Like the majority of Mother’s out there my kids have made me a better person. My boys are my world and I didn’t think I could change anymore, we were in a great routine and rhythm then God sent us a beautiful angelic little girl. Now that we have 3 children it has taken us longer to adjust than perviously. I’m not sure if it is because we are older, we were unprepared for how much a third would change the dynamic or over estimated our experience but after 10 weeks we are still trying to find the rhythm of before. For me there is NOT enough hours in the day. Don’t get me wrong, we are not sinking but we are floating aimlessly with our hands over the hole in our raft. I know for me, I have had to muster patience I NEVER knew I had and multitask as much as possible. Deciding to not breastfeed any longer has helped tremendously but with school fast approaching I am once again questioning my ability as a mom to handle EVERYTHING collectively.
How am I going to get them ALL up and to school on time?
How am I going to sleep?
How will the baby do?
All these questions swarm inside my head until I have a raging headache that reminds me of how tired I am. As always the answer is to PRAY and just do it. Time management skills also come in more handy when you have to manage a family of 5. I didn’t think it would be that different, I honestly didn’t. That was naive on my part but I do understand that this whole managing of the families activities, blog, my workouts and doctor’s appointments will only get worse as time goes on. So I have spent the last 2 weeks researching better time management skills to incorporate now, in the hopes that continued use will become habit for us all. Last night the hubs and I began phase one to better manage our time. Below are 4 things that I have started to do or implemented in order to manage time for our busy family.
A centralized area in our home that everyone can look for upcoming events, activities, meals or appointments. We got a monthly calendar dry erase board, a weekly dry erase board, two metal baskets and a metal file folder. The boys are too young to read it yet but in coming weeks, months and years they will know where to go for that kind of information. This also helps take the stress off of me because after it is written on the board, I no longer have to waste brain space remembering or reminding. As a back up, I have it in my phone and Bullet Journal but those are contingency plans only.
I LOVE the idea of having an organized kitchen. The kind of kitchens that have everything in designated canisters and places. This is not always possible when you have independent children who like to make peanut and jelly sandwiches on their own. But an organized kitchen is my next big project on the time management journey. And it is Phase Two. Having all my ingredients in see through containers and labeled will help me feel more confident in cooking dinner every night, not just for a healthier outcome but so that we can also spend time and save money in the long run. Right now we are spending close to $25 at a time to eat out and that is the cheap end of the spectrum. Ridiculous. Plus I just like the way it looks to have designated places for everything.
Washing dishes as I cook
Washing dishes as I cook is something I have been doing for a while. It saves me from having to do dishes after dinner which as everyone knows stinks because you have been up cooking and now you have dishes? No one likes that. Its easier for me, since I have a dish washer so my cleaning is limited to rinsing dishes off and loading the washer or scrubbing pans as I get done with them. This helps my state of mind because I hate to wake up to a sink full of dishes. It just puts me in a bad mood. If the washer was started the night prior then while I make coffee and clean the baby bottle I unload it. Then that leaves it empty for the days meals. I have taught the boys to put their dishes after meals in their appropriate place so it cuts down even more on time spent cleaning.
Laundry is done Once a week
I noticed that when we lived in the camper and had to use the laundry mat that doing all the laundry in one day saved the rest of my week from the constant wash, dry, fold, repeat cycle so many of us get stuck in. I can honestly say that folding clothes is the bane of my existence, so for me I feel so much better about the task if I dedicate the majority of ONE day a week to doing it all. This ends up being Thursday for me most weeks. Now if there is an accident or sporting event or the hubs needs work clothes I will most certainly wash clothes more than once a week. But our norm is 1 day a week. It helps the boys regulate the constant changing of clothes and also teaches them to be more responsible with where they put dirty clothes. (We had a problem with dirty clothes ending up under beds for weeks at a time….Yuck!)
We have a weekly Chore Chart
Yes, even Mommy has chores. (We already knew that though. Wink, Wink!) A weekly chore chart helps me to stay organized and aware of what has already been done. It also satisfies my need to clean. My chore chart is simple, each day is dedicated to one maybe two major chores a day. For example; Dusting is done once a week, but we dust in all rooms and all surfaces for that day. Vacuuming is also done on this day. Bathrooms are done on another day and combined with the kitchen. But the kitchen is pretty much done everyday since we cook and use the kitchen everyday. The boys as I have said in a previous post have chores that are age appropriate. Yes, I have to remind them most days to complete their chore but it teaches them responsibility and I make sure to make it fun. Chores are done with no T.V. on but with music on high volume, so that we can dance and sing our way through it. I make sure that they see me doing my chore while they do theirs so that they don’t feel like they are being singled out. We all have chores that is just life.
Organization/ timed management is something I get really excited about and I know that is a goofy thing to admit but it is what it is. When the command center went up, I felt such relief in knowing and imagining all the things it could help with. Our next project is getting the kitchen organized in a way that helps me cook more efficiently. There is nothing more annoying then going to cook and not being able to find an ingredient. Continued practice will create a practice, and that outcome makes it worth it. I want to spend more time playing and laughing instead of doing chores and cleaning. That is the real point of Time Management, becoming independent of Have too, so that there is more time for Want too.
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