Do less, with more focus. ~Unknown
You know them. Those really busy days of the week that you dread and when you are done all you want to do is curl up in a ball and go to sleep? Yeah I'm sure we all have them. Whether you are a working parent or not, it's always hard to get through them. Sometimes its soccer practice or music lessons or homework. Don't forget the normal everyday stuff too like meal planning and laundry and chores. That list almost seems double for those that work outside the home but triple that work inside the home. Here are a few steps you can take to make those days easier. And if you get really good at it then you can even use these tactics on days that you aren't as busy so they even become easier! Meal prep seems to be the most daunting thing (at least for me) and also the most important so I took the liberty of suggesting more ideas under that area.
1. Make sure you have a normal routine
Even if you have to "break" said routine on this busy days, having a routine in place will help make the rest of the day go smoothly. Making sure your kids get up on time each day (at the same time), eating breakfast, reading to school and getting to bed on time will all help with those extra added tasks when you have to add them. Routines make it so you don't have to think about the "normal" stuff and just focus on what you have that is extra. Now, making sure you get to soccer on time doesn't seem that bad. You may still be rushed but your brain and body will take it with ease.
2. Prepping meals in advance
Ok so this now we have all heard before right? Well as much as you think you don't have time to prep meals in advance for those busy days, you are wrong. You have to schedule that time and make sure you do it. It would be so much easier on all of you if you had a plan in place, and were able to execute with style on those days that you need it. There are tons of ways to do this. Take one weekend day per week or one slow night at home and choose what you want to make. Whether its a breakfast dish that you will freeze or its a dinner dish that you will have ready for the net day (or the day after), it will be one step further to getting that busy day in check. While prepping one meal - make double and freeze one. This for me is the easiest way to plan for extra meals. I don't find it takes that much time extra to chop up double the onions. This is prep times one and meals times two! Time saver! The cool thing is that once you start to do these things you will get used to it and they will become second nature.
3. Use your crockpot
On those days that you won't be home to cook but you will actually be home at dinner, the crock pot is a great solution. There are also tons of recipes out there that you can prep and freeze to get ready for the crockpot making the day you use them super easy! Crockpots are great ways to get healthy meals when you are not ready to make a complicated meal at home.
4. Do your other chores in advance.
No one wants to be that person that leaves the dirty baseball uniform or dance leotard in the laundry and not have it ready the day of the big event. Make sure a couple days in advance that you are prepped for the busy day. Even if you have it all packed in the car with a list handy so you don't forget anything, you will better off. Make a list of things you can't forget the day of the busy day and that will prevent small things like water bottles and school books from being left at home.
5. Take turns to do the driving
Where I come from - it takes me at least 15 minutes to get to school, 40-45 minutes to get to dance class, and 30 minutes to the nearest big grocery store. We are always in the car it seems. On the busy days where driving is more prevalent try and find other parents going through the same thing. Carpooling is not only good for the environment but its good on you too. It gives you a break to get some needed things done and by taking turns with this it will be a cooperative movement for all parent drivers out there!
6. Take a deep breath
So there are days where you just couldn't get the crockpot to work and you ran out of your last frozen meal. You slept in and the kids were a little late to school or you ended up being 15 minutes late to guitar lessons. Take a deep breath. Nothing is life or death. Everything will be fine. Don't forget to forgive yourself. We are all human and we are doing the best we can.
Take a look at my everyday life and you will know that it's not perfect! I am not perfect. Nor do I try to be. Stay tuned for more of my antics tomorrow and we can explore this everyday life together, with all of its struggles and bumps in the road.
If you would like me to document your everyday then please contact me and tell me what you think you want! I'm sure we can make it work! I love hearing people's ideas for sessions. Let's go have some fun together! Don't forget to check out my contest that ends April 20th. I can't wait to share some freebies with those that enter!!
Member of National Association of Child Photographers ￼
Member of Red Thread Sessions