Friday, December 16, 2011

Making life that little bit smoother

Becoming a single mother ultimately meant I was doing the parenting for 2
Mentally is something I could handle but the physical side, meaning looking after them everyday
was going to be something I struggled with
With Master J having a developmental delay things were tough already, even with Mr S here
but at least I had an extra pair of hands
well most of the time but we will leave that blog post for my draft folder ;)

So how was I going to get through each day without completely losing the plot and ending up with a sparkly brand new white jacket and a padded cell to call my very own?

The answer for me was to be organised and prepared!
For some thats easier said then done
For me it comes quite naturally, I'm an organiser majoirty of the time
but trust me, just like most people I can get overwhelmed even when organsied!

So here a few things I do that help me get through each day that little bit more stress free
and of course they could be applied to all kinds of families!!

* Get pyjamas and nappys/jocks ready during the day
I try and do this one early in the morning and pop them into our
Pj Station
As both the boys bath together and get out together I find this helps in the fact im not searching for a matchin pjg top and bottom at the same time as I have 2 slippery towel wearing monsters running around ;)
* Lay out clothes the night before
I always try and have the boys clothes, nappys/jocks, socks and shoes all ready to go for after breakfast
I check the weather the night before and then collect the clothes they need just before I tuck them into bed

* Pack daycare bags, nappy bags and handbags the night before
This is another sanity saver for me it saves rushing around in the morning trying to pack bags and not forget anything
Obviously don't pack bottles of milk or anything you want kept cold but there's no reason you cant have all that waiting in the fridge with a post it note stuck to the bags reminding you to pack it.

* Lay out breakfast dishes
This is another one that works well being done the night before
Just getting bowls, plates and spoons out ready can save some time and create less chaos, especially if you know you are going to be strapped for time.

* Meal Plan
I orginally started meal planning to save money and to avoid that 4pm~ish question
"what should we have for dinner tonight"
These days its also to help work arond the boys mainly their daycare days which are also the days I work and to try and build my freezer meals.
Through meal planning I know what we will be having during the week and on our busiest days I can prep the night before to make that night alot smoother.
Using my slow cooker is also a godsend! and there is always lots of leftovers to freeze.

* Start dinner preparation/cooking early
I find that about 3 o'clock is when it suits myself and the boys for me to begin getting dinner ready
It could simply mean cutting vegies ready or cooking a pie filling so it has time to cool.
It just means by 4/4:30ish I'm ready to start cooking for dinner to be served at 5pm
and by starting this early it allows time for distraction!
ie an upset toddler or toilet needing 3yo
which means I;ve still got plenty of time to get dinner sorted
and I dont end up stressed and frazzled at 5pm.

* Try and do at least 1 load of washing every day
This is another one that works quite well for me and the boys, for some reason I seem to have 1 decent sized load for 3 or 4 days straight and then I'm able to rest for 2 days or so while it builds up again
So doing one load a day helps lighten the work load and helps it dry quicker too!
As for the folding? well lets not go there ;)\

* Tidy & clean at night
Having kids running around all day and trying to clean is like trying to shovel snow in a blizzard
So even though I'll potter around the house during the day doing small bits and pieces I find if I do the bulk of my cleaning once the boys are in bed I can knock it over quite quickly.
The best thing i find it to not sit down especially if I'm feeling motivated.

As you can see alot of these are done of a night time or afternoon and for me it works.
I still get time to put my feet up at the end of the day too because without little hands trying to help it gets done quicker.
For you it might work better early in the morning ither way all of these are dependent on you, your family and your situation, because I am by no means a parenting/housewife expert.
All these ideas are as you would say
"tried and tested"
and work for me.
All you can do is try things and see if they work for you.

Do you have any helpful time or stress cutting stratergies you use?

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