Sunday, February 4, 2018

Working Ahead

Good Afternoon!

I'm trying to get back in the swing of blogging more regularly, so here goes nothing.

So many people look at me like I am a force of nature that they don't understand (or even relate to).  I get it--it's crazy (I'm crazy).  We have five babies the same age.  We have leaning towers of fluffy Elmo-adorned Pampers and we buy grape Tylenol in bulk.  Not cherry--Luke doesn't like the cherry flavor.  Cheerios, Gerber Pouches, and boxed Mac and Cheese have their own respective shelves in the pantry.  The "big people" food gets one and a half measly shelves in what I used to think was a large pantry. 

Still, I wish more people would realize that I am still just a person--not an exhibit in a museum or something to gossip about.  I am just a mom trying to make it through each day without feeling an unbearable amount of guilt, worry, and/or anxiety.  I think most moms identify with that, but I do wish the "circus" treatment would stop soon.  It makes me sad.

Still, moms ask me.  How do you get through the day?  Tips?  Tricks?  How does life even happen at your house?  Well, I've thought about it and I've realized that there's one tactic that serves me very well.

It started in high school.  I used to revel in my ability to work ahead on my homework.  It allowed me to balance my extracurricular obligations while keeping up with differentials, John Donne, and lab reports. Yes, yes, I liked school (and still do).  It's my thing.  But working ahead--this skill--developed in my teens and has continued to serve me into motherhood.

As a mom of five, I work ahead.  That's the name of the game, folks.  I make dinner for that night at 7 am in the morning.  After that, I do the chopping/prepping for dinner the next day.  I also chop veggies/fruit for the kids lunch in the morning before the day starts.

I pack my work bag the night before so I don't forget anything.  I make my lunch for work the night before.

I make electronic lists for all of my shopping spots (pharmacy, CostCo, grocery, etc).  Each time I go to these places, I know exactly what I need for the next week.

I also meal plan 10 days out.  I shop for groceries online and do the pick up outside the store.  If needed, I wrap gifts in the car while I wait. 

When Millie grocery shops, she stays focused.  This improves her efficiency as a baby shopper.

I restock diapers and wipes on a daily basis.  I measure bedtime medicine at 6 pm before we even start bottles--that just makes the feeding go faster.

I pick out my clothes for the week on Mondays (Tuesday is my first day in the office).

I do all of my shopping for birthdays on the third day of each month.  Anyone who has a birthday that month gets a gift and/or a card purchased on the third.

I refill the coffee maker every morning at 10 am so that we have enough water for the next day.  I restock coffee pods every night after dinner and I catch up on my phone calls while I'll drive to/from work or the gym.

Mostly, survival=organization, planning, and working ahead.  It's tough sometimes to get excited about chopping tomorrow's veggies today, but if that's what it takes to provide for my precious angels, I'll do it. 

 I think Izzy may be like her mother--who knows, maybe God will bless her with multiples some day!


  1. As the mother of five, myself, but not all the same age, organization is everything. If you find something that works, use it. If it doesn't work, discard it no matter what anyone else says. One thing I learned early on was to complete any form for school as soon as I got it. At least maybe you can copy the first one. I think you are doing a fabulous job and the proof is in your dear well developing children. They are happy, growing, and meeting all their developmental markers. In my book, you are a star. Please know how much your posting mean to me. The opportunity to have a peak into parenting in a way I will never know.

  2. Wow, thank you for this. Not yet mom but I realize these are things I can start applying to my life today!!
    And PS - absolutely love your writing smile. It makes my day every time I read your stuff :)

  3. As a mother of seven - of which the middle three were triplet boys, I know the lifestyle of being super organized. Getting up at 5am and making 21 bottles to start the day, feeding, changing, and loving our children at times when it worked for us and them - not the outside world- was a priority to me. I love raising my children, and like you Margaret, thrived on being on a schedule and enjoying each special child as they grow! Keep being organized and enjoy life.... that's the motto we all need to live by!!

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