Time management is a tricky thing. You need to work, but you also need to take time to care for yourself, you need to spend adequate time with your kids and spouse but the house needs attending to. There is always a never-ending list of demands that pull us in different directions and seemingly never enough time.
From being a stay-at-home parent to a working parent, I’ve learned one important lesson, you have to PLAN.
Take 30 minutes every Sunday and plan out your week. You know what is most important to you, so it's up to you to make sure it gets planned and done. When you can see your week in front of you, it allows you to take a step back and see if you are actually meeting all the needs of your family and yourself. If you see it leaning heavily on one side, it's a great time to start eliminating things and revamping your schedule.
Things to Plan:
MEALS- prep time and shopping time CLEANING- 1 day a week (2-4hrs) when the home/yard gets cleaned BIG STUFF- work, events, sports, appointments PERSONAL TIME- working out, spiritual/meditation time (the early morning is a great time for this, I like to work out, and be ready for the day when my kids are ready that way we start the day together, not be playing catch up!) NEEDS- date night, painting your toenails, (the small stuff that never happens, but that you WANT to happen- yes plan these!)
When you have fair designated times for work, play and family, you don’t need to worry about not meeting anyone's needs or feeling bad enjoying your work. If you are new to planning I recommend literally planning the playtime with your kids until it is part of your routine. I used to write in “wrestle with Todd 10 min”, I was amazed at how assigning a 10 min span for each kid helped strengthen my relationship with them. It was focused time with just them and they truly feel so loved with they get that kind of attention.
We all have busy mornings and nothing makes it worse than missing shoes, homework not being done, a poor breakfast, and being late everywhere we go. Depending on your schedule and needs, take the time the night before and make sure you are prepared for the next day. We make sure we have backpacks and shoes ready by the door. Maybe do your lunches ahead of time (this is a great chore for older kids), layout clothes, take showers at night, and pre-make healthy freezer meals that can be pulled out and warmed. Much can be done the night before to make your day start off smoothly!
Cleaning is something that wears people out every day and it should not be this way!! Cleaning day comes 1x a week at my house. Choose a day that the most amount of family members will be home and able to help. The more people the faster it will go and it's a wonderful time with your kids, yes your kids should all be helping. So many people who clean every day, seem to have to put aside their children’s needs to fold their laundry or keep the kitchen clean, there is no need to ever have to choose between cleaning and caring for children. I CLEAN 1x a week and that is IT!! We do a thorough house cleaning and I don’t touch the cleaning supplies until the next week. We pick up during the week, but I can’t think of a bigger time waster than incessant cleaning that never amounts to anything. Do it once and do it right and you’ll find yourself enjoying your home and free time all week.
Freezer meals, food prep, and crock pots will save you HOURS in your week. 1x every couple of months I plan 1 day when I make around 30 freezer meals. This is time well spent. The nights I don’t get home until 6 pm or we have sports, I know I just need to put dinner in the oven and I’m done, no fuss overcooking, and no extra dishes because I used a disposable pan. You can freeze marinated meats, pre-cooked chicken, homemade sauces, and soups ready to be put in the crockpot, there are endless possibilities. But I love having healthy meals at my fingertips!
On a day you have an hour or so to spare, meal prep the rest of the meals that you will be cooking during the week. Cut veggies, wash fruit, and prepare as much as possible so when dinner comes around you aren’t frantic!! You’ll be able to assist with homework and be cooking dinner while keeping a calm household, nothing is better than that!!
I hope you were able to find some tips that will help you find more time in your week for the things that matter. Running a home and family isn’t easy work, but much can be done to make it more enjoyable! You can do it!
Find out more about Katie:
Blog: Dabblewithkatie.com Instagram: @dabblewithkatie