I tent to be a bit of a perfectionist. I want to try to do everything, and do it perfectly. However, since having children, I've learned that there are several areas in my life that are actually better if I ease up a little, and do things a little 'less than perfect'. Now, I'm not suggesting that we bail out on our duties as a wife/mother; far from it! Serving our husbands and children should be our greatest joy. However, there are areas where it is ridiculous to expect perfection, and I tend to just wear myself out. If we save time and energy on the less important things, we'll be more available when the life-changing moments happen (such as when your daughter asks "Mommy, can you explain about the Holy Spirit to me? or when your son has a fever and needs you to hold him all morning. These are the things your children will remember---not whether or not your kitchen cabinets sparkled 100% of the time) Here are some examples of my time-saving tips.
I hate crafts. Let me repeat that. I. hate. crafts. Now, I'm not talking about real art here, like pottery, beautiful hand-sewn quilts, paintings, that type of thing. I'm talking about pop-sicle stick, cotton ball, little kid crafts. I can't stand to do them. They make a mess, and you end up throwing them out in a few days anyway. However, my kids looooove to do crafts, and I'm realizing the importance of this for them. Sooooooo.......we go to storytime once a week at the local library! The nice lady there reads books to my kids for half an hour, and then she has a related craft to do with them. Today, they read books about hibernation, so she used a brown paper lunch sack, cotton balls, and cut out pictures of a bear to make a den with a bear hiding inside. Wonderful! My kids craft for the week, and I didn't have to think it up! (Nor did it make a mess in my kitchen)
*Note: I do keep a container of 'necessary' crafts in my kitchen for the kids, like stickers, paper, safe scissors, glue stickes, foam beads, that type of thing, so that when their creative genius strikes, they at least have something to work with :)*
Before kids, I would take one morning a week, and completely clean my house. HAHA! Even the thought of that now makes me laugh! With a nursing baby, it's just not going to happen. Instead, I spread the cleaning out throughout the whole week. Each day, we make beds, do dishes , a load of laundry, and pick up toys. Then, one day a week I scrub the bathroom, one day I scrub the kitchen floor, one day I dust and vacuum bed-rooms, one day I clean out recycling bins and go to the recycle center, etc. That way, my 'cleaning' only takes a little bit of each day, yet my house *usually* stays neat and tidy. I much prefer this method of doing things!
We generally always eat homemade dinners from scratch. However, I'm discovering alot of convenient shortcuts that although me to save necessary time, and make it easier for the kids to help. Examples--1. Use the crockpot more 2. Buy pre-cooked chicken, and vegetables (make sure you wash them good!) already cut up 3. Have menu plans and recipes ready to go a week in advance, so that I'm not left wondering each day what to have for dinner. 4. Wraps are so easy, and make really yummy, quick dinners!
And the list goes on.......
Anybody else have any great tips for making life more enjoyable/easy for a mom? Please, share them in the comments!