Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TOO BUSY TO BE A MOM

No one quite expresses exactly how busy you are as a mother/parent. Especially if you are also trying to do anything other than be a parent. I worked full-time for a while when the babeola was an itty bitty thing and it was so difficult, I quit. For the last several months, I've been a full-time mom, but now I am embarking into the world of part-time work (and looking at going back to school).

Last weekend and this coming weekend, I was/will be in all-day seminars on Saturday and Sunday in relation to my new part-time gig. This means all laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping must be done by Friday night (and make no mistake, my husband helps out 100% so I'm not alone in this, but even so, it's a lot of freaking work to juggle it all). The imposition of time constraints other than nap time on my life has definitely increased my stress factor.

I don't like this facet of motherhood. The time crunch. The backed into a corner and trying to perform spectacularly on competing interests. I find it to be the most difficult part of motherhood.

But I can't avoid it. The whirlwind is coming for me whether I like it or not.

Below are the few time management tricks I have mastered. Leave a comment and tell me how you manage it all too.

1.Slow cooker. Slow cooker. Slow cooker. One of the easiest slow cooker recipes is plain pork loin which can then be shredded and made into BBQ pork.

2. Freezer. Stock the freezer with meat loaf, meatballs, hamburgers ready to be grilled, and leftovers. Also, keep chicken soup on hand for when the whole family simultaneously comes down with a cold.

3. High quality convenience foods. No Chef Boyardee or other low quality foods, but we do use Amy's frozen entrees that utilize organic, whole ingredients. The pesto cheese tortellini is a huge hit in our house. We also prioritize our fresh fruit so it lasts a week. Bananas and berries are eaten first. Pineapple, pears, and melons are stored in the fridge for later in the week, this eliminates extra trips to the store.

4.Live by the Law of Concurrent Work. Look for tasks you can run simultaneously. I no longer eat meals with the babeola. Instead I feed her and do the dishes. I can eat while she plays, but it's difficult to do kitchen chores when she's in the other room. The other big time saver is to clean the bathroom during bath time, however, my husband does bath time in our family and hasn't quite mastered that concept.

5.Keep a really good calendar to avoid overbooking or double-booking.

6.Super-duper baby proofing or a play pen so you can safely turn your back on baby without worrying. (But always double check as you leave that there are no hazards within baby's reach--you would be surprised at the oddball choking hazards that have wormed their way into our safe space.)

3 comments:

Jenners said...

Love your blog! I hear you...I am a full-time stay-at-home mom and I have trouble keeping up with everything. I thought your tips were great. I find mealtime to be the most difficult thing. For now, it is all about speed, convenience and what I can pull off in 15 minutes or less and not so much about nutrition, taste, etc. I can't imagine working even part-time (who will give me the schedule I want?) but the time is coming when I'll have to go back to work. The big myth about motherhood is that you CAN'T do everything. Whenever I feel stressed about stuff, I try to remember that my son is only going to be this much with me for a relatively short time and then he will be out in the world and I'll have plenty of time to keep the house spic and span. You just do what you can and don't forget to enjoy the moment.

Jenners said...

Forgot to give my "tips" in my previous post.

1. As far as housekeeping, each day I try to pick the one thing that is bothering me the most and then I try to do something about it.

2. Getting a box/basket/bin/place for all the toys and teaching my son where things go and enforcing the rule that "we have to clean up one toy before playing with another" has helped keep toy clutter down tremendously. He is good at cleaning up now and he knows where everything belongs and where he can find each type of toy. I think he actually likes the structure and the idea that "there is a place for everything and everything in its place."

3. To keep down the constant influx of toys and stuff, we have a rule about toys that before birthdays, Christmas and other gift-giving occasions, we pick out 5 toys that can go to Goodwill for the kids that don't have toys. I let my son pick and they have to be in good condition--not just broken toys. We also say if you want another stuffed animal, you have to pick two to give away.

Kaplooey Mom said...

The unspoken, but often used, strategy is to Lower Your Standards. You will never again achieve childless levels of cleanliness, organization, or energy. Clean, organized, energized. Pick two. Who knows, you might get lucky and actually achieve two.