Wise words from Beth "Keep in mind - no one gives you an award for cleanest house or smallest pile of dirty laundry. This time with your kids goes so quick, don't spend all of it overdoing the housekeeping part. I want my home to be the background of the activity, not the focus."
Beth suggests: "When you bake, double the recipe. Then eat one and freeze one for later. Most pasta recipes make way more than our family eats in one sitting, so by dividing it into two meals saves time down the road...Plan your meals for the week and do the grocery shopping all at once. There are lots of great meal planning sites online. Keep a list of meal ideas you can rotate to keep from getting in a rut. "
Lisa's tip: "It’s amazing how much time and money can be saved by simply planning ahead on your family meals. Food costs can vary greatly from month to month and with no planning, our family’s monthly food bill could easily be double that of our house payment! What I’ve found works best for is to plan one week at a time. I make my shopping list based on the meals I planned for the next week. I rarely come home from work thinking, “what’s for dinner?” A fun meal-chart generator is on http://www.lotsofkids.com/."
Lists and Shopping
Other things to think about
This is it, I know, it was long, but I hope it helps, feel free to e-mail me or post your comments here if you have more to add! I am going to bed:)
...Or so I thought...
The kids were cranky; the 12 year old vanished in the teen room the second we arrived, while the 6 year old pouted about wanting to go in the teen area, and the 3 year old decided it was a good idea to sneak up two flights of stairs for a game of hide and seek.
Soon after, they were all accounted for and taken to the appropriate location in the library (that being the children's room, what a concept!!) There's crying, pouting and eye rolling (may I add that at this point everyone in the library is engaging in the rolling of the eyes, as they watch the spectacle!!), not to mention us walking out with at least 20 items (I forgot the canvas bag at home) and setting off the security system!!! Back in we go, with the crying, pouting, rolling of the eyes reaching record levels... I just wanted to sit right there and cry.
How do other mothers do this?
That was all I could think about that day. I felt exhausted, overwhelmed, defeated and inadequate. And this was not the first time!
In my mind, I am adding to this catastrophe of a trip the following: 6 loads of laundry in the basement, bills to pay, movies to return, groceries to buy, dinner to make, art projects to plan, and much, much more!
The truth is that balancing life with kids is something that everyone struggles with, and I found that perhaps sharing valuable tips with others isn't such a bad idea. I asked a couple of moms (these are moms you look at and go, "wow, she really knows what she is doing") to share their wealth of knowledge in making life work.
It was important for me to gather info that could be modified to different family set-ups and lifestyles: husband or no husband, full time stay-at-home or full time job. It is my hope that whoever reads this will be able to gain something or add something to the conversation.
Throughout this week we will discuss Meal Planning and Shopping, Housework and Organizing, and Time to be YOU. Though it may sound meaningless and too "domestic" of a talk for some, life's chores and obligations are said to be the cause of most couple's sense of unhappiness and overall sense of burden in Americans. So why not share ideas?
Pipoca and Guarana: My favorite snack as a child growing up in Brazil, now is one of many simple pleasures that help maintain my sanity. This blog is as much about self-discovery as it is about clearing and exploring new paths. My hope is to deepen my connection to the world through artistic expression;