Transitioning from 2 to 3 kids has been a big eye opener! It made me realize just how disorganized I am and how I really need to manage my time better. I am a professional procrastinator and excuse maker so I have a far way to go to be the super mom I strive to be! I am very right-brained. I love all things creative. Art, music, emotions, colors, imagination and daydreaming. If I could create all the time, I would never have a bad day! That being said, cleaning has never been my forte.
At the same time, I have a strong need for things to have a place and order. I am always reinventing the organizing wheel so that day to day activities run smoothly. Let’s face it. Being a SAHM is hard. Really Freaking Hard. Any tips and tricks to improve productivity are always welcome! These are some of the things I have been doing to make mornings run smoothly and keep stress levels to a minimum.
Clean Up the Kitchen Every Night
I know you really don’t feel like cleaning the kitchen and doing the dishes after a long day. You may be tempted to rinse off the food and leave them in the sink for the morning. NOOOOO!! Taking that 20 minutes to clean up and clear the counters makes all the difference in the morning. The clear counters gives you a clean slate and takes away added stress. You won’t have to work around those dishes while making breakfast before you rush out the door to the drop-off line at school.
Laundry-The Real Neverending Story
I have been known to leave the week’s laundry for the weekend. And I loath it! My entire day is spent going up and down the stairs and folding the whole family’s wardrobes. Instead, I have been making an effort to start a load of laundry first thing in the morning. Even if it is a small load, it is totally worth it. Gone are the days of all-day laundering!
Prep Lunch Money for the Kids
Buying lunch at school is very different from when I was young. I would take money
to school and have to be responsible for it all day. It would stay in my pocket until lunch time where I would pay for my meal all on my own. Now, schools have an account that you can deposit money and your child can pay for lunch with his “lunch card.” I made the mistake of putting $10 into my son’s account at the beginning of the year and 3 days later, it was gone. He had been buying extra snacks and ice cream for himself and his friends. As generous as that is, I have found I save a LOT of money by sending in correct change every day. Taking the time to find cash, put it in a envelope and label it each morning is a pain. I usually find 5 or 10 minutes every couple weeks to put correct change in labeled envelopes so all I have to do is pop one into his folder every morning.
Each night, usually after the kids are asleep, I go through my checklist of what we will need in the morning. I check the weather to make sure I am sending L to school in the comfortable clothing. Set out clothes. If snow is in the forecast, I make sure to pack a bag with extra gloves, a hat and snowpants. Since he is only in kindergarten, I make sure he has everything packed in his backpack. As he gets older, this will become his responsibility. Having all of this ready makes the morning less hectic and stressful.
Meal Planning and Food Prep
More so recently, I have been doing meal planning and food prep. Before I go to the grocery store, I look at the sale paper to see what is on sale. From there, I make a game plan. I use the sale items and what I already have in my pantry to form meals for the next 2 weeks. Produce is more difficult as I can only buy for the next few days but I purchase the rest of our meal plan at one time, only going back for the perishable food. When I come home, I wash and prep the veggies to cut down on the amount of time I spend in the kitchen cooking. I usually buy large family packs of chicken and beef as it is cheaper. When I get home, I open the packages and redistribute into smaller bags. Those bags then go into the deep freezer in the basement. I will be able to pull out the meat any time I need to make a new recipe. When I see a good sale on meat, I will stock up for later too! Win-Win!
Running Grocery List
When you realize you are running low on anything or you think of something you would like to get, have a designated spot to write these things down. If you are anything like me, you have to write it down or you’ll forget. Mommy brain is for real!! Write it down!
If you haven’t noticed yet, I LOVE my freezer! It makes my job so much easier. My new thing is making twice the amount of food and freezing half. That way, I have another meal that I just have to thaw and warm up instead of taking the time to cook. Simply pull the dish out of the freezer, thaw all day and throw it in the oven to heat up. This is such a time saver!
Declutter and Throw Away Junk Mail
When papers gather and sit on my counter it gives me anxiety. I can’t do piles. That being said, L comes home with at least 5 papers every day from school. He insists on saving each one. He is very proud of his work and instead of squashing his spirit and love for school by letting him watch me throw them away, I put them into a folder and save them for a different day when he has had time to lose the sentiment. After a week or 2, I ask him what papers he wants to save. This equates to about 5 pictures as opposed to the 50+ he wanted to save a week earlier.
Along this same vein, junk mail!! Throw it away! Recycle it! Go through the mail as soon as it comes into the house. I go so far as to go through the coupons so I will not have a bundle of papers on my counter. Cut the ones you want and cut the rest loose!
I don’t know if you are as picky as I am but I really like being prepared. I have plenty of surprises like poopsplosions and extra temper tantrums I didn’t account for. If I can make my days flow a bit smoother and have less conflict, things are good!
Instead of my usual sign off, I wanted to share with you a funny conversation J and I had with the boys at dinner the other night.
D: “Mom, I just swallowed a big chunk of hot dog!”
J: “You should chew it up better! Otherwise, you’ll grow a hot dog tree in there!”
L: “No, Daddy! That can’t happen! There’s no soil in there!”
I hope this made you laugh as much as I did! Anyway, have a wonderful day and thank you for reading! I hope these suggestions help you to have a more stress free day!! What do you do to cut down on the every day mom stresses? Let me know here!!