3 very simple ways I try to calm down my hectic family life
Feel like you are running around and forever chasing your tail?
We know how you feel.
I, for one, would love days that are a little less frantic and hectic. Much less so, please. And look; I know life with two young children and a full-time job is busy and always will be, it is just that when your day-to-day routine starts feeling more like a rat race than, well, a life, then I think it is time to make some changes, no?
Over-hauling habits and routines can be overwhelming, but here are three small and easy changes I plan on doing that I suspect will make a big difference – for the whole family.
1. Keeping A Well-Stocked Fridge
This, I suspect, will be the #1 thing that will save time (and my sanity).
Instead of writing mental shopping lists as I walk out of the office every day, and then dash (with two tired and narky kids in tow) around our local SuperValu trying to get what I need to assemble a healthy dinner later, I am now officially committing to new ways. And by new ways, I mean getting much more organised when it comes to doing a weekly shop every Saturday or Sunday, and carefully planning everything we are going to eat every week in advance.
I will also set out filling up our presses with all the staples I need to be able to throw together a dinner with minimal effort no matter what. Things such as tinned tomatoes and dry pasta and rice and quinoa and olives are great. As in items like eggs, Parmesan cheese, frozen spinach and Greek yoghurt – to name a few.
That way, my weekly shop can consist of stocking up on fresh foods like fruit, vegetables, and organic meats, and voila; we are all set for a week of healthy eating and much less stress.
2. Commit To Regularly Scheduled Cleaning – And A Toy Purge
Goodbye, Netflix. From now on; I will commit 20 minutes every evening (together with my other half, who – naturally – should also be involved in this) to a very quick grab-and-put away. As in; take a few minutes (2o just seems like a doable amount of time) every night to quickly blast through the rooms of the house and tidy everything that doesn't belong in that room, put it back where it belongs, throw out what needs throwing out and in general just give the entire house a mini going-over before bedtime.
What I am hoping, is that this will ensure that come Thursday afternoon, or Friday, the house is so tidy that I can clean it (hoover, wash floors etc.) pretty swiftly before the weekend comes, freeing up more time to just relax and recharge come Saturday and Sunday.
As well as this, I vow to keep the toys and playroom in order too, only keeping toys that they actually play with, have all of their components intact, and are age appropriate. Donate, toss, or store the rest. Repeat as necessary.
3. Getting Our Schedules in Sync
In an attempt to avoid the last-minute scramble to find a babysitter, panic over a forgotten birthday party, and other familial stressors, I plan on honing our calendar systems. And by this, I mean both digital (shared Google calendars are a God-send for any married couple with kids and jobs!) and also a good aul' fashion wall planner where everything – everything – will be jotted down.
I am talking mid-terms dates, parties, ballet lessons, out-of-town work trips, vaccines, dentist visits; in other words, if it is happening the month in question, it is on the wall for all to see, so nothing is missed, nothing is double-booked and life is a lot of a smoother ride for all.