Monday, April 22, 2013

It's Sink or Swim Time! Getting Organized with Kiddos!

Today officially marks my first day on my own!  My husband is back to work and my mom will help out occasionally now.  I was a little nervous about how today would go, but so far it's been a relatively peaceful and productive day.  By 9:30 I had showered, bathed the middle kiddos, made dinner to be cooked this evening, vacuumed, and completed a school project for my daughter.  I could really use a nap, but am not sure how I can fit that in with my middle two no longer napping.  Bummer!

I have come to realize that I am going to have to accept that I'm always going to be behind in some aspects of my life, but I am going to do my best to not get too far behind.  For the past few months I had been a little lenient about the weekly "schedule" I had created for myself, but it is time to resume old habits that made our household run a little more smoothly.  Today I thought I'd share a few ways I try to keep up with a busy household of kids!

Meal planning is one of the most beneficial activities I do.  One day a week (usually on Wednesday when the local grocery ads come out) I sit down and plan out our meals for the week and our grocery list.  If I have extra time, I'll look at Target or for some coupons to try to trim a few more dollars off of our grocery bill.  I've tried to make meal planning a little simpler by sticking with a theme a few nights a week.  For example, crockpot meal on Monday, breakfast for dinner on Thursday, homemade pizza on Friday, and a simple, kid-friendly meal on Saturday.  This leaves a few days a week where I have to sift through my recipes to come up with dinner, but it has really cut back on time!  My other time-saver is having chicken for casseroles in the freezer that is already cooked and shredded.  

Keeping my house clean is also quite the time-consuming task.  Each night I try to do a quick sweep through our main areas to pick up the toys and clutter that have emerged throughout the day.  Our kids are old enough that they are all assigned a task or two during this time to help cut down on clean up time.  The kitchen is also an area that is cleaned up each night, as waking up to a mess of a kitchen stinks!  As for the rest of the house, I try to break the house cleaning tasks, such as dusting, vacuuming, bathrooms, and laundry up by day.  Taking thirty minutes or less during the weekdays, I can keep up with the house for the most part.  This is something that I had slacked off of while really pregnant, but am trying to resume so I don't have to spend an hour or more on the weekends cleaning.

I am also working on teaching our kindergartener the importance of completing his homework and school tasks on time, preferably the day the assignment comes home, as they usually aren't due for a few days.  I made a bulletin board to pin all school things up on, so we can easily keep track of them.  We are also encouraging him to read to us for 30 minutes a day, so we are working on blocking out that time each night as well and keeping a reading a log.  

I realized a long time ago that there will never be enough hours in a day, but if we are mindful of what time we do have, we can schedule our time wisely and there will still be time leftover to enjoy some of the activities that we, as individuals, like to do, as well as fun family activities.  


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