Time for yourself is hard to juggle when you are a Mum. I share with you how I find time for myself while juggling three boys and a business.
Organising the house-
- Make containers and storage boxes your best friend! The more organised you are, the easier your life is. How much time do you waste looking for things?
- Keep keys, handbags, baby bags, school bags and shoes near the front/ back door (whichever you use on the way out). If you keep these near the door, then you only need to pop in a few things, as you run out the door. Kids know where their shoes are. How many times have you waited for your kids to find their shoes?? So frustrating! I have a mat next to the front door, where the kids take their shoes off, when they walk in the door and where they can put them on, on the way out.
- Keep school notices, appointment cards in a popular place ie like the fridge, so you can’t forget when it is curriculum day or out of uniform day etc.
- Fill out notices the night before and put them in the kids bags.
- This is an obvious one but do a shopping list before you go shopping. You save time not having to think of what you need and it also minimises food wastage and buying things you don’t need.
- Get your kids to put their lunch boxes/ drink bottles in the kitchen, when they get home from school, so you aren’t looking for them the next morning. So your not rushing the next morning, make some or even all of the kids lunches the night before. I know of a mum, who makes a weeks worth of sandwiches, on a Sunday and she pulls a days worth out the night before, to thaw out.
- Even if you are completely exhausted and want to have a sit down and veg out after dinner, try and get the kitchen cleaned up and the dishes washed (yes, I am totally guilty of leaving them until the next day!). How much better is it to get up in the morning and walk into a nice clean kitchen? The only things you have to clean is the breakfast dishes. Time saved in the morning and it is cheaper to run the dishwasher at night! Also after the kids have a bath/ shower, chuck the washing in the washing machine. There is a load out of the way before you even start the next day, all you have to do is hang it out or put it in the dryer.
- Keep a small container or basket in the bedroom with toys in it, so you can get dressed without having the littlies getting into something they shouldn’t or give the kids the bath toys to play with in the bathroom, while you have a shower (this works wonders for babies and toddlers). When they are older, time your shower/ getting dressed properly time while a favourite tv show is on (When Playschool is on is when I have my shower) or better still, have a shower or bath before you go to bed. It relaxes you and you don’t have to worry about it in the morning.
- Layout clothes for the next day. The kids know what they need to put on and you save time trying to find something to wear!
- Bathroom- use a face cleaner/ exfoliator while in the shower. Some cleansers have a built in toner as well. To save time on using suncream, moisturiser and make up, get a tinted moisturiser. Dove make a great one that has a 15+ sunscreen in it, a moisturiser and a bit of colour all in one and it is only $8 and can be bought at most supermarkets! My personal favourite is Natio tinted moisturiser ($15). It is Australian owned and made and fantastic to use. www.natio.com.au or can be bought at Myer and David Jones.
Time organisation- Now this is the tricky part, especially when you have a baby or toddlers.
- The best thing I can recommend is getting a diary or even using your calender on your mobile! You will need it as the kids get older and ‘mum’s taxi’ is getting used more and more. Even with babies and toddlers, you have a lot of appointments.
- Write a ‘to do’ list for the day ahead. This can be done the night before. So you know what is on for the day ahead.
- A whiteboard, which has a weekly time table on it, is perfect for families to put on it what they have on for the week. This also stops schedule clashes, especially when kids are at school and have after school activities etc.
Now the essential part:
- Schedule in all the jobs you HAVE to do and try to slot them into sections of the day…
- For example:
- Between 9 and 11am on a Tuesday, is one of my housework times.
- Monday or Wednesday mornings, are when I have a playdate with one of my friends and their kids.
- Thursday morning, while my youngest is at kinder, I go shopping, run errands or do the grocery shopping.
- I also put in appointment times, school and kinder drop off/ pick ups etc. You can schedule in bubbas/ toddlers feeding times, naps etc.
- The most important thing is to schedule ‘ME’ time. That is doing something ‘YOU’ want/ need to do, to have some time to yourself eg having a cuppa and reading a magazine/ book, getting up early and going for a walk, yoga/ Pilates (dvds are great!), having a massage, get a 1/2 hr facial or wax etc, getting your hair cut, watching a favourite tv show, journaling, just sitting outside in the sun enjoying a cuppa, catching up with family and friends etc. Plan shopping time for when you know bubba or the toddler of the house is scheduled to have nap. While they are asleep in the pram, you can have a look around or even have a cuppa at your fav. cafe in peace.
Stress relief with the kids- While time spent with children can be fun and fulfilling most of the time, it’s no secret that it can be very stressful as well. How can we be good mummies if we are stressed out?!? If we are stressed out, then that takes a toll on our bodies and we end up sick, rundown and exhausted.
- Take the kids to the park… you can sit down and rest while the kids play or run around with them 🙂
- Catch up and have fun with friends and their kids
- Getting the kids to help you in the garden (gardening is one of the best stress relievers and the kids love helping in the garden especially with vegie gardens). Babies also love sitting in their prams outside, while you get some gardening done.
- Blow bubbles. Its fun and keeps the kids occupied at the same time.
- Drawing, Painting or playing playdoh…. let your inner creative child come out and play… I can’t for the life of me draw but I have a ball drawing with the kids.
- Reading books with the kids…. relaxes you and teaches children how to read and gain a love of reading
- Jump on the trampoline or swing with the kids (The kids and I love doing this!)
- Take the kids to a play centre and have a cuppa while they run around. A cheap option is to go to Bunnings and have a cuppa while they play in the playground. You will be surprised how quiet it is during the week.
- Watch a favourite kids movie together. I swear I know every word to Cars, Toy Story (1 and 2), Garfield (1 and 2) etc.
- Take them to the movies…. the museum (very cheap)… zoo etc.
What are your tips for saving time and/ or making time for yourself??