I’ve had a few friends recently ask me how I manage to “get it all done.” At first, I was flabbergasted that they thought I even remotely had it together, let alone getting something actually “done.” But then I realized maybe out of necessity I’ve actually stumbled upon some “parenting hacks” that aren’t widely known yet?
So here are my real-life processes to keeping my home, my family, and my small business *relatively* afloat.
Sigh…. You guys…. I don't know the last time my counters + sink were this. Tidy. Clean. ….. I had to take a picture to prove it. Because you know it'll be trashed in the morning. The dishwasher is currently running a full load that I just cleared off the counter AFTER emptying it 2 hours ago. Then I kept chugging: hand washing: done. Wipe counters: done. Put new/unknown home items away. = Pretty View #cleankitchen #cleancounters #thankyouself #bedtimesuccess #bedtimewin #thismomisstillgoing #norestforthismama #momchores
Clean as You Go
Even before the rest of the family members finish their meal, I am sweeping the crumbs into a pile to be vacuumed up with our dustbuster (does anyone even own these anymore? I love mine). I’m stacking empty dishes and collecting trash and food ready for the trash can. I take trips from the dining room to the trash can & sink while they finish their meal and then I come back with wipe(s) in hand for the kiddos.
Once they are done, clean, and set free to run around, I finish wiping down the cleared table, chairs, tray, and finish sweeping and vacuuming the crumbs. When I turn off the light it is my mental checkmark that the dining room is done. Then I move onto the dishes in the kitchen sink and load them in my (hopefully) empty dishwasher. If this is full, I start the wash cycle no matter what time of day it is. If it’s full = I run it. Ideally, my husband will empty it before he goes to bed.
Bring the Kids Along
I set my 3-year-old the task to gather sticks from the yard into her red wagon (to keep her occupied more than helpful) and I put the 10-month-old in a laundry basket with a couple toys. This small container (instead of her pack-n-play, my usual go-to) made it easy to move her around with me as I weeded the flower bed along our front walkway. I’m sure I looked a little ridiculous, but it sure worked well and we were all able to get our chores done!
Other times include stroller walking to nearby errands – return library books and play on the playground as a reward. Or walking to the doctor’s office on a nice day. Or even in the evenings, we’ll walk to the neighborhood farmer’s market & food truck stop for a fun family dinner out.
I don’t have a regular babysitter on hand so I’ve learned to run errands and shop with my 2 kiddos in tow. Most clothing shopping or “fun” shopping is done online to avoid the distraction and headaches of meltdowns. Same for “I need to get this one item” shopping, like for our home addition when we know specifically what we are looking for.
Schedule it in
Not everything needs your level of brain power attention.
- Sign up for Auto-pay Bills!
- I auto cross-publish my social media posts for Knittedhome.
- Low balance email alerts from our checking account (because you never want to find that surprise overdraft fee).
- Later.com to schedule Instagram posts
Because I’m not a huge fan of being in the kitchen all the time but it saves us a TON of money by not eating out AND it’s much healthier to cook from scratch than eat out of a box. Which means I have more hours to spend in the kitchen prepping ingredients and finding recipes that we all like (and that are soy/dairy/egg free).
Batch Other Areas of My
One day it’s “Mom” day (stroller walk/picnic lunch at the park/ playdate/ focus on the kiddos) another day we stay in and play “Housekeeper” (pick up all the toys, put away the clean clothes, etc) or “Baker” (bake all the recipes/ ingredient prep/ bake snacks).
On the rare day that I feel like we’ve been away from home for too many days in a row and I have a lot of small business work to accomplish, I’ll flip on a marathon of PBS Kids (Curious George, Daniel Tiger, Peg + Cat, Dinosaur Train, Thomas the Train Engine) or Blues Clues on Amazon Prime for the girls to watch while I work an hour or two on the couch next to them. It’s all about balance, right? 😉
Naptime is reserved for Knittedhome work, Household Secretary (bill pay/ appointment making/ etc), and other 100%-focus tasks.
Play to Our Strengths
He folds laundry & empties the dishwasher at night so I can focus on product production and work on my business.
Other times – like daylight hours – hubby is working on our home construction projects while I watch the kiddos, make food, etc. Today was finishing the house wrap on hopefully the last section we have to finish before siding can go up and then the exterior will be DONE! … until it’s time to beautify (flowers, planters, …)
My 3-year-old helps unload the dishwasher by sorting the silverware. This gives her a sense of connection, empowerment, mental challenge to match the utensils, and pride in her abilities. Not to mention it instills a work ethic down the road and I get a little help with the household chores 🙂
Don’t be afraid to say no. When you say “yes” to something, you are saying “no” to something else. Be sure that whatever you are saying “yes” to is in line with your priorities because you’ll be saying “no” to something else. Is that “yes” worth it?
Saying no also “delegates” the weight of responsibility AWAY from you.
Remember WHY you’re saying No – to spend more time with your husband, your kids, your family, YOURSELF. Don’t be afraid to say No for YOUR sanity. You can’t be a very good YOU if you aren’t well taken care of.