It’s time for me to get real with you all. When I got pregnant with my first baby, I remember my mother-in-law asking me what I thought about being a stay-at-home mom. I arrogantly responded with and I quote, “I don’t plan on staying home. I’ll get bored too quickly. What would I do all day?”
Boy, oh boy did I have more than a few lessons to learn. Nine months later my beautiful baby boy was born. I decided to stay at home and I got hit by the reality truck. Motherhood has come with a lot of emotions and feelings, but boredom certainly has NOT been one of them. I barely had time to shower and eat a meal in those early days of parenthood and time management is still something I struggle with, as a mother of two preschoolers.
As mothers, our time is extremely limited. We are cooks, we are chauffeurs, we kiss boo-boos, we diffuse tantrums, and we manage household chores. It can be overwhelming. Two years ago I began my health and fitness journey with CrossFit. I started out going to the gym 2-3 days a week. After about 3 months I was going 6 days a week, and the number one question I received from other moms was, “How do you have time to workout 6 days a week?!”
Making time to work out was an act of determination and a lesson in prioritizing. I am blessed with an extremely supportive husband and family, which certainly helped matters, but I realized quickly that if I wanted to CrossFit and still manage our household, I needed an effective plan. These 5 household tips keep our house from falling apart so that I can make it to the gym 6 days a week.
1. The Slow Cooker. I’m a morning person, which means by 5:00PM I have about five percent of my energy left. Most days the last thing I want to do is cook an elaborate meal during what has become both mine and my children’s witching hour. Throwing a few ingredients into a crockpot is easy and I LOVE having dinner ready and waiting for our family. We’ve got a good amount of slow cooker meals under the Recipe tab at StayFitMom.com.
2. Pack snacks and lunches the night before. I leave my house for the gym by 8:10AM and most days we’re headed straight to a play date or activity when we get out of there. I tell my boys that I get one hour of the day, and the other 23 hours belong to them. I like to have snacks on hand and even their lunches packed so that they’re fueled for the day. Having their lunches on hand gives us a lot of freedom if we need to run errands or a play date runs long.
3. Get your kids involved. Between my two boys, my husband, and my dog, you could say that our house gets a
wee bit ridiculously dirty on a daily basis.
Getting the kids involved in the family chores early on, is about the best thing you could do for them AND yourself. It’s not always fun, and it may take you a little bit longer in the beginning… BUT it will save you tons of time in the long run AND it will teach your children valuable lessons about responsibility. I love this Age-Appropriate Chore Chart from Focus on the Family. You can really begin putting your kids to work as early as two years old! Start small and give them a little bit more responsibility over time.
4. One load of laundry per day. Repeat after me, “I will NOT be a slave to laundry.” I’m the type to get extremely overwhelmed when I see 4 loads of laundry that need to be folded, and it really irks me to live out of the dryer. My good friend Lindsay from Live Life Organized gave a presentation at our MOPS meeting one night. She said that the average load of laundry takes 7 minutes to fold. Now I remind myself that all I really need is 7 minutes per day for laundry. One load of laundry per day keeps my children from running around naked (most of the time). I set a delay start timer on my washer. Flip the load to my dryer when I get back from errands or play dates, and then find 7 minutes in my day to fold.
5. Clean the sink before bed. This one is the hardest for me. Dishes are the bane of my existence. But I made a commitment to myself to leave my sink clean every night before bed. I learned quickly that nothing infuriates me more than waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes. It makes breakfast a nightmare, dishes continually pile up throughout the day, and the next thing you know, I’m hiding in my closet from the heaping mound of disgusting dishes that has become my kitchen. When I clean the sink at night, I breathe easier the entire day.
Now I don’t want you getting any false impressions here. We still have our days! I don’t quite have this motherhood gig figured out and I don’t know that I ever will, but these 5 tips sure help things run a lot smoother. Do you have a time-saving tip? Let me know what household tips you have up your sleeve in the comments below!
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