Gone are the days when majority of households survived and thrived on one income. Most families we know of, both mom and dad are working. So how do you balance it all? Hopefully these few tips will make your life that little bit easier… I’ve tried and tested them all and live by each one of them daily.
Let’s get to the point…
1. Stick to routine
As a family of 5, nothing helps us more than sticking to routine. And trust me, I get it.. it’s super monotonous – but it works. I’ve always said that children thrive on routine and in the last 7.5 years it’s proven to be true. Right from day one, we’ve stuck to routine. I was fortunate enough to establish a routine early on as all my babies were bottle fed – this worked well with my need to be organised. This continued as the kids have grown from year to year, implemented in various ways – sleep, meal time, bedtime, school and so on.
2. Teach your children to tidy up
This applies to everything… clothes, toys, dishes etc. Moving to England, we’ve been able to reinforce tidying up daily, and it’s certainly become easier the older our children are getting. We started small, never allowing our children to bring new toys out while they still had others to play with. Ie: if they were playing with puzzles, Lloyd or I would pack it away and explain that when we’re finished with a toy, we pack it away and only then move on to the next thing. This has been super successful as generally we have a tidy environment without the worry of anyone falling over or hurting their feet on duplo and small toys. Of course messy play is great and there’s a time and place for that but this little rule has packed a real lunch and seriously helped this mommy out. Anything is possible with explanation – from baby’s we would explain what we’re doing and why – from folding clothes, to taking plates away and putting them into the dishwasher etc. Majority of the time my children do these things on their own now without my request.
3. Meal prep
Whether you’re doing a big cook up on a Sunday for the next few nights ahead or planning what your family will be eating for the week – planning is key. This is about what works for you. In our home, planning the week’s meals, making a grocery list accordingly and sticking to it not only makes life easier, but also keeps our grocery bill and budget in check. I’m a huge fan of this as I really don’t like to waste food.
4. Make “busy times” easier
I’ll say it again and again. Preparation is key. Whether it’s school the next morning or bath time at night – I always find that having school clothes for each child ready, having their pj’s out for bath time and preparing water bottles for the next morning makes life that little bit easier. Think about your busy moments and see how you can best prepare to save yourself time and stress.
5. Let go of mom guilt (or try to)
This is something I struggle with. Something I need to constantly remind myself of… Lloyd is really great at it too. We’re all in this together; and I see you.. I see your struggles, I see your frustration of trying to manage it all. What are you to do? You need to work and contribute towards your household, but also be there for your children – nurture, love and teach them too. I don’t quite have too many answers for this one, as managing the guilt is the task on its own. All I can say is that it’s a constant effort to keep reminding yourself that you’re doing the best you can and the fruits of your labours will pay off – both with your children and your career. Keep going, you’ve got this!