Guest post from Lucky of Making My Own Luck
I used to see templates for homemaking routines or daily to-do lists, and think they didn’t apply to me as a working mom. But eventually, I realized if I didn’t want to spend the weekend cleaning and running errands, I would have to implement some routines and schedules.
My goal became clear: to figure out a system so all weekly chores and errands would be done by Saturday at 2 p.m., when my husband comes home from work. We began to notice a difference right away. Sticking to our plan gave us so much more time as a family!
Here’s what we did:
Meal Plans and Freezer Cooking
The first thing I implemented was a meal plan. I plan my meals a month at a time based on what I have in the freezer, what’s in season, and what I think will be on sale. While I’m making my menu, I jot down anything that will need to be made ahead for our weekday meals. I also add staples like bread and granola to the list. I tackle these projects as I have time, and cross them off as I go.
During the week, I used to tell myself that I already worked hard all day, so I should just sit down and watch TV. But then we would never have any clean socks, and our house was in a state of chaos. So, I started implementing a simple daily housekeeping routine and we’re all better off for it.
Morning and Evening Routines
My son would get up at 3 a.m. if we let him, and he’s often the last to get ready in the morning. Our new rule is: my son can wake up whenever he wants, but he can’t come out of his room until 6:30 a.m. We have clear expectations about when he’ll finish his breakfast, and when he’ll get dressed. My daughter is a late sleeper so we don’t get her up until 7 a.m..
I get up at 4:30 or 5 a.n. so I’ll have time to write. Getting a head start on the day means when the kids get up it can be all about them.
My husband is not a morning person, so I do the mornings and he mostly handles the evening routine. This includes washing the sippy cups for day care, and giving the kids baths or showers.
Those first few months were such a blur after going back to work. I knew I had to get some exercise in to wake me up just a little. I found a like-minded friend at work who didn’t mind skipping lunches out for walks around the neighborhood. When I started working from home once a week I added in swimming.
I didn’t implement all of these routines at once, but over a period of time. It may sound like a lot of work when it’s all written down, but in reality these routines gives our family precious time to do the things we enjoy.
What are your best tips for staying organized and sane as a working mom?
Lucky is the mother of two young kids and a carb-intolerant kitty. Read about her adventures of balancing kids, work and life with making her own bread at Making My Own Luck.