Kristen Asks . . .
So I have sort of a personal question for you! I am a stay at home mom of a 22 month old and a 6 month old. I am in the beginning stages of trying to feed our family whole/close to nature foods all the while breastfeeding, cloth diapering, potty training, spending quality time (you know, all those “crunchy” things). Oh and keeping our house from looking too much like a tornado hit! However, my husband works from 8am-8pm monday-saturday and you seem to have it together! How do you do it? Do you wake up before the rest of the house? Does your hubby help out a lot? Do you just never sleep? help :-/ I think I need a support group but when is there time for that, hahahaha!!!!
Well, I Was Fired Recently, So . . .
Perhaps you’d like to take back that request for advice now? Oh yes, relieved of ironing duty by my own husband. Apparently the man with no pants decided to put his foot down before he ended up shirtless as well. Yeah, and while it is awesome when I get breakfast, lunch and dinner all wrapped up by 7:45 am, it helps to actually plug the crockpot in. Scrambled eggs for dinner, anyone?
Seriously, though, it’s a great question. The answer is that I don’t! At least, not gracefully. However, I can offer you hope on the real food front. It DOES get easier!!! Here are some suggestions to streamline the process.
Create A Meal Plan
It saves time and cuts down on wasted effort in the kitchen! No more standing in front of the fridge hoping some fully prepared meal is going to cross over from an alternate universe and jump into your arms. No ma’am, you’ll be ready. Check out my post on creating meal plans for more detailed instructions, and my Real Food For Busy Moms series is a great place to get quick and healthy recipes!
Meal plans are huge money savers, too. Recipes with new ingredients can be intimidating, so you put it off until “tomorrow night” . . . which ends up being the next night and the next until your ingredients spoil! Speaking from experience here. Also, without a plan it’s easy to eat out more. Cha ching! Another way to save money is to intentionally pair inexpensive meals up with more costly ones (like an inexpensive 8 layer dip one night and a hoity toity copycat whole foods salmon dip the next!)
Okay, so that’s the food stuff. I have a few other ideas, too . . .
Be On The Lookout For Minnie and Daisy!
Also known as background gobblers #1 and #2, K and M are two incredible homeschool girls that watch the kids a couple of times a week while I catch up on things. They play dress up, go for walks or hold pretend picnics as Disney characters (Katie has a Little Golden Book about them). I love that they are fantastic role models for Katie and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the mini-break! Rates are typically pretty reasonable, so even if your on a budget this option is worth checking out.
Want to find your own Minnie and Daisy but don’t have home school connections? You might want to contact this list of Homeschooling Support Groups (categorized by location). From there you should be able to get in touch with a local chapter.
Well, if you’re going to clean, you might as well get some spa time in with it. Make you’re own cleaning supplies with just a few essential oils and your time will double as aromatherapy and exercise. Or you can ditch the sprays altogether and become a raving lunatic like Ann Marie at Cheeseslave.
So There You Have It
My home is nowhere near my pre-mommy definition of clean, but I can defend the toilet from a determined 10 month old like a hockey goalie AND wipe a preschoolers bottom at the same time! I manage to make three meals a day from scratch and wash diapers/home school/ hang with the hubs. Do I get it all done? Uh, no. But I’m having a lot of fun!