Two kids, one spouse, the demands of working remotely, preparing meals and ensuring everyone is happy – sounds like a circus! And if you are like me, you have noticed that every time you decide to peruse social media to de-stress and relax , you are bombarded with “you SHOULD be doing this, and DON’T do this.” It’s all well and good and I have found lots of valuable information while perusing, but it almost feels like you can’t catch a break.
This is the reality of the cards that COVID-19 pandemic have dealt us. But as I believe, life isn’t determined by the cards you are dealt but how you play your hand. I like to speak from first hand experience when possible when I share my opinions.
I’m a mom of two toddlers, my first child celebrated his 3rd birthday last week and my second one turns 2 in 2 weeks. I am the Founder of two companies, one that has 4 different subsidiaries and the other a consultancy and coaching platform. In the midst of COVID-19 I have found a greater appreciation for the tools I have used for years to structure my home and my life.
Below I put together some tools that I use daily/weekly for peace of mind and organization. I am confident that even if one stands out to you and you implement during this period, teh results will positively impact your home during this period and beyond.
1. Utilize timetables for children
You won’t always be able to adhere to them perfectly and in those cases don’t be hard on yourself. What timetables do is to help you have a plan of action for the day. Yesterday evening was pizza-making day for my boys and its ingrained in my brain as our evening activity – it’s a funny one that keeps them engrossed and also leaves them with a yummy dinner. If your children are older, planning time for watching TV, homework, chores etc, will help them stay on a routine and not return back to school disadvantaged.
2. Track your Expenses
I have been tracking expenses since my college days, it started with
keeping receipts and then keeping notes on the phone and then when the kids came along, I graduated and automated it with an easy to use excel expense tracker that I created. By Mid March 2020, I noticed that my usual expenditure on food had skyrocketed – why?...because the COVID panic had set in and I went into storage mode. Keeping track of your expenses, gives you control of your money. You should be able to compare your expenditure month by month to be able to budget, plan and curtail expenses.
3. Plan meals in advance
I don’t know about you, but in my home, the four of us and our employees often all eat different meals. The boys have their fave yummy pastas, protein dishes and pancakes. Hubby doesn’t subscribe to exorbitant carbs he is on the protein + veggie lifestyle and I am an extraordinary avocado and salad lover coupled with seafood lover. Therefore, my house runs smoother when the boy’s meals are planned way ahead (This includes breakfast lunch, dinner and snacks). Meal planning also helps with grocery shopping, as pointed out in the next tip.
4. Create a requisition List
I don’t know if anyone else hates coming home after grocery shopping and realizing you forgot 3 important items, more than me. I am always hard on myself for this because its such a big waste of time and time = money. The requisition list is a running list which means that, as items are depleting I note it down immediately for the next Grocery shopping day. Frankly, I would waste more time doing an inventory check on shopping day; so why not keep the list compiled in advance?
I hope that after you read this article you take a deep sigh of relief. This is not another "YOU SHOULD BE doing xyz" message, however I am here to encourage you that it’s a good time to put some structural tools in place if you haven’t already done so.
Keep it Structured,