We all need help getting through the week, so for this issue we asked working parents to share some of their favorite ways to make life less crazy.
Tip: Shower at night after the baby/kids go to sleep so you have one less thing to fit into your busy get-out-of-the-house-in-the-morning routine (which either means more sleep for you or time to do laundry or empty the dish-washer)
Tip: Use the delay feature on your washing machine and set it to wash over-night so you can throw clothes over into the dryer in the AM.
Name: Angie Draheim
Daughter Lorelei (14 weeks)
Tip: Make a list of meals on Sunday, and a shopping list from that. When my daughter was young, It really saved money and time to know what I would be cooking the next day.
Tip: The best tip came from my Mom when I was young (with so many applications – dishes, toys, books, laundry, etc.): Don’t put it down; put it away. It really helps cut down on clutter and cleaning time.
Name: Paula Ropshaw
Daughter Cynthia is now grown
Tip: Plan your menu at least a week in advance. That way, you can shop one day and have all the ingredients for meals at hand. This saves money, too – no emergency trips to the store where you pick up every-thing but what you need!
Tip: Pack all lunches (kid’s and parent’s) in the evening and store in the fridge to save time and chaos in the morning. Do it while you are cleaning up dinner. Leftovers make great lunches.
Name: Kathy Lewin
Kids: Emily (13), Jayson (11)
Tip: Find at least one day a week where you don’t check email. Bring your kids to campus and take advantage of opportunities for them to meet other SMCM kids.
Tip: Have more than one babysitter.
Tip: Get up early and hang on to your hat because it is a wild ride!!
Name: Carrie Patterson
Kids: Xander (9) Giorgia (5)
Tip: Cook everything in double or even triple batches so that you can enjoy easy leftovers and freezer meals…and more time with your family!
Tip: When cutting fresh fruit from the store, put some of it directly into small containers that can be used for school lunches.
Name: Dana Van Abbema
Kids: Avery (5), Macy (2)
Tip: Put a roast in the crock pot in the morning; at lunch time throw in veggies.
Name: Susan Sullivan
Kid: Alexis (15 with hope to make 16)
Tip: Let your kids get dirty! They’ll learn a lot by exploring in the dirt and mud and they’re going to grow out of those new clothes in a few months anyway.
Name: Lee Capristo
Kids: Calvin (11) and Joey (11)
Tip: Please remember that your “job” is to be their parent, not their friend. They have enough friends. They need parents to provide guidance, challenge and support, and structure (a.k.a. rules, accountability, responsibility). Once they are grown up, the relationship changes and you can become “adult friends” (which is great!). All three of our kids have told us how much they appreciated the parenting that we provided when they were younger.
Tip: Try to avoid over-scheduling your kids. They need to learn how to manage their time effectively and efficiently. They also need to learn how to manage their free time and they need time to decompress/de-stress.
Name: Joanne Goldwater
Kids: Brandon (26), Justin (22), Ryan (20)