals (then you remember what meats to take out to thaw) what you need to remember for your kids backpack the next day, lunches…so on and so forth. Crock pot meals work great for soccer and basketball practice nights.
I think the best tip of all is knowing your limits. I know the amount of me time I require and if I don’t get it, then watch out! It can get ugly. Another thing to note is that I have more energy than most people…I can do five things at once as long as it gets the job done. It may not be up to your standards, but it works for me! I eat, type, clean, talk, and think faster than the average person, because that’s how I’m made! I’ve given up trying to slow down, although many of my bosses and friends have told me I need to. This is how I am, and it’s the reason for so many of my strengths, including being able to do so much. If you are detail oriented, meticulous person…your list will just have to be much shorter. You take the time to make sure everything is in order and perfect, thus, there is just simply less time. This is good too!
In addition…some great advice a friend once told me…do what works for you; stop trying to be someone else or do things the way they do (I guess this means I’ll never be Martha Stewart! Crap!).