It’s a full time job being a Mother and yet we often hold many more titles – Employee, Employer, Taxi Driver (to the children), House cleaner, Gardener, Laundry Maid, Accountant, Grocery Shopper, Chef and Baker….. It’s hard not to get lost in it all without losing your sense of self and keeping life balance.
There are some simple things you can do to help manage your busy lives more effectively.
Morning Rush Hour: Getting yourself, your partner and the children out the door – and on time!
* Get as much ready the night before, clothes out, bags and shoes by the front door, lunch boxes prepared with snack items (fruit, nuts, muffin, crackers, etc) so all that is needed in the morning are the sandwiches.
* Have a school schedule on the fridge for when homework is due in and library books due back etc. Check this the night before (when you are getting the lunch boxes ready!) so you aren’t all running around the next morning look for the missing library book.
Share school drop offs and pick ups: If you have another family nearby with children that attend the same schools as your children, get to know them. That way you can start to share the school runs in the morning and afternoons.
Cooking shortcuts: Simple ideas for spending less time in the kitchen.
* Consider creating a menu roster. It makes it so much easier (and less stressful) having a set menu, say from Monday to Thursday.
* Plan ahead. On a Sunday night discuss what is happening the following week and plan meals to fit around the various activities the family has on. For example, if Thursday night is busy with sports, put a casserole in the crock-pot in the morning.
*When cooking the evening meal, prepare a larger quantity so you can freeze half. That way you can have a night off cooking when all that is needed is re-heating it.
* Home baking. Get back to the basics and do some old fashioned home baking. Make batches of muffins etc that can be put in the freezer and lifted out to help fill the school lunch boxes.
* Get the children in the kitchen. We don’t want our children leaving home without knowing how to cook a meal! When they are old enough, show them how to prepare a few simple meals, eventually you’ll be able to get a night or two off cooking as they take over cooking the dinner!
Get organized with the housework:
* Have a list of chores that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly. If pushed for time, ask yourself what ones are really important and what ones can wait.
* Set an amount of time you are going to spend doing these chores and stick to it.
* Have on hand what is needed for each of these. Keep all cleaning items together in a container that can easily be carried from one room to another.
* When the children are old enough, ensure that they have daily/weekly tasks/chores that they are each responsible for.
Take time out for yourself: This should probably have been put at the top of the list!
The majority of the Mothers I know put children, partners, work and the home well before themselves. However it is vital for Mums to take some time out each day – just for themselves – to relax and restore their well-being (and not feel guilty for it!). Whether it’s catching up with friends over a coffee, taking a walk, reading a book or pottering in the garden; take the time to completely switch off from all other demands on focus solely on YOU!