I gave him my word that term 2 I would help on Thursday mornings. He counts the days, so very excited. It’s the little things that make the difference to our kids. It’s only an hour a week, and I have just kept putting it off, being busy with work. I re-evaluated my schedule, changed a few things around and freed up my Thursday mornings.
It’s so difficult balancing everything as a mum, wife, friend, sister, daughter, business owner, employer, Nutrition Counselor, Trainer, student, mentor and own person. Lots of hats to wear. Throw in there training and eating well and that’s a hell of a lot to squeeze into 24 hours.
I often get asked how I do it. Well firstly, it’s not easy. But it takes lots of planning, organizing and structure. I keep a very strict diary and schedule my time productively. That means there are times I do not answer the phone, I do not answer emails or take phone calls. It also means there are times that as a family we do not accept guests or visit people. All of these things have their time in the diary. It also means, though I post a lot on Social media because of the work I do, I don’t spend time ‘surfing’ it.
Although spontaneity is exciting, it does not have place in our lives at the moment as we have far too much going on. Don’t forget, hubby has his things and the kids also have their extra curricula stuff! It would be nice, but we choose practicality over stress.
Meals are kept quick and simple, lots of preparation goes into our meals, planning ahead and getting organized. We plan our meals for the week so we can plan our shopping list. Only buy what you need. Saves times and money as then there is no waste. We shop in bulk, chop and store veggies in air tight containers in the fridge ready to go. Meat is seasoned and frozen in individual layers on freezer paper, to make it easier to take out and defrost each night. This too is bought in bulk. We prepare and or cook chicken muffins, meat balls, and burger patties for emergency food. We keep hard boiled eggs in the fridge for quick back up.
We rarely eat out; apart from the fact that this is very difficult when you are gluten intolerant, it is just too expensive when trying to run a house hold on a budget. So we opt to make out own ‘treat meals’ and cook our own food daily.
As husband and wife we take turns playing taxi driver for the kids, helping with homework and doing the house chores. My hubby has taken on a few extra duties around the house at the moment since he isn’t working full time at the moment, but when he is working full time, we share everything. It is important that partners help out with the household chores and children, to aid with a happy balanced family life. Ladies, please note however, the guys can’t read minds, so if you need him to take on or take over some of the house hold chores you need to communicate that. And I’m not talking yelling at him, or snapping at him to do something; I mean sit down and make a list of the things that are required to be completed and together decide who will do what. This way, each person knows their responsibilities and can go ahead carrying them out without nagging and frustration. I get the kids involved with this task too, so that they too have their chores. As a family we work together at keeping the home running like clockwork.
On the subject of chores, the amount of people that are obsessed with keeping a house spotless is astounding. It took for me to be diagnosed with cancerous tumors on my ovaries and cancerous cells on my cervix to realise that dust doesn’t rust! I was obsessed with a clean home. I use to vacuum daily, wash the toilets and bathrooms daily and dust at least once per week. Ridiculous! I didn’t have pig running through my house to dirty it so bad that it needed so much attention! So I re-evaluated and accepted that cleaning the toilets and bathrooms weekly (more if needed of course!), floors weekly and dust, ‘when it got too bad’, was perfectly ok. We tidy as much as possible to avoid trip hazards with legos lol, but seriously if there are toys and magazines scattered, it’s not the end of the world! When you are 80 years old, are you going to look back on your life and say to yourself “I am such a legend, I kept the cleanest house in the district!” or are you going to say “I look back and remember all the beautiful memories I enjoyed throughout my life!” I know which I would rather.
As a family we plan goals together, holidays together and events together, we all get equal say. The other thing we do to help keep our family tight is to ensure we have dinner together every single night. Despite our busy schedules, we sit down every night as a family and enjoy a meal together. No TV, no phones, no gadgets; just us, our meal and our conversation. You will be amazed how much children will tell you during meal times; half an hour of valuable time together.
We try and keep our Saturday and Sunday nights free to get together with friends and family or to just kick back on our own and chill.
At work, everyone has a strict time frame and guidelines they need to meet. Targets they need to achieve and bonuses to strive for. We go in to work and prioritize our day knowing what needs to be done and we just get on with it. Show the same respect to your home life and family life and you will find life gets a little more organized, calmer and peaceful. Everyone gets their valuable time and all chores are met.
We all lose the plot a little sometimes and over commit ourselves, find it difficult to say no, take on more than we can handle. Lord knows I do sometimes. But you need to stop and re-evaluate things when this happens, and find that happy balance again.
In between all of this, you also need to make 15-30 minutes per day to enjoy some ‘me’ time. Whether that’s reading a book, going for a walk, having a bath, watching your fave TV show, whatever makes you happy. After all, if you don’t look after you, you won’t be able to be there for everyone else will you! Some would say this is being selfish. A business colleague of mine calls this “Self Care”; spot on!
Spend time to get organized and you will spend less time doing a whole lot of nothing and start enjoying some valuable whole lot of something!