Real mums share their tips on how they juggle work, children, and getting everyone up and out the door every morning. On time!
Work clothes & getting ready
Bags are packed and put on the 'launch pad' the night before, along with anything else that needs to leave with us (kindy sheets, extra stuff, etc). Our launch pad is just a designated space near the entrance that is only ever to be used for things that need to leave in the morning. Anything not on said launch pad is at risk of being left behind. It just takes some thinking out of the morning when we're rushing to get kids ready!
All showers/baths for myself and children are had at night to save time in the morning -except sometimes in summer!
Try to buy a work uniform, even an 'unofficial' one. Buy mix and match colours, items that don't need ironing and can stand the dryer, comfortable shoes that go with most things. It makes dressing in the morning easier.
Cleaning & household
Try and get the whole family involved when you do your weekly clean (yes that sounds insane). Small things, like getting the kids to pick up their toys or put their dirty clothes in the laundry will help. If you get a nanny, see if she/he can take care of bath time or some simple chores around the house (empty bins, dishwasher) so you have less to do when you come home.
Use a lunch break each week to pay bills and make phone calls etc. Better still, direct debit all bills to a credit card and pay that once a month.
Drop offs & Pick Ups
Have a conversation with your partner about what will happen if your children get sick - ie. who will take time off work. My husband and I alternate who stays at home so that it's an equal impact on both our jobs. We also agree on who will be dropping off/picking up and try to share the load so that one parent doesn't get stuck with this all the time.
Due to daycare picks up I had to get used to leaving at 5pm on the dot. My tip is don't feel guilty for leaving work. It'll be there tomorrow.
Cooking - lunches & dinners
If you have the time/energy I find doing a cook off on a weekend & freezing meals is helpful. Online shopping is also good & means you don't waste a day on the weekend fighting the supermarket.
I freeze sandwiches: peanut butter or vegemite for the kids and cheese and ham for me. My work has a sandwich toaster, so I toast mine and I will pack some tomato to put on just before toasting.
I buy lunches in bulk for school. I make sandwiches and freeze them once a fortnight and buy snacks in bulk - I only have to throw them into a cool bag each morning.
Slow cookers are a miracle for working parents. I put mine on at 5:30am and when I arrive home about 5pm, the house smells lovely and dinner is cooked. I just use that 90 second rice and steam some veggies and dinner is ready.
Don't be afraid to set aside some sanity money each week for a cleaner, take-away, mow the lawns or to get the car washed. Depending on your budget, use some money to free up time. Time is worth paying for!
Try and find time to exercise. Sometimes getting up early and exercising is great, as you are also dressed and ready before the kids wake up. Make sure you have one day a week that is a family day - no groceries/cleaning, just relax.
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