How to Manage Family and Work Without Losing Your Sanity

In trying to be a good wife, mother, and entrepreneur, I have had my share of time management (and sanity) challenges. I used to find that on some days, I would feel overwhelmed and want to run from all of my responsibilities. I felt like I never had enough time in the day to get everything done and still have time to breathe. So I started changing the way I did things. You know that old saying that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over but expecting different results? Well, that is how I knew I could avoid going insane…to change what I was doing.

First, I enlisted the help of my able-bodied children. We sat around the dinner table and I shared with them that they would be helping and what jobs I thought each of them could handle. They were allowed to put in their two cents and final decisions were made about chores. I now was responsible for cooking dinner and no longer tasked with dishes, putting leftovers away, and sponging off the counters and stove. Immediately, I saved myself an hour each evening to do other things. I chose to use this hour to check my emails and run a load of laundry so that I wouldn’t compromise family time; my kids were busy with their chores while I was getting work done!

Next, I made adjustments to my cooking. Where I used to demand gourmet-quality meals of myself, I decided that compromising a few nights a week would be best for everyone. I started using the slow cooker and preparing a “quick meal” like spaghetti and a green salad (pre-cut lettuce mix, of course). In preparation time alone, I saved myself nearly an hour! I also like to make two meals at once one or two nights per week…usually on the weekends when I have more time. I’ll slow cook a pot roast, for example, while I make hamburgers. Then, the next night (or whenever I am ready), I can take out the meat and mix it with whatever I want to and make a complete meal.

Finally, I changed weekly cleaning schedule for the big jobs. Places in the house like the bathroom and the kitchen can take up lots of time when they need scrubbing. I started getting into the habit of keeping a spray bottle and a roll of paper towels under the sinks so that twice a week, I spray down the surfaces and wipe them clean. Dirt and grime don’t have much of a chance to build up and my weekly “big jobs” take even less time! I’ve probably saved about 15 minutes per room by doing this.  I also stopped being obsessed with having to vacuum more than twice a week. Being the perfectionist that I am, I used to demand twice weekly vacuuming of myself…and guess what? The house is just fine with a once weekly vacuuming.

So, try and change some of your cleaning and cooking habits and see if you experience the same relief that I have. I now have more time to dedicate to my family so that when I’m home, I am really here mentally and not thinking about everything I have yet to do. 

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