Now that I’m on leave I have time to reflect on how we managed with both of us working full time and keeping ourselves fed and dressed, albeit not with the healthiest food or most stylish clothes. It doesn’t matter what the make-up of your household is, midweek mornings and evenings can be like a war zone if there isn’t some sort of organisation, a master plan you might say, in place.
Before we had children we were a different type of busy as we choose to head to the gym 3 or 4 times a week. Ah, a time when we had energy and fitness goals 🙂 So similar planning was required in order to stay fed and dressed in clean clothes.
If left to myself I’d be quite happy to have cereal every night for dinner. But the hubs likes hot food….I know right, the cheek 😉
- Make a dinner list for the week – The white board in our kitchen lets us know what’s planned for the week. Granted, we sometimes change what days we do things but at least we know what food is there that can be used.
- Shopping list – the dinner list kickstarts the shopping list. From there, a walk around the kitchen cabinets finishes it off. Hubs and I use Our Groceries app to complete the list and it allows us to both update it on the go.
- Cook in batches – twice a week I’d cook dinners which, without much effort, could be doubled up to four portions, chicken & spicy tomato sauce, shepherd’s pie, spag bol, chilli etc. We’d eat two dinners and freeze two portions and then keep track of what was in the freezer on the whiteboard. These are great for evenings when there’s no way a dinner is going to get cooked. All we have to do is cook the pasta, rice or potatoes.
- Breakfasts – when making our much-loved tea at night, the breakfasts get laid out, right down to the tea bags and sugar into our contigo mugs.
- Time the oven – it is beyond me how many people don’t know that ovens can be timed to turn on. I know, mind blowing right. No excuses that your oven is old as my Mum has been doing this for 40 years. At least twice a week we have dinners which can entirely, or meat at least, be baked. I sometimes prep the meat or fish the night before and keep in the fridge, then before heading to work pop it all into the oven, set how long it should bake for, what time I’d like it finished and set the temperature. The oven then kicks itself on at the correct time. We arrive home to the aromas of a cooked dinner.
- Laugh as you may, but we’ve just changed our divide at source i.e what baskets dirty clothes go into 🙂 We have:
- all baby clothes along with whites
- run gear, underwear and darks
- towels and bed sheets
- Washing machine delay start – When getting a new washing machine we ensured to get one with a delay start. Ours can be delayed for up to 24 hours. So during the evening kitchen tidy time we pop clothes into the machine and time it to be finished when we get home from work the next day.
Once baby number one came along and I headed back to work we had some extra steps in our evening routine
- Formula – having a dairy free toddler we were making bottles for a year longer than most!!! So we counted the formula into containers a day ahead.
- Clothes – as sometimes our sleeping beauty would sleep in (not as often as we’d have liked) it was good to have clothes out and ready to throw on her. Granted, it’s like dressing a cat at times!!! Hubs is way better at this than I am, he has all of his clothes laid out the night before.
- Get a cleaner!!!!! No joke, after finishing everything else above you’ll want some time to yourself or with your family. It’s also a lot cheaper than couples counselling 🙂 We’ve had a cleaner long before we had children and it’s been worth every penny. She’ll clean bathrooms, hang out and take in laundry, change bed sheets, clean the kitchen and all floors. Basically anything that needs doing. Our much loved Ruby comes every week for 2 hours.
I’m sure when I go back to work next year we’ll have some changes and it’ll be busy, but I hope we can figure it all out so that we can enjoy time together and not get lost in the rat race.
What are your tips and tricks to help stay calm during the midweek madness?