I get home from work around 6 p.m. almost every day. Sometimes 7 p.m.
The house is a mess.
There are dirty dishes in the sink. The laundry is piling up. I tell myself, “You have to cook dinner,” before picking up toys and throwing around suds like a mad woman.
While trying to cook dinner, Christian and I have to discuss what we have to do the next day. What does the daycare need tomorrow? Does Israel have enough diapers? Wipes? Can you pick up stamps after work?
The baby wants to be picked up. The timer for dinner goes off. We eat dinner. After we are done, I clean the dishes and the kitchen. Israel needs a bath. After the bath, he needs to be in pajamas. Lights out at 8:30 p.m., and he gets a bottle. He finally goes to sleep after the second attempt to lay him down in his crib. I watch or read for the last hour that I am awake.
This is my typical evening. Yes, it is as stressful as it sounds. When I get home from work, I continue to work.
My husband is very helpful and amazing. He will help with laundry, cleaning, and getting Izzy into nighttime routine. He also works a 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. job that also reduces his free time to a minimum. Oh, and did I mention he is taking 18 hours in school?
Unfortunately, neither of us have the luxury of a clean house during the week, and the big chores typically get reserved for the weekend. I work a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job and also have a 1 hour and 15 minute commute to get to work. So approximately a 10.5 hour work day.
I am not here to complain. Just give some perspective and also some perspective to myself. I know there are other mothers with the same struggles. It is hard. Some other women work two jobs and have 60++++ hour work weeks. God bless you and give you the strength.
I also know how hard it is to be a stay-at-home mom. That is a full-time job as well! It is hard. I know. It is very hard. But you got this!
Thankfully, our morning routine is a little bit simpler. We wake up at 7 a.m. I get dressed then get Izzy dressed. He sits in his high chair, and I sit next to him. He has a bite of food then mama has a bite of her food.
Then I get him in the carseat. I grab my things (purse, lunch, sometimes a yoga mat) and his (lunch and whatever daycare needs.. diaper, wipes..). Then we are out the door to daycare. After I drop him off, I start my hour and 15 minute commute to work.
I would love to hear advice from veteran mamas about working full-time while trying to be the best mom and home-maker. How do you do it?
I thought I might share a few of my tricks with you! Let’s exchange!
1.Meal prepping – On Sunday nights while I cook dinner, I will also make lunches for Christian and I to bring to work with us. This reduces the amount of time I have to spend in the morning getting a lunch together for myself and reduces spending money on lunch. I also find it easier to just cook while you are already cooking!
2. Laying out clothes the night before and other necessary items – After I put Israel down at nighttime, I usually will lay out his clothes on the entertainment center which is near the front door. In the morning, I do not have to look for his clothes! They are right there. I should also incorporate doing this more for myself! Imagine all the time I could save! I also will put out the carseat, his blanket, and a bag with all the items they need at daycare for that day (i.e. diapers, wipes, lunch, snacks.) Sometimes, I find this step difficult. I am so tired at that point in the evening. But you have to make yourself do it. Those 10 minutes will make your morning much smoother.
3. Making to-do lists and have a chore plan/chart – Dividing up the chores between family members can lighten the load for mom. Christian actually came up with his brilliant idea! He took the initiative and found a chore chart that is a guide for what you should clean every day and what is a weekly chore. SUPER HELPFUL. I am a planner by nature. I love lists and organization. A to-do list gives me a clear plan of what I need to accomplish each day. I don’t know what I would do without them!
4. Planning weekly (or bi-weekly) meals and a grocery list – Like I said, I am a big planner and list maker. If you schedule that you will have red beans on Monday, Tacos on Tuesday, spaghetti on Wednesday, meatloaf on Thursday, etc. then you will not have to waste time pondering what am I going to cook for dinner or spend hours at the grocery figuring out what you want to eat that week and what you need to make that dish!
4. Try using same-day delivery or order pick up from grocery stores – What a time saver?! Right! This may also reduce your urge to buy random items in the store you do not need. You could also try using a dinner meal kit like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron to save time on planning your dinner recipes out!
5. Take a break and kick your routine to the curve (well… every once in awhile) – I think we can hold ourselves up to unreasonable expectations. I find myself doing it all the time. One person cannot be doing everything in their life exceptionally well all the time. We get tired. We get busy. Relax a little and take a break. It is okay if you leave the dishes over night. It is okay if your laundry is piling up some. We do not have to be perfect. The house does not always have to be clean. The baby does not have to always be put down at 8:46 p.m. in his red pajamas with his purple blanket at a 70 degree angle.
Whether we are working full-time, working two jobs, or being a stay-at-home parent, let’s just try our best.
What helpful time-saving tips do you have to share? What do you to manage your time between work and your family?