Hahahahaha! I don’t have any tips. I just wanted to go for the clickbait title. I should be asking you guys for tips. (Seriously–do you have any tips??)
A more appropriate title would be “Things that have worked for me so far.” I’ve only been doing this a nanosecond. And with only two kids. These are things that are working now, but I’m sure it will change. Also, these are things I try to do, but not always successful.
- Eat when the kids eat. I do tend to have adult snacktime by myself during nap (think cheese and chocolate, not wine), but otherwise I try to eat with the kids. This is one of the reasons I’m having trouble on planning lunches; I want something quick to pull together. By eating at the same time, (1) I don’t get hangry later if I didn’t get food and (2) it frees up my me time for other stuff.
- Clean when the kids are awake. Besides wanting to train good cleaners, this also frees up me time for other things. (You’ll notice a theme here.) This could be harder as Mac gets more mobile, but right now Henry and I can usually knock something out quickly during Mac’s morning nap.
- Keep the dishwasher open for business. We are using the kitchen more than ever before. We try to clean up after each meal to prevent the end of the day bomb explosion that feels much too impossible to clean up. This is way easier if the dishwasher is ready to receive dishes. I run the dishwasher at night, if it needs it, and unload in the morning. It seems small, but it makes a huge difference. Hat tip: A Slob Comes Clean.
- Live by the schedule. I’m a schedule mom. People who know me are probably not surprised by this. I really like our schedule. I’ll post more on it later, but it isn’t anything ground-breaking. Most of it just comes from the kids’ natural rhythms. I like having a plan. I like knowing what comes next. And most importantly, if it all goes right, I get 1-2 hours to myself during naptime. #metime This is when I get to blog, and it definitely makes me a better mom in the afternoon.
- But don’t die by the schedule. If the kids sleep later, fine. If Henry wants to sit in his crib and talk to me before heading for his snack, no problem. If he wants to play around with his fork when he’s finished eating, I don’t care. I like having the general plan, but I’m not racing to get to the next thing. The only ones that are nonnegotiable are finishing up our morning activity so that Mac can eat and simultaneous afternoon nap. (See #3.)
- Don’t wait for people to get hungry. Some of Henry’s meltdowns are because he is just being a doodyhead. But many of them are when he is pushed too hard and he is hungry. Pretty much the same for me. We don’t do a lot of snacking between meals (except designated afternoon snack, and of course adult snacktime, see #1), but I always like to have a food strategy.
- Have a plan when you sit down to the internet. Double naptime is sacred. But if I get on the internet without a plan, naptime will fly by and I’ll have probably spent the hour looking at cat videos.
- Live in the little moments. For anyone who has spent time with kids, you know there are actually a lot of boring moments. I spend a lot of time doing things like following Henry around on his “moto.” Or watching him eat. Or reading the same story 5x. But I try to just enjoy these moments as much as I can. Even though some days seem slow, I know it will really go fast. For me, it really helps having seen the other side of the coin. Neither side is all cookies and sunshine by any means. But it helps to remind me that I did something else and now am choosing to do this.
This is all the unqualified “wisdom” I’m dispensing at the moment. What works for you? Any tips??