By Heather Shaw of Family Friendly Frugality
As a mom, more specifically a work at home mom, I am very aware that running a household is complicated. In fact, it is pretty overwhelming. My theories on childcare and housekeeping totally conflict with each other (I strive to be an always attentive mother/When I clean I want to be left alone!), and quite honestly I found myself constantly wishing life could be more convenient! I daydreamed various solutions; I could hire a nanny, a housekeeper and a full time chef. Unfortunately, my bank account did not agree.
Instead I took my dilemma to the library and poured over books on household management. Now, I’m not claiming that I have it all figured out. However, I have found at least 5 techniques that honestly have made my life a bit more convenient. It requires being a bit more proactive, a bit less lazy and a lot more organized.
1. Cook for your freezer-Once a week, once a month, once a day cook some food and do not eat it! Throw it in your freezer for quick and easy meals and snacks when you are stretched for time. There are so many recipes that freeze really well. Burritos (both the breakfast and lunch/dinner variety!), casseroles, baked goods, sauces and soups. Don’t worry if you can’t set aside a Sunday every week to devote to stocking your freezer, just cook extra for dinner every few nights. One lasagna for the dinner table, and one for the freezer.
2. Prepare for everything-As a mom, we all know that things do not generally proceed as planned. When the 2 year old is yanking on your pant leg and the 4 year old is screaming about his shoes, time does not stop. Unfortunately no matter what side of the bed everyone woke up on, 8:30 is still 8:30 and you need to be out the door! It might be too late now to make lunches last night, but now you know better. Have an emergency diaper bag in the car and set out clothes the night before. I guarantee you will feel like supermom the next time disaster occurs and you already have the solution prepared.
3. You need a housekeeping schedule-The capability to complete tasks on auto-pilot is a big plus for busy moms. When we leave life up to chance we wind up with cluttered homes, McDonald’s nourished kids and bewildered husbands. Start streamlining your household by creating habits and schedules to the point that you don’t even have to think. You just do. This isn’t meant to be an insult. We have a lot of balls to juggle! Set up a schedule and do not be an overachiever. If your schedule says today is laundry day, avoid the urge to tackle the garage. Give yourself grace, but don’t slack.
4. Remember that you do not live alone-If you are a mom, and consider yourself a busy mom, I’m assuming you do not live alone. You have children and possibly a spouse. Do your kids come home and run straight to their rooms or to play? Does your husband grab a drink and sit down to watch television? You aren’t the only person who lives in your home and you aren’t the only person that is responsible for caring for it. Young children can pitch in as early as the toddler years. Dad is just as capable as Mom at housekeeping AND childcare, don’t let him forget it! No one is off the hook in a thriving household, everyone must pitch in.
5. Get enough rest-This one is so important. In fact, you cannot expect to complete the previous steps if you aren’t well rested. Go to sleep and get your 8 hours (or whatever you function best on). This really is non negotiable.
Right now you might be groaning, “That’s too much work! I don’t want more work, I want more convenience!”, trust me I hear you. I felt the same way. Except, once you really start implementing these techniques you will notice that life does start getting more convenient! Little by little, the tasks that used to get away from you start to become habitual. Mopping the floor becomes less of a drama-fest when you do it on a regular basis. You will never have to do 10 loads of laundry in a day because it simply won’t pile up any longer. Busy moms need more convenience in their lives, but most of us don’t have the cash to buy convenience. Make your own convenient life by investing proactively in your household, yourself and your family. You won’t regret it.
Heather Shaw is a wife and mother of 2 who resides in Houston Texas. She has a passion for sewing, scratch cooking and getting the best deals for her family. She blogs about her life and how she works hard to save her family money at Family Friendly Frugality.