Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tackle It Tuesday - Inconvenient Lifestyle

When I started back working last year, I thought I knew how to do the working mom thing 'cause that is what I did for 5 years in Tulsa. Yes, but I forgot that J did ALL the cooking, 90% of the grocery shopping, picked up the kids from school, bought the kids' clothes and did their hair (or MotorMouth's hair 'cause Mini Me didn't have hair until she was 2).

Since I was home full-time, all of this fell on my shoulders and it was fine. Until I added work to the mix and having to go to different stores for groceries and the laundromat when our NEW washer stopped working.
I've evaluated our lives - my life - and here is what I came up with. I need to write this stuff down somewhere I can be accountable for them. Here goes on my plans to make life easier for 2010.

These are not resolutions. This is stuff I've been mulling in my head for a couple of weeks/months and after the restoration of order in our home the holidays brought, I can finally start implementing this stuff....
Widney Wednesday Once/Month
We do Family Friday every Friday evening but I have let our themed family nights (Widney Wednesday) fall by the wayside. The kids love this and I enjoy creating memories for them. So, instead of pressure to create it weekly - I work full-time now - I am going to do one per month.
15-minute clean
This one is basic but huge. If J and I spend just 15 minutes each per day cleaning, we should be able to keep the house tidy. If you think about, 2 adults doing it is 30 minutes/day and a whole lot can be accomplished then!
1 toy at a time
The Duggars (the family with 19 kids!!) implement this rule. I didn't think it was possible. But I've been doing it with the kids for the past 2 weeks and it works!! They sometimes have 3-4 toys out, but when I see that, I call them on it and order is restored. This is major for keeping their 'playroom/Motor Mouth's bedroom/guest room' tidy.
5-minute bedtime clean
I didn't make the kids clean up every day before bed and the toys got really out of hand. MotorMouth refused to clean up his room because he said he didn't know where to start. I ended up doing it. Not my room. Not my toys. Not gonna do that again. So now I am enforcing the 5 minute clean rule where the kids clean their rooms for 5 minutes before bed. What a difference!
1 load a day
Once my laundry is tamed, I am going to endeavor to wash 1 load per day. Seeing as our washer is working now (no thanks to the Purex 3-in-1 sheets that stopped up our drain at a cost of $135 +plus), I should be able to wash and put away 1 load of laundry per day. If I do that, I should be able to stay on top of things.
Night Prep
I finally started preparing lunches at night and laying out the kids' clothes at night. It really streamlines the morning and makes for a more peaceful morning - until the last 15 minutes when there is still utter chaos and some yelling to 'hurry up!!'

Activity Jar
I have an activity jar so I can do something instead of chilling. I feel guilty chilling, so at least I can do something productive. I was surprised at how many little things I would like to get done - not major cleaning projects but little things, like cut out squares for a quilt, or just go for a walk with the family.
Dinner at Home
Since starting work, I find it increasingly difficult to eat at home on evenings. It is so easy to run out and grab something on the way home, instead of taking 20-30 minutes to cook. That has to stop. I have a list of easy to cook foods and I'm going to be leaving work earlier each day so I can be home to work 1-on-1 with MotorMouth and jump start dinner.

Input Welcome
I still need to figure out a grocery shopping strategy because one store does not cut it for everything. And I need to figure out a weekly deep clean day strategy. Any ideas are more than welcomed.
(Oh, and please don't suggest I look at FlyLady.com - I've been there and have taken some of her ideas but I find some of her stuff time consuming to manage.)

It all seems so basic doesn't, it??


FaithChick said...

You have some ideas that I think I am going to steal. Like the 5 min clean up at bed time. Good idea! I do alot of cooking these days in the crockpot. Recipes I get from Kraftfoods.com and so on. I also use emealz.com. This is great cause they plan out menu and make you a grocery list plus give you the amount it should cost depending on which store you use. I dont like all the recipes but over all it is good. My schedule is about to go out the window when the new one comes and I am about in a panic. I have to work into a whole new one. I may steal some of your ideas! Love ya sis. Good luck.

Mary Anne Mohanraj said...

We're using Peapod a lot right now. Slightly more expensive than Dominick's, but much cheaper than eating out even one meal a week. And the convenience and time-saving of having groceries delivered to my kitchen absolutely can't be beat.

Once spring and the farmer's markets come, we'll probably cut back on Peapod. But for winter in Chicago, it's a blessing.