Where do I find the time?

A question I get asked at least once a day.

Where do I find the time to cook everything from scratch, keep the house clean, write blogs, sell Body Shop, create educational activities for the kids, read a book, maintain a vehetable garden.

Firstly, I am a stay at home Mum. These are my jobs and what I am “paid” to do. As the saying goes, where there is a will there is a way. I trial and error so many different methods of saving time until I find one that works for me.

Here is a rough rundown of my day…

The night before, I lay out everyones needs for tomorrow. Mine, husbands, kids. Tops, bottoms, socks, jocks, shoes, jumpers, lunches, bags. Everything they will possibly not be able to find in the morning. I prepare breakfasts and have them in Tupperware containers with lids the fridge or on the table ready to be toasted, or add milk or whatever. Spoons, glasses etc are set out on the table.

Toys are put away each night. Because I use a rotation system this is super quick and takes about 30 seconds. Every few nights after the kids are in bed I swap the toys around so tomorrow morning it’s like Christmas with “new” toys to play with. This is a HUGE factor in keeping the kids entertained for longer than five seconds. I will write a post about this another day…

Lunches and snacks for tomorrow are packed. Hubby’s cooler bag for work is stocked up and a Bento Box for the toddler. I usually have leftovers. Why pack a lunchbox for myself and a toddler if we are at home? A few reasons which I’ll write about in more detail another day, but basically it saves time, money and sanity.

I get the ingredients together for tomorrow night’s dinner. So the meat will be defrosted and if I am missing something I can rethink what to have or find a substitute. I put today’s laundry on to wash before bed. Dishes are washed before bed. No exceptions.

This sounds like a lot, but honestly I can knock it over in 15-20 minutes.

I fold and put away the laundry while my husband watches television. I would say while I watch it but I don’t really watch tv at all. It’s quite boring when you think about it. I have better things to do. But I do use the downtime to hang out with him and get some writing, reading, bill paying etc done while he is engulfed in Street Outlaws or some other fascinating show. If the kids are in bed we even rebel and eat icecream together!

In the morning, my two year old likes to wake up at 4am. Yeah that sucks. But once I accepted that it’s better to roll with it and make the most of it my routine actually got so much easier.

We get up, clothes are already out so we get dressed at first nappy change and are ready for the day. Yes including myself, no one fires on all cylinders in ugg boots. Get dressed and put your shoes on, trust me, it makes a difference. Breakfast is ready to just add milk and be done. Because the kids are not eating breakfast in their pajamas they get a couple of nights out of them, so less laundry for me to do.

Then it’s indoor entertain yourself time! While I wash up breakfast dishes, make beds, swish and swipe the bathroom, dust surfaces and run the vacuum around the dining table my two year old usually helps or just plays by himself. If using the slow cooker for dinner I get that started now. Each day of the week I have a different focus room which I spend more time on that day. I put a load of bedding or towels to wash if needed. This is also when I might throw some baking in while everyone else is busy. I also put everyones pajamas etc out ready for tonight.

Now have a hour or so of time to do my computer stuff. Ordering, editing, scheduling etc. We have a big sunroom set up as a playroom (okay it actually resembles a whole preschool) so often I take my work out there. Then I spend time drawing pictures, doing craft and genuinely enjoying Mum time.

Once it’s a reasonable hour to irritate the neighbours, we head outside. I hang all the laundry out. Then we have fun weeding the garden, throwing the ball, digging in the dirt. This brings us up to lunchtime which means pull the bento box out of the fridge and that’s done. While everyone is sitting still and eating I usually get dinner started so that tea is ready to serve without stress and we bypass that insane witching hour most homes seem to have. It might need reheating but basically dinner time for us goes like “Oh we are hungry? Here’s something I prepared earlier!”. No fuss, no yelling, just a relaxed family dinner.

Nap time! Hooray!!! Since everything is done. I can actually sit and relax, take a nap, read, write, or whatever takes my fancy. This is my solitary time and it’s super important to make time for it every day.

After a nap, its afternoon tea time. Usually Dad is due home, so it’s back outside of games inside. Whatever floats, I bring the washing in while hubby gets the bath ready and uses last night’s bathwater to water the garden.

We eat dinner, which is already ready.

We do showers and baths.

Kids go to bed.

And I start all over again.

But notice that because I simplify and prepare everything ahead it saves sooooo much time. It’samazing how much time is wasted by things like finding socks, arguing because someone is hungry and foods not ready or some other silly thing that could be avoided by being organised.
What are your top tips for keeping on top of everything?

Solitary

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