As a busy working mum sometimes the sheer volume of things that need to be done can be overwhelming.
I am a 35 year old mum who works four days a week, I am the proud mum of a gorgeous 18 month old and I have a very supportive, loving husband - both toddler and husband have the ability to make me supremely happy or drive me absolutely crazy depending on the day!
For me, staying ahead of the game of life means being organised while also trying to make time for self-love. Here are some rules I live by which are helping me get through the toddler years, while juggling work and making time for myself and husband.
Night before routine
Although I have have an official 'clock on' time at work, I do like to get in relatively early and would prefer to arrive in a calm state rather than a hot mess.
I find the 'don't leave until tomorrow what you can do today' philosophy works much better than the 'run around like a crazy person each morning getting everything done at the last minute' approach. Every night I follow a routine which I keep on a checklist on the side of the fridge which looks like this:
- Pack lunches
- Lay out clothes
- Bags packed and by the door
- Dinner organised (defrosting something)
This helps me stay on track and ensures that even the worst toddler meltdown doesn’t throw off the morning routine.
A place for everything, everything in its place
This is a biggie. The house can be in a pristine state one minute, and chaos the next…just add a toddler! I get around this with a few simple reminders:
- Put everything back in its place afterwards
- Dirty dishes go straight into the dishwasher
- Sort groceries (eg portion off and freeze meat, wash and store lettuce) and allocate everything else straight to their homes
The only exception to this is toys….toys stay out all day and I pack them up at night.
Clean as you go
I try to save time by making cleaning part of my daily routine, this includes:
- Clean up mess and spills as you go
- Squeegee the shower screen after each shower
- Wipe bathroom vanity each night
- Wipe the kitchen benchtops each night
I also like to do the kettle challenge sometimes to tackle jobs and stay on top of things, for example I might set myself the task of dusting one room before the kettle boils.
I guarantee once you've start on these habits, you won't be able to stop.
Plan your day, plan your week
Planning your day the night before and your week ahead is vital to staying on top of things, it ensures you can set a plan and are ready to go each day. Here are some weekly and daily rituals I like to follow to keep me ahead of the game:
- Every Saturday I plan out the meals for the fortnight ahead, then I do the shopping for the whole fortnight
- Check my diary so I can plan ahead where I need to, reschedule any appointments, purchase gifts in advance for upcoming events
- Set a ‘to do’ list for each day
- Meals organised each night for the next day
- Clothes out for the next day
- Review ‘to do’ list for the next day
Don't forget, no matter how organised you try to be, you can still get stressed out if you don't take time to stop, take a breath and relax.
Whether that means, going to the gym; booking yourself an hour at the day spa; or taking 15 minutes for yourself at the end of the day to read a book and have a cup of tea (while getting into the hidden chocolate stash) a rest is needed to ensure you are recharged, healthy and motived.
If you are keen for some more organisation and self-love tips you can follow me on FB @Organised_Mamma