–Prepare. Get everything ready for the next day the night before (diaper bag, breast pump & parts, lunch, set out you & your child(ren)’s outfits for the following day). Does anyone else look like a bag lady when leaving the house? :) I usually have to make at least two trips to the car in the morning.
–Clean the house during the week. For me, breaking it into small parts doesn’t make it seem so daunting and I’m able to enjoy the weekend a little more. A schedule like this seems to work for us:
Wednesday- detail clean kitchen/go through mail, bills
(I do light cleaning and dishes everyday to help keep the house as orderly as possible.)
–Run errands on Saturday morning. I grocery shop and make a run to Target every two weeks. I make good lists and that saves me from having to go during the week. For my list to Target, I keep a list on my fridge so I jot things down when I come across something we are running out of (i.e. paper towels, deodorant, diapers, etc). This saves my brain power and memory for better things.
–Dinner preparations– this has to be one of the hardest parts about working outside the home. It’s very hard to get dinner on the table by 6pm (or even 8pm!) when you get home at 6pm. I am still working on this one if you have any ideas, let me know. Like I said, I preplan our meals so I usually know what we are having, or at least have a couple options. During the week, we try to have quicker meals such as pasta or grilled chicken.
–Family first. Most importantly, family comes first. I make a conscious effort to drop everything the minute I come in the door. Give my hubby a smooch, my child a tickle & play for a little bit. I grew up with two busy, working parents and I remember that a nice welcome and greeting always gave me a boost for the day (even if it were only a 5 minute discussion about how my day was). If I was having a rough time, my parents always made a great effort to drop everything and help me. These are some of my most cherished moments and I only hope I can live up to their example.
I believe that time management can relieve many stresses of the day to day life. Many days never go as planned (most don’t!), but hopefully these will help you to prioritize and help your life go a little bit smoother. Feel free to share any other helps that you have in the comments. I would love to hear from you!