It’s possible to manage things on all fronts and simplify life at the same time.
1Clearly set out your priorities
On a given day, what’s most important? Spending time with your husband or your children? Going through important files you’ve brought home from the office? Doing the housework? Talking to your girlfriends? Getting some exercise? Attending a school meeting? Once you’ve made a list of the important things, talk about it with your husband to involve him in the choice of priorities you’ll tackle together. (As much as possible, take on what you’re each best at!)
2Watch out for those black holes that swallow up your precious time
Without becoming an expert in logistics, you can define the tasks or activities that take up most of your time and decide what makes the most sense. For example, calling your girlfriends whenever something pops into your head is nice, but it’s probably a better use of time to send one message sometime during the day.
Tying yourself to the kitchen every evening can eat up a lot of time. Could you perhaps prepare double portions and freeze one for later? Bulk cooking is very trendy these days. Or why not ask your husband to fix supper some evenings?
Do you find yourself constantly returning to the shops to stock up? If that’s the case and you have the storage space, do one “big shop” each week, every two weeks, or once a month. Take advantage of home deliveries, or pick up what you need on the way home from work.
Do your children have so many extracurricular activities you’re starting to feel like a taxi service? Try to limit the number of their activities or, if not, think about enlisting aid: why not carpool with other parents?
A household with young children is never going to be spotless (unless you follow your toddlers around with a mop and a bucket!). Don’t stress if you haven’t had time to vacuum over the weekend as planned. You’ll be less tired if you’re not too picky about your house. That said, it’s good to be able to take pride in your home so consider always having one room that’s tidy. If guests show up unexpectedly, you have one room in which to visit in peace.
4Learn how to waste time to make time
Over the weekend (if possible) give yourself 15 minutes for a power nap. A bit of a rest goes a long way. During the week, it’s a good idea to get an early night now and then as you never know what the night will bring (one child having a nightmare, another one sick, for example).
It’s often very difficult to find the time for a daily moment of prayer, but prayer brings peace, calms stress, and allows you to better manage your priorities. Time devoted to the Lord is never wasted time. but seems to multiply it.
5Remember, you're not the only one responsible for the upkeep of the house
Have a look with your husband at what tasks he could shoulder on a regular basis: the shopping (with an exact list of what to buy), driving the kids to their extracurricular activities, or picking them up after school? Include your children in household chores from an early age, too. Even a child of three can put a dirty plate in the sink or dishwasher. Once a little older, they can make their own bed and vacuum their room. Don’t hesitate to ask each of them to help keep communal areas of the home tidy.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?