When Dani and Tiffani first asked me to cover “Home Management” I was hesitant because I thought they meant talking about household chores and yall know I am not big on cleaning. Once they clarified that I just needed to talk about how I get everything done in a day/week/month, I was on board.
Every so often I get an email from someone asking me how I do it all and my usual answer is “I just do it.” I realize that can sound a bit condescending, but it frustrates me that women are so often asked this question and I know that no one ever asks my husband the same thing. I mean he works and has a wife and child to take care of as well. Anyway, I try to follow it up with something a bit softer like my weekly to do lists and swearing by schedules. But when it’s all said and done, the truth of the matter is I have to get it done, so I find a way. There are things that end up on the backburner (i.e. my dissertation prospectus), but for the most part I just squeeze it all in when I have the chance. I know that isn’t completely helpful, so here are my five pointers for managing it all.
Tip #1: Make a Schedule and Stick to It
Create a daily schedule and try to stick to it. For example, you know breakfast, lunch, and dinner usually happen around the same time, so make sure you don’t schedule anything for those times. If you have to be flexible, do so but only for your immediate family. So, don’t interrupt your child’s scheduled nap time for a visit from a friend. Don’t cancel your work time for other people. I know this might seem harsh, but sometimes people will take advantage of your WAHM status. I remind people that my schedule is not flexible for them and that I can’t roll up at their job when I feel like it, so respect mine as well.
Tip #2: Set Weekly Goals
At the start of the week ask yourself what are your household goals? What are your parenting goals? What are your work goals? Then spend some time scheduling them into your regular schedule.
Tip #3: Work Smarter, Not Harder
Don’t take on the entire load alone. Make sure you’re delegating responsibilities to your partner or your “village.” This means accepting help and letting go of the “superwoman” mentality. There is nothing wrong with accepting help. You don’t want your body to force you into needing help. Try to outsource tasks if possible. This can mean investing in a meal delivery service or a cleaning person. My life has seriously been so much easier since I invested in Blue Apron (review coming soon I promise).
Tip #4: Deliberate Multi-tasking
After you write out your goals ask yourself what two daily/weekly things can you knock out at the same time? For example, I use bath time as a chance to get more than one thing done. My son likes to play in the water for a long time, so I will wipe down the sinks/mirrors or clean the toilets while he’s in there. Nothing with heavy fumes of course, so don’t call CPS on me lol. Another thing I’ll do is sit on a stool in the bathroom and pull out my notebook and outline posts for Mamademics or work on lesson plans or answer student emails. I also use family movie time to crochet an order, so I’m not hiding in my office but I’m also getting something accomplished at the same time.
Tip #5: Say No Often!
I am learning to do this right. I don’t accept as many Etsy orders as I could each month because I don’t want to be overwhelmed. I ask myself those two questions and if the answer is yes to either of them, I say no.
I created a couple printables for you guys to get started on managing your home. If you want to save on paper, I suggest printing it out once on cardstock and then having it laminated. This way you can use it and erase it the following week. You can also just fill it in each week on your computer through the PDF commenting feature. There’s a “chalkboard” version and a “white board” version and once you click the image it will download the pdf for you.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Let me know how you plan to use them or how you get it all done in the comments section.
Oh and you can watch my segment from the #Momference right here: