Today I started a new plan for making my SAHM life easier.
Operation: Bedtime BootCamp – last night both kids were up past 11:00 pm. DS finally nursed to sleep at around 11:15 and DD fell asleep some time after midnight (DH and I woke up at 2:15 am, realized she hadn’t crawled into our bed or hers, and discovered her asleep on the sofa in front of the TV). Lately, their bedtimes are getting later and later, and they are sleeping in later and later, so I’m sleeping in, and getting nothing accomplished and wasting away half my day. SO…props to DH for the suggestion, and to my MDC Mama sister Ksenia who has done this and reported success….this morning I did the unthinkable, I woke my kids up! It was 8:15 am and they were both sleeping soundly and I went into the bedroom, opened the curtains and sang “good morning my little chickadees!” until they grudgingly got out of bed. I’m going to be waking them up at this time every day in the hopes that they will start going to bed a bit earlier. Already it has been successful for DS – he even helped by skipping his nap (methinks DH was right when he said DS might be transitioning out of his naps already) and fell asleep just after 7 pm with minimal nursing effort on my part. Would that every night be like this one! And while DD is still awake, she is obviously very tired and it’s not yet 8 pm. If I can get her in bed around 9 it would be a huge improvement for her.
Operation: Meal Planner – I’ve been struggling for over 3 months, since DH went to work out of the home, to put a home-cooked meal on the table for my family five nights a week. I’m not very talented in the kitchen, and I don’t really enjoy cooking, so it has been difficult. Some weeks I do okay, others it’s takeout city, but even when I’m doing okay it feels like SUCH hard work and I don’t think I even realized how much stress this was causing me. With the long, summer days we don’t usually finish our afternoon playing until dinner time, and then I need to drag all us tired folk to the grocery store and get inspired to cook something. Not gonna happen easily. So I finally decided to start meal planning. I can’t believe what a difference it has made in only ONE day! I have planned all the meals, and made a list of snacks to have on hand for in-between meals, for the whole week (DH does Sat and Sun). Now I don’t need to sweat my pretty little brow over it. AND, from that list I was able to generate a grocery list. I didn’t even realize it at first, but now I know that this is also going to HUGELY improve our grocery budget. When you don’t know what you are having it’s easy to impulse shop, buy stuff you don’t need or won’t use, etc. Last week’s grocery expenses were $130 (note: I’m an urban shopper, which means I shop almost every day in small quantities). I’m betting dollars to donuts that this week’s is gonna be much smaller, but yet I’ll still shopping at the local organic market (Capers, to you Canucks). PLUS, another benefit is that I’m not spending money on food-to-eat-during-our-outings. Today I spent a measly $3.95 on a half dozen bagels, otherwise we ate all our own food. I had noticed lately that I was blowing about $20/day just being out and about with the kids, and spending it on food and snacks while out was a huge part of that, even though I usually pack snacks! The problem was not planning ahead to make sure the kids had been served a meal they would actually eat, leading to snacks being inadequate. SO, I am totally psyched about how much STRESS has been lifted from me. And I’m psyched about saving money on groceries and daily expenses. Because every dollar saved is one step closer to our goal of ZERO debt (so we can buy our Yurt!).
I really, really enjoyed my day today and I attribute it to the above. Even though I got a whopping 4 hours of sleep last night (insomnia hit me) I had a super day and was great with the kids, really enjoying their company. I feel much more “together” and have less stress and that is a good thing for mama! So hooray for me and my New World Order!