Home / Family / Flashback #2 –

 

Last week I shared with you a blog post from 2017. Well, this one’s from 2011, almost 10 years to the day since I wrote it. Back then I was a 29 year old mum of one toddler, one year away from becoming a mum of 2. I was full of ideals and optimism about how I could manage my time better as a Mummy blogger of 1 kid. Fast forward 10 years, another kid, day jobs AND 3 small businesses on top of the blog, plus all the mum/wife duties, life looks a bit different. I had a chuckle when I read it, gotta admit.

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MUMMY TIME MANAGEMENT (From January 2011)

One morning a few months back I opened up my Facebook page to be greeted with a “status update” from a friend who normally works, saying “ahhhh the life of a stay at home mum, the day is free to do whatever we want to do”. I nearly spat out my already-cold porridge! Who was she kidding? I am yet to meet a mum who can easily get through everything that she needs to in a day, and that’s just the mums that don’t also work full time! 

How do you manage your time well enough to ensure your littlies are happy and entertained, house is tidy, fridge is full and you are still (reasonably) sane?  I have asked around the many mummies that I know, to see what tips they have for getting everything done in a day and still have “Me Time.”

Most of them laughed at me. Apparently it is a common issue that the order of priorites in a family household is: 

Kids happy and entertained: Check

Important errands completed: Check (usually)

Housework done: Check (if you’re lucky)

Me time/couple time:……..Not so much

But I did get quite a few very handy hints from some of the mums and I thought I would share my Top 10 with you. 

  • Have a routine and stick to it. Sometimes easier said than done, but kids generally do very well on a structured routine.
  • Do housework while the kids are sleeping. Now, this may sound completely obvious to the more organised of you, but I tend to make the excuse that it’ll wake my son if I vacuum/load dishwasher/clean toilet, etc. Although it does generally turn out to be correct.
  • Get Nappy/School bags organised the night before. If everything is ready to go in advance, it won’t matter so much if things are a little hectic the next morning.
  • Have a diary and use it. I like the ones with a week visible on one page, so you can plan ahead and know exactly where you are at the beginning of the week.
  • Keep a notebook and pen next to the bed and before you go to bed each night right down everything you need to accomplish the next day, so that when you get up in the morning, you know exactly where you are at. (This was one of my favourite tips, and one that I have found really does help, both for being ready to go in the morning and for clearing your mind of “to-dos” before sleep) 
  • From that list, do everything in the order of most importance. It’s not the end of the world if the house isn’t absolutely spotless!! New mums are told “don’t worry about the housework, you’re a mummy now!”, but even mums of older kids can really struggle to get the simplest things done if their child is having an off-day.
  • For Toddlers and older kids, at some point, they start to love “helping” so maybe give them a cloth/small broom and let them help in some way. Of course, there will come a day where it’s not fun to help mum round the house, so enjoy it while you can!!
  • With Kindy/School-aged kids, a great tip I heard recently was to play a song on the stereo and for the duration of that song, everyone (including adults), goes around the house picking up their things and putting them where they belong. It is a great way to get them involved without them feeling as though they will be cleaning for hours because it is only for that song.
  • Allow yourself an hour or so after the kids go to bed, to do dishes, general tidying, and getting ready for the next day. So say they go to bed at 7pm, from 8pm onwards is Me time or time to spend with your partner/husband. To be honest, I don’t spend that hour cleaning, it’s usually getting dinner ready for us, and then we are free to watch tv and be completely unproductive.
  • This leads me to my next point. So much time is spent watching tv, playing xbox and browsing the internet (um.. HELLO FACEBOOK) and many people would be surprised how much more they get accomplished just by turning off the T.V or computer once in a while. I have started doing this in the mornings once Dex goes down for his morning sleep, I’ll hang out/fold washing, sweep the floors, wash dishes, etc. If he stays asleep long enough, I might even get to have a shower, shock horror!!

On that note, there have been a couple of times where I have left hubby in charge and gone out for a few hours, only to come home to find that the house is spotless, baby is happy and hubby has even had time to play some xbox. Way to make a girl feel inadequate! But it does go to show, he is not an avid Facebooker/Blogger/Trade me browser like I am, and by not turning computer on for a few hours, he got a whole lot done. So it does work, if you can handle the withdrawls!!

So from writing this I have set myself some challenges:

1.Go without Facebook for 24 hours. Not the internet, just Facebook. Baby steps and all that.

2.Once Dex goes down for his morning sleep, turn off the computer and do housework or anything else that needs doing.

3.Write my To Do list every night and tick things off as I do them.

4.Get out for at least 2 fun outings just for Dex over the week.

5.Keep on top of the washing and put it away once it’s folded instead of just taking things from the pile as we need them.

6. Actually spend some time sewing, scrapbooking or making jewellery, whether it be in the evenings once Dex is in bed, or while he has an afternoon sleep. Either way, it’s “me time”

I have been following these tips myself for the last few months, and to be honest, I have found myself having more spare time, and sometimes, the house is even clean and mostly organised by the time my hubby comes home from work! 

I went without Facebook for just over 24 hours, and guess what? My arms didn’t fall off! The world also did not end!

I am taking the time to work on one room/cupboard at a time. We did quite a lot over the Christmas period, so that did give me a headstart. Although to be honest, I have had to start all over with the office/playroom, apparently Dex didn’t agree that toys should be in the toy box or that anything else should be in it’s right place. 

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Wow. How times have changed. Life now looks very different, and definitely comes with it’s own challenges. Sleepless nights are generally a thing of the past, thank goodness, and late nights are to jam in as much work as I can without interrupting family time. This year I will be focusing a lot on getting as much work done during the day, as well as my exercise, so that family time is exactly that – family time.
I’ve learnt a lot, and no doubt still have a shitload to learn. But that’s ok, that’s what life is, right?

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