How do you get it all done?!?
This is the question I get most often. How do I get everything done? The answer is easy. I don’t!
It actually makes me blush when people say this to me, because I don’t think I am doing anything more than any other mom I know. We wear a million hats, from chef, to cab driver, medical advocate, care taker, house cleaner, personal shopper, etc etc etc!!
That being said, I have taken on more responsibilities this year than ever before, and they are all in high gear right now! In addition to my usual nonsense, (kids, house, husband, couponing, fat fighting,) I am also room mom for Anthony’s class, team mom for baseball, the Master of Ceremonies for my brother’s VA wedding (which is happening in a few weeks and also includes trying to keep track of all the incoming family members and their flights and accommodations… btw, I am SO EXCITED TO SEE THEM ALL, you will definitely hear more about this one!) social coordinator for our neighborhood (this one is unofficial, but as the only board member who is a current homeowner, it’s fallen in my lap for now) and have I told you about my son Jack… HE is a 24 hour a day commitment. Now a lot of this will quiet down over the next few weeks, (just in time for the holidays…) but right now it’s crazier than normal.
SO, here is what I am doing to try to keep it all going.
Of course my lists. If you haven’t read the tip about my lists, here you go… I swear they help! Read it!
I have two chunks of time each day that I can (usually) guarantee that I will have the ability to get stuff done. One is during Jack’s nap, and the other is after the boys go to bed. I have been trying to carve out a third, before they get up, but the bed somehow is always much more comfortable early in the morning… why is that?!?
On the days when I can get my act together and work out early in the day, before the monsters leave their caves and begin their destruction of the house, I am ahead of the game. This has happened a few times in the past few weeks. Unfortunately, this does not happen regularly. Which means nap time consists of cleaning up the breakfastlunchsnack dishes, eating my lunch, and squeezing in a workout before running to the bus in my house workout clothes while dripping in sweat and traumatizing the other parents . (NB the in house workout clothes are completely different from the in public workout clothes. In public I try to cover and conceal, at the house it’s all about support and keeping cool… some days (like today) I just don’t have time to grab a big shirt to cover the compression tank top and for that, to my bus stop buddies, I do apologize!
On days when I am really kicking butt, I have dinner either fully prepped and ready to cook, or even in the crock pot by about 1 or 2. Those are the days when I feel like I should have a super hero cape. It’s amazing how planning ahead for something as basic as dinner can make SUCH a tremendous difference in the day.
I also will try to plan out the meals for the entire week so that I know what I need to take out of the freezer, what I need to get at the store, etc. When I do this it not only helps with the time issue, but it makes a HUGE difference in how well I stick to healthy eating.
Once I get Anthony off the bus, it’s crunch time. We spend the next hour having snack, rehashing the day, going through papers from school, handling whatever has been brought home, doing homework and if it’s really a successful day getting dinner prepped. These days we then get Jack out of the crib then either head outside to play, or scarf down dinner and hit the baseball field.
Then it’s time to eatcleanupshowerbrushteethusethebathroomfeedthefishgetinbed. I say that about 534,422 times a night. It used to be several different sentences, but now it just runs into one giant word. I should make posters that list it all and just hang them around the house. Maybe I’d save my voice!
All that is just for Anthony. Jack, of course, requires the skills of a lion tamer to get him showered (with vaseline covered cotton balls in his ears thanks to the tubes), the tenacity of a shark wrangler to get his teeth brushed (I really should get some metal mesh gloves), the agility of a monkey trainer to get him into his pjs, (he likes to try to slide off of the table upside down so that he can reach and knock over the diaper genie…) and the quickness of a pro boxer when snuggling and reading stories (he alternates between giving kisses and headbutting, so being able to dodge and weave is a life saving skill with this one).
Once these turkeys are FINALLY in bed, and the “Um, Mommy….” stall tactics have been exhausted, I get to work.
I try to pick one of my projects to focus on. Tonight it was the room mom stuff. I have another mom who is helping with this and she and I sent about 20 emails back and forth tonight trying to get the intro to the class, and other start of the year volunteer stuff set up. As luck would have it, our internet died in the middle of this…. So I just kept cranking out the email drafts… I am sure she was loving me when it came back online and her inbox lit up like the 4th of July!
I have found that music helps me tremendously. Whether I am cleaning bathrooms, or typing a new post, if I have my headphones in it just seems to go faster. This is something that goes all the way back to when I was younger. I could actually focus better on my homework if I had music on. I’m pretty sure my parents thought this was BS, but I swear the background music keeps me focused. This is probably because I am VERY easily distracted, so perhaps the constant, planned distraction of the music is enough to keep my wandering tendencies busy?!? In any event, it works. Even during the day, if I have music playing over the house speakers from early in the am, I get WAY more done. (Of course, if I don’t put music on and throw the tv on, it’s over. Might as well make a plate of nachos and shut down for the day.)
Then I just keep moving from one project to the next until I need to sleep. (Which is right about now, btw.)
So to recap-
- MAKE LISTS
- Use the earlier time slot to do the EVERYday MUST COMPLETE tasks (working out, daily clean up, feed the children)
- Plan ahead for things like dinner whenever you can. The crockpot is definitely your friend!
- Know what your MUST do tasks are, and get them done first.
- Start with one project in the later time slot and keep at it until it’s done.
- Keep plugging away.
- Know when to call it a night. (If you overdo it and try to accomplish too much one day, you will be useless the next day and get NOTHING done.
Also sometimes you just have to decide to do NOTHING. I definitely have nights where I say F it. (Settle down, Mom, the “F” stands for “forget it”…. no quarter in the jar for me!) 😉
So that’s it. I do as much as I can… then I go to bed. Because guess what, there will be more waiting for me to do tomorrow!