Tuesday 14 November 2017

How to Do It All (or at least try to)

I’ve added a new responsibility to my parenting role job description, a career.  I work full-time, I commute over 100 kilometres a day, I’m a Wife, I’m a Mom. And I’m trying to make it all work.

Here is how to do it all, or at least try to.
We have bumps, bruises, full wet diapers but a lot of love and fun in this household!

Plan and Prepare

To try and make my day go as smoothly as possible and to maximize our sleeping time and, time together, plus minimize our time away from one another, I plan and prepare for our day and week.
My Sunday afternoon weekly meal prep!
  • We chose Kids & Company as our childcare provider because they have flexible schedules, a strong curriculum that promotes development and social interaction and a lot of perks that help with managing our time. We need full-time care so it was important for us to choose someone we trust and can rely on so we don't spend time worrying about their care.
  • Plan and prepare all of your weekly meals ahead of time through a recipe app. I prepare all 5 meals on Sunday in less than an hour and pop them in the slow-cooker or in a baking pan the night of so I can interact with my kids and not stand in front of a stove!
  •  I pull my outfits daily and the twins daycare clothing weekly.  As I fold the laundry, I pile the outfits together for each day. It’s a morning time saver.
  • I wake up before the children, shower, get ready and prepare my breakfast and theirs prior to waking them up. Having them around makes it hard to get much done and I can leave them sleeping until the last minute. Who doesn’t like a baby with more sleep?
On our way out the door craziness!

Make Use of Your Time

I make sure I use every spare minute to maximize the time I have with my kiddos (do you see a theme happening here?). Weeknights I arrive home at 6pm and only manage to change their diapers and put their pajamas on with a few minutes to play together. Weekends fly by being consumed by naps; it doesn’t leave time for much in between.

The twins often keep busy while I get ready.
  • During my lunch break I run errands, buy grocery items, make returns and plan my meals. Once I am home and the kids are in bed, I am tired and it’s the last thing I want to do.
  • I prepare lunches for myself two at a time. If I am going to cut some cucumber, I might as well cut enough for two days of lunches. Luckily, Kids & Company has chef-planned meals and snacks that are prepared fresh daily, so we aren't at the point of needing to kids lunches yet.
  •  I’ve learned that it’s okay to have the babies wait a few minutes. Taking a few minutes to put a few dishes away, tidy the kitchen and stay organized makes me feel better mentally and reduces stress coming home to a tidy house.
  •  I go crazy when my kids are napping. I’m amazed at how much cleaning, tidying and organizing can be done in the first 30 minutes. I do enough to feel good when I finally do sit down to relax.
  • While my twins are eating breakfast, I put their socks and shoes on and put sunscreen on in the summertime while they are busy eating. We put everything in the car while they sit safely in their high chairs so we have enough hands to buckle all three into the car without having everyone run around the house. 

We are all about EFFICIENCY! That’s twin life!

They eat, we prepare for the day.
Don’t Over Plan

As much as I plan for a busy week, the weekends are different. We all want the best for our kids, exposing them to many activities and experiences. But sometimes we also need to take a step back and decide whether it’s feasible.

All 3 kids go to swimming at the same time - we will wait until the twins are older to go back
  • It’s okay to say no to social engagements and birthday parties. We cannot do it all on the weekend.
  • It’s okay to not enroll your 18-month old into 3 activities. We have limited time and budget and have realized it’s too hard for us to manage weekend activities, rest, spend time together and prepare for the coming week if we have planned too much. It’s our choice and we are okay with it! This will change as our kids grow and the naps drop!
The planning is worth it to spend more time with these three.
Remember your kids are going to remember the times you spent together, let it be helping clean the house or go grocery shopping - not the things you buy them, the places you take them or the amount of money you spent. My 3 year old loves to help vacuum and put the groceries away. We realize they are young and have many years to experience all that we want to show them in this life!

My little helpers, I need their help!

Simplify – you will never do it all!

As busy moms you may never feel like you have done enough or accomplished everything you wanted in a day. That’s just the way it is and the way we can often feel, whether it be right or wrong - so simplify whenever and whatever possible.

Our outings usually involve walking to the park to play
  •  I simplify by clearing out old clothes from the boy’s closets and the basement. I have all of their clothes separated seasonally in bins and I then put the largest clothes on the bottom so I can grab from the top. I pull the outerwear bin and have the kids take turns trying jackets to see what fits. Then I buy what we need.
  • Ask for help in that tricky time after work and daycare but before dinner when everyone is hungry and tired, I asked our mothers to help us out.
I try not to get hung up on the things I wish I was doing and put it simply in my mind – this is where we are and what we need to do. Everything else will come. This time is temporary.
Hudson at Kids & Company

Mom and Dad enjoy time together but realize we also need time apart.
It’s not easy trying to keep all of the balls we are responsible for in the air and to juggle well!  A ball is bound to drop or thrown too high or low at an unexpected time, be kind to yourself. Realize that you cannot do everything but try and find ways to feel satisfied about what you ARE doing. Stay positive,  always reevaluate the situation to find solutions on an ongoing basis when change happens as your children grow.  

Sometimes plans change, we are okay with it. This is where we are at the moment.
I by no means feel like I can possibly do it all. I often feel the dreaded mom-guilt, the pressure to go to work (although I LOVE to work), the stress of being away from work when someone is sick and the worry of sending my kids to daycare when they aren’t in perfect health. It’s a daily struggle but I know what is important to me, have identified my non-negotiables, and know what motivates me to keep going.

I think that’s how I am able to do it all – because it’s MY ALL. And I’m perfectly okay with it.

Check this out! Kids & Company is extending an offer to Little Cotton Socks readers - waiving the $150 registration fee. Contact msawatzky@kidsandcompany.com and mention this post for the exclusive offer!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kids & Company. While compensation was provided, all opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the opinions of Kids & Company.

We have lots of fun at home. One day we will venture further.
This parenting journey is a marathon but it is all temporary - and we will get through the tough times.


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