There is a popular saying that states, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” This should be every mom’s slogan because it couldn’t be more true when it comes to #momlife. Planning is often the most useful strategies we have as moms, yet sometimes it’s overwhelming, we lack the time, or we just don’t even know what to plan and how to do so. Today, I wanted to run through a few survival tips I’ve learned along the way that helps things run smoothly in our household.
Embrace meal prep!
I have talked about meal prep before on this blog but seriously if you have a busy family and aren’t meal prepping you’re really sabotaging yourself. It does not have to be complicated or time consuming but can save you tons of time and sanity throughout the week. You can meal prep all meals or just dinner or whatever works the best for you but anything is better than nothing. Here is a list of things I like to meal prep for our family depending on the weeks menu.
I do all of this on Sunday, in between football games and such, and it literally doesn’t take much time at all. Also, if you don’t have a good quality slow cooker, go buy one immediately. It’s perfect for saving time, taking all the hard work out of any meal and you can use it all year round.
Prepare kid lunches ahead of time.
I don’t know about you but there is nothing worse than trying to make kids’ lunches in the morning. Since I am at home most days I always do the next days’ lunch during nap time but if you work full time I would suggest doing two lunches at a time. I used to do this when I worked outside of the home and it really helped. We usually have weeknights that are more busy than others so on the not so busy nights I would make a batch of lunches I could just grab throughout the week. Everything keeps well in the fridge and doesn’t get soggy or go bad. This saves me morning stress and I don’t have to worry about the kids not getting fed. Here are some things I put in the lunchboxes for the kids, in no particular combination.
Okay, so not everyone uses a planner nor is that their style of organizing but you need to use whatever is your style and get organized. When you have kids there are lots of activities and school functions and things going on. If you don’t stay organized you will miss something, guaranteed. Even the best will forget something at some point. Life gets busy and it can be hard to remember every little thing. So WRITE STUFF DOWN. I use a personal planner for business stuff and a family calendar for school events, doctors appointments, hair appointments, birthdays, parties, etc. I buy a large calendar so I have room to write stuff and use washi tape. I highly recommend using washi tape as it easily peels off and you can move the event to a different day. If my calendar is cluttered, than I will stop looking at it, so the tape keeps me from having to cross stuff off when things change. Regardless, of the system you choose, just use a system that you like and will keep you and your family organized. You don’t want to be the mom that forgets about parent teacher conference. :/
This is the hardest thing to implement in any household but it really is a must. With the amount of screens we all have in our homes it’s easy to completely disconnect from one another. We are ALL guilty of ignoring the kids or each other cause we are too busy scrolling through something that isn’t even important. I highly recommend dedicated unplugged time EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. This doesn’t have to be an all night thing (even though that’s awesome if you can do that) but even just an hour is a huge deal. Pick a time, perhaps after dinner, where all the phones are plugged in and charging in a completely different room. No pockets, no being on the table within arms reach, nothing…must be in a different room. For that amount of time there are no distractions and no mindless time wasting. It’s a time the family gets to connect and be together and you’ll be surprised how beneficial it is. Trust me, emails and posts can wait and it will provide a happier and healthier home. Plus, you will likely connect with your kids in ways you didn’t even know you could before. After all, they just want attention.
Every mom knows that being outside is a serious life saver. Kids love to run wild and it gives mom a chance to catch her breath. We go outside in the morning, after lunch and after dinner as often as possible. After dinner, the whole family goes outside and the older kids play, while I push the baby in the stroller and Gavin can run wild. Again, this gives us all a chance to connect and get exercise and de-stress. I have found all the kids to be happier and in better moods since we started family outside time.
SCHEDULE CHORES AND GET HELP
Don’t be afraid to have your kids do chores. Work is important for kids and it helps teach them responsibility and work ethic. They are a part of a family and everyone should do their part. Yes, I still do the majority of chores but my kids do have certain jobs and tasks they are expected to do each night. With the things that I’m responsible for…I try to stick with a cleaning schedule. I will do laundry on two days of the week, clean bathrooms on one day, mop on a certain day etc. This helps me from having to spend my entire weekend cleaning and doesn’t allow anything to get to cluttery and overwhelming. If I stay on top of it it allows my cleaning time to be minimal. This also worked when I was working outside the home. I would come home and immediately put some laundry in, or I would clean a bathroom or mop one floor. That little 20 minute task really broke it all up and wasn’t a big deal when that’s all I had to do.
These are just a few of the things I do to survive the week and help things go smoothly. Hopefully one of these tips will help you too. What is your favorite sanity saving advice? Leave it in the comments below!