Sunday, June 9, 2019

Effective Efficiency

Good Morning!

I'm traveling for work this week, so I've had some time to reflect on the last month or so.  Many parents will ask me how I get everything done (laundry, dinners, kid dinners, CostCo shopping, Aldi shopping, full-time job, carpools, speech therapy, etc, etc).

It's a lot--no matter how you slice it.  Many moms ask me for tips or best practices.  I've really only come up with two, but here you go:

1.  Multi-Task, Multi-Task, Multi-Task.  I get a little rush when I can two (sometimes three things) at once.  I wrap birthday gifts while I'm sitting in the car wash.  I'm microwaving sweet potatoes for the kids' lunch while I'm feeding the dog breakfast.  I'm dictating the grocery list on my commute to work.  I'm making the adults' stirfry while the kids are eating their chicken nuggets.  I'm folding laundry while I listen to an audiobook on parenting.  I'm writing thank you notes while my kids are coloring (art for everyone!).

I realize this sounds a little nutty, but it works for me.  Some folks may worry that I'm not "present" with my kids.  But believe me, they insist that I'm present.  Even when I'm multi-tasking, I'm singing Hickory Dickory Dock.  Or I'm hopping like a bunny as I cook.  Yes, it's exhausting, but things get done and my babies are loved.  Like I said, it works for me.

Mommy Snack Time/Rocking Babies
Snuggle Time is Always a Welcome Slowdown (from February 2017)

2.  Choose Tasks Only I Can Do.  As a mom of multiples, I'm thankful that I have help.  We have an amazing au pair.  I've told you about her.  She's a trauma nurse from Thailand.  Wow, I know.  We still have a couple of volunteers who come for a few hours each week to offer an extra reader/play mate to the children.  I also have another "mother's helper" who helps fill in some of the times that our au pair can't work or if I need to work more at my "real" job.

All of this to say, there are a lot of people who can help me.  So, in order to maintain effective efficiency, I choose to do tasks that only I can do.  Volunteers can fold laundry, so I don't spend my time on that before they come to visit.  Only I can meal plan, so I do that first.  Our au pair can pick out clothes for the kids to wear each day, so I choose to find their Easter outfits for next year (shop those sales!).  My husband can mow the lawn, so choose to refill the coffee maker (he always forgets to do this and it can drive me bonkers if I'm tired).

Carpools Save Time

Mommyhood is HARD. And I consider myself tough, efficient, and sometimes tactical.  But this job relies on so many skills that I never realized I needed.  A few other tools that really help me:

  • Online grocery shopping/curbside pick up
  • Podcasts on parenting
  • A huge water cup so I don't get dehydrated (and therefore cranky)
  • The Calm app on my smart phone--great for quick mediation or calming down before bedtime.  
  • The Plan to Eat app on my smart phone--this app stores all of my recipes so that I can assign them to certain days/meals.  It also them creates a grocery shopping list for me.  

When the girls were small, they used to push each other in the walkers. 

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