Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tips for surviving as a busy working family with two young school children

Ros from Sew Delicious and I were recently chatting about our new back to work/school routines and I thought I would share some of my survival tips. I am no expert and I strongly advise you to read blogs like The Organised Housewife or Planning with Kids if you want a more professional opinion. But if you are like me and sometimes what others do seems like too much work or totally overwhelming, here are my top tips!

Here is Master 7 helping by cooking dinner on
the weekend. A simple Carbonara Pasta

Don't over commit
Goodness this is easier said than done. Our household is super busy. I think it is important for children to be involved in some type of sport or activity. Master 7 has just finished cricket over summer (the grassroots program was amazing) and is about to start footy for the third year in April (as much as I just have no idea about AFL, we do live in Victoria!). Miss 4 (will be 5 on Saturday!) has ballet every Saturday morning too. They both have swimming lessons on a Wednesday night but this is more an activity that we as parents feel is important rather than something they choose to do.

In and around these commitments, I volunteer running our local market four times a year and have my own business. Mr Lil Pip has his own radio show, involved in various community groups and has just nominated himself for school council. 

Ok that all sounds like we over commit but I guess what I'm trying to say is know your limits and schedule for down time. Since we both work (hubby full time and me four days a week), our children don't have something on every single day after school. And they don't need it. I know others do and that's great but for us that would just be another stress we couldn't deal with. Generally speaking, we don't plan much on a Sunday and if we do, never on a Sunday afternoon or evening. This is our family time. Time to relax, regroup and get ready for a new week.

Do as much as you can beforehand
This is something you can get your kids involved in, no matter how old they are (clearly do whatever is appropriate for your child age wise). After dinner each night, I try to pack most of the kids lunch boxes. The next morning, all I need to do is cut the fruit and pop in a freshly made sandwich. The few minutes the night before seems to save so much time in the morning. I also ask the children to lay out their uniforms to wear the next day. Again it just saves time if they are all there in one spot ready to put on. 

Meal plan
How many times have you been driving home from work/school pick up with tired and hungry kids and been thinking about what to make for dinner? What is in the pantry/fridge/freezer that I can create something wonderful, healthy and balanced for the family. I try to menu plan for a week ahead as much as I can. I will admit that I have been a little slack on this lately so have to get back into the swing of things. My slow cooker is also a god-send during the cooler months. I love coming home on busy days knowing that dinner is all prepared.

Every few months I do a big slow cooker of bolognese sauce
and freeze in two kids size portions. Easy dinner!

And if all else fails, wine helps! No seriously, a nice warm bath, candles on and a lovely chilled white makes all the stress go away!

Tell me - what are your tips to surviving work, family, school runs, sports commitments and squeezing in some crafting/sewing too?


  1. My tip is, go to bed early and get up early. I find I am always more productive in the morning and the kids seem to pick up on the vibe and become good morning people too.

  2. Oh, I find red wine works much better than white... LOL!!! You've hit the nail on the head, Jane... organisation is the key. Once you're in a routine and everyone knows the drill, things generally fall into place. One day you might just look back and wonder how you managed it all and you'll feel a sense of pride at how you did.

  3. Oh I remember the days agree completely with not over omitting I left it at swimming only. Once something seems too much it probably is and let it go, great tips. Very realistic :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...