So I started thinking like a business owner. how would I run this show if it was my job (yes duh I know its my job, but what if I could get fired?” so I consulted with fellow parents whom I felt had their “shit together” and asked how and what they did to excel at running the family. Here are some key takeaways that I have been implementing and they REALLY WORK!
1. Mondays are the planning days (not sunday). Yes, so before I would try to do my grocery shopping + meal prep on Sunday but it was always last minute or didn’t happen at all because we were running around having fun on the weekend. So instead I use Mondays as my “look ahead” day. I visualize my week, I think about what food I want to eat. I meal plan, I make my grocery list. I plan activities for the following week. I map out my time. I prioritize the things I want to have happen that week.
2. Command Center. Have some place in the house to be your “operations area” and have all your “tools” there. I am a visual person so I got a cute whiteboard with lots of color options and hung it up in plain view. On Mondays I look at the week ahead of me and fill in all the things off my phone calendar. I also have things that I want to do (i.e. a podcast I’ve been meaning to listen to or an article that I want to read and have a working list of them, when I find myself with a pocket of free time I can check out my idea list and if I feel inspired/inclined I have something to check out.
3. Mediate Meditate Meditate. I swear its a time investment that pays me back over and over again. Investing even 10min in quiet mediation can relax + open my mind to help me be more efficient later in the day. It works. Its the secret to happiness, health and success. I am working towards prioritizing it (always a work in progress) but the days I meditate I can tell a difference. So I try to do that first thing in the morning and in the evening before bed.
4. Playtime for YOU. I am such an extrovert. I will chat with the homeless man on the corner to recharge my batteries. I get energy from interacting with other people. And no, my kids don’t always count. It needs to be adult interaction. So I have been consciously scheduling / prioritizing adult time into my days. Whether its a phone date, play date, date night or whatever I make sure my day is broken up with meaningful interactions with peers.
5. Delegate like a boss. We are running on a tight budget but I have found a way to have a babysitter come once in awhile to hang with the kids so I can get stuff done. It’s an investment you will not regret. Summer is coming up so find a neighborhood high schooler to work as a “mother’s helper” so you can even be in the house while they play with your kiddos for a budget friendly fee. Or see if you have a neighborhood babysitting co-op and swap watching your neighbors kiddos so they can watch yours! It is the only way I could get grocery shopping done this summer. I also empower my kids to help with chores. They are excited to chip in around the house.
6. Morning routine for kiddos. Kids thrive with boundaries, structure and routine. I have set up a morning routine that goes something like this: wake up, get dressed (we pick out clothes the night before and lay them out), choose a quiet activity if its not time for breakfast yet (always have the diffuser going with some uplifting oils), show up in the kitchen as a family around 7:30 and wait for breakfast. We have a few options that we rotate for breakfast food (oatmeal + fruit, fried eggs, toast with pb + bananas or cold cereal) and whatever is on the menu that day is what you get, we have a saying in our family from Aaron’s camp days “you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit”. Then we are usually out the door by 9 for our activity.
7. Refresh your To Do list: I am pretty reactive and if I allow myself to read an email or text message I tend to respond right away – but inevitably with kiddos its not always the best time. Especially since I am trying to model good technology etiquette and picking up the phone a million times a day is not what I want to model. So instead of doing anything in the moment I keep a lonnnnng list. I keep a few note pads in select places in my house (on the fridge, whiteboard at the command center and in the car) and I add whatever thing pops into my head that I want to get done to the list. When I have a chunk of free time I will tackle something on the list… It has helped me so much… if I didn’t use this system my ADD ways would get the best of me and I would be half doing everything and neglecting my kids at the same time.