The kids are at home, its summer time and most of us began our summer routine this year in spring! Due to the current state of our nation we were left scrambling to come up with a plan during the day for our kiddos at home while trying to stay sane at the same time. It has been quite a challenge for most parents to juggle to added roles so I would like to share six tips to help your day run smoother and keep your home organized.
Plan Ahead: One of the keys to staying organized week to week is planning our weeks in advance. I’m always thinking ahead, meals, travel, groceries, events, etc. in doing so I am thinking in what way can I make life easier for our crew, more importantly for us as parents. So if that is designated grocery shopping days, breakfast/lunch/dinner menus, kids practices, I coordinate tasks around these days to help them run smoother.
Online/Pick-up Grocery Ordering. if you haven't tried either of the two, I would definitely recommend giving it a try. It was an absolute life saver for me when I had twin infants, and a 17 month at home. I usually toggle between the two options depending on our needs and schedules, my menus for the week, and what if any events or activities are going on for us. I am a bargain shopper so sometimes I’d rather go inside and shop, but when this momma is in a time crunch, I order online and coordinate my pickup while I am out running other errands so that I don't have to make multiple trips. Some online/pickup shopping can be picked up or delivered the same day within a few hours. which is far better than loading up the kids in the car for a full grocery trip.
Meal/Snack Menu Prep: Meal prep is by far the hardest for me. So I applaud the mothers who have mastered this! My routine consists of creating a menu for three meals a day. Also making meals that can last for two days so I am not preparing dinner two days in a row. It gives me a day off or two, during the week. Also I ask the kiddos and hubby for suggestions for the menu. Sometimes as the cook of the house, I am all out of meal ideas, so input from them makes it a bit easier because they will eat what they have requested on the menu. I also try to clean while I cook so that there are minimal dishes after dinner is done. For snack time if your house is even a bit like mine it seems as though there is a snack request every 30 minutes. How I have managed to make that simpler is having readily snacks available. Some grab and go, or freshly chopped fruits, or nibbles in Ziplocs so the kiddos can easily access it from the fridge. Also a big help with this one is communicating a "meal/snack" schedule to the kids so they know when to expect the next one. If you have little ones it also helps with them learning to tell the time. We are killing two birds with one stone here!
Clean Up In The Evenings: I know some mommas are raising eyebrows on this one, by the end of the day we are usually exhausted. But stay with me, cleaning up in the evenings for us is a team effort. Even if you are a single mother with children, it is a team effort. Our children are very well structured at school to pick up after themselves, whether it is as simple as putting books, projects and notebooks away after class. Don’t let them fool you that they cannot do the same at home. It has to be taught. I recommend starting early. Our little ones started picking up as early as two. Sometimes it comes along with an incentive or a challenge, at other times it is our evening routine after nigh time baths. If you are planning for your children to go off one day to college or start a career and live on their own in a clean house that you would want to come visit, it is a good idea to start teaching them early these habits.
Laundry Schedule: Our house is pretty busy so we are washing a few times a weeks. However I have started to show my littles how to properly place their clothes in their drawers. They are also learning matching socks together, any little bit of help from them is great when you have mountains of laundry. Helping them out with labels on their drawers also helps them with reading. For my pre-teen, we have taught her how to wash and fold her own clothes.With gentle reminders, of course, (Said sarcastically) she is washing and folding her own clothes. Some may frown on this and not think their pre-teens/teens are ready but she’s got it down and it hasn’t harmed anyone yet. Yay!!
Scheduled tablet/tv time: If apart of your day involves tablet time for your kids, or tv time, try and schedule this time around the time you wish to get tasks done. This could be prepping dinner, laundry, or whatever tasks seem easier when the kids are occupied. Set them up with a snack, so that you aren’t having to stop and tend to their needs. If you have babies I would definitely recommend a carrier, swing, or play yard to keep them occupied and content.