Scheduling Secrets of The Busy Mama
Remember when you actually had time to do anything you want? Time may have become a rare commodity after you evolved into a mommy, but some semblance of order in your daily schedule is still possible. Here are 8 secrets that may help you:
Secret #1: Prepare Meals In Advance
Do you find yourself constantly rushing home to prepare dinner for your family? Racking your brain for meal ideas every day? Well, why not cut down on the rush and frustration by preparing meals in advance?
Not only will this help you save time, it will also allow you to plan nutritious meals instead of falling back on take-outs or processed food every time OT (overtime) rears its ugly head. You can do this by drawing up a weekly meal plan and doing your grocery shopping at the same time.
Prepare as many meal elements as possible in advance (e.g. chop and store vegetables in bags) or cook large portions that can be frozen and re-heated later.
Secret #2: Get The Right Calendar
Nothing beats having the right type of calendar that can consolidate the multiple schedules of your family members. Get one with plenty of writing space and stick it on the wall where everyone can see. Colour-code it if you must, so your family can immediately identify the slots that belong to a specific individual. That, or do it digitally with online calendars that can sync on your family members’ phones.
Secret #3: Add Important Details
While you are locking in dates on your calendar, remember to include a to-do list that comes with the respective event. For example, do you need to book tickets, buy school supplies or RSVP for a party? Enter all these details into your calendar so you won’t forget!
Secret #4: Basket of Snacks
If your child is constantly asking you for snacks, why not put together a basket of healthy nibbles ahead of time? That way, you can free up your schedule for more important matters while your kiddo still gets to enjoy wholesome snacks! Some healthy options you can consider are dried fruits (freeze or air), fruit leather, or homemade granola bars.
Secret #5: Time To Plan
If there is one day you absolutely have to sit down and plan out the week ahead, it’s the Sunday before all the mad rush commences. Take at least 30 minutes and thrash out a plan for the following categories:
- Calendar: what’s happening in the week ahead?
- Children: who’s taking care of whom? E.g. who is taking the kids to the childcare centre?
- Cooking: who’s cooking what?
- Household chores: who’s doing what?
Secret #6: Buddy System
Mommies can accomplish a super number of things if they put their minds to it, but it’s perfectly okay to delegate or set up an emergency buddy system for times of need and crisis. A buddy system allows you to trade urgent favours like picking up your kid from the childcare centre when you are stuck in traffic or held up at the office.
It’s a win-win situation, but be sure to do this only with neighbours you trust so start making friends with the people next door!
Secret #7: Colour-Coding
If you have more than one child, chances are you will lose track of certain belongings such as socks and shoes. One way to counter this and reduce sibling rivalry in the process? Assign a colour to each of your kid and stick with it.
Secret #8: Learn To Say No
Packed to the brim, but still expected to squeeze more errands/ activities into your calendar? Time to learn how to say no. You don’t necessarily have to reject the person on the spot, but you can avoid the stress of having to give a definite answer by saying “I’d think about it.”
The key is to know your limits so you don’t overload yourself with too many things. This is important because it may affect your ability to make smart decisions or enjoy life. Keep a lookout for stress signals such as the tendency to snap at people if you become too busy and adjust accordingly.
A busy life can be tough on mommies from time to time, but with these scheduling secrets, you could be on your way to a more “Zen” style of life soon!