May 30, 2012

How Do I Find The Time To...

I think of myself as pretty organised, but in truth I am in some things and am not in others. I am very organised at procrastinating for example, because I am committed to finding the time to doing things I like, and not so committed to finding time to tidy up my clothes, clean the oven or dust the bookshelves.

I was tagged for this meme by Single Married Mum, and I'm more than happy to play along. I do like a good meme questionnaire.

First (very important)

Here are the rules:
1. Please post the rules
2. When answering the questions, give as much information as possible. It’s all about the finer details people!!
3. Leave a comment on Sex, drugs, rocker…and stroller,baby. ( This is so we can keep track of the Meme and take a polite nose into everyone else’s lives.
4. Tag 3 or more people and link to them on your blog.

Second... the main event: How and when do you find the time to….

Do the laundry: The Neverending Story. I have a separate laundry basket for the kids and I do one load of their stuff every night. Summer is easier as things that don't go in the dryer will dry hanging up overnight. Now it's winter here so I have to force myself to slow down with the washing loads because I end up with too many wet things to hang up, as they take 2-3 days to dry. I tend to do 2 loads of the grown-ups' clothes on the weekend, and sheets/towels for us one day and kids another day so that each person's bed gets changed every two (oh alright roughly THREE) weeks. This system has always meant 2 or more baskets of laundry plus clothes on the clothes horse/washing line hanging around the house all week, but I have recently made a change following a suggestion on Smart Working Mother to "commit to wash, dry and fold every night" which entails doing one small load every day, and putting it all away. Some days I manage this and it feels pretty good!

Write a blog post: After a couple of years of trying different things I think I've found my method. I don't try and do a post every day as that way lies madness (for me). I aim for two posts a week and if I manage more then I'm a hero. I do a Fiction Fridays post most Fridays, a Pick A Post link on Mondays and a Listography post once a month, so that takes some of the pressure off and keeps me engaged. I also keep a notebook in my bag where I jot down post ideas, or dictate them into my phone, and some nights when I don't have a full post in me I'll draft up one or two to complete later. That said there are quite a few drafts that have never been finished.

Look after yourself : Oh I am not good at this... I have a treadmill at home and am trying to get on it most days, even if it's just for ten minutes. I dye my hair when the grey starts getting too much to pluck out, in the evenings once the kids are asleep. I don't really do regular hair appointments but book myself in when my hair gets out of control. I rush my make-up and usually do it in the car when I've arrived at work. I'm a bit too much mummy and not enough yummy...
Spend time with your other half?: *Squirms guiltily*. Well, we do hang out a bit in the evenings once the kids are asleep, though he's often watching TV and I'm on the computer... Every now and then we have done a "date night" when the stars have aligned. I enforce the "family time" dinner rule and we all have a bit of a chat and a laugh over dinner, which helps.

"The Lorax" preview
family fun day
mini golf on holiday
Do fun stuff with your Little Ones: Currently my kids are a bit "over-scheduled" with Greek school, swimming and dancing classes in addition to school, so Sunday is a "rest day" as I call it, or a "boring day" as my kids call it. I do a craft with them most Sundays, or we bake a cake. We take the dog for a walk or go to a cafe or I take them to a park. My husband works weekends but every so often he has a Sunday off and when that happens we try and get to a beach or do a picnic or go out for coffee and cake (always fun!). As they get older though, they are wanting to do more things with friends than with their mum. I try and make home time fun by joking around with them during dinner, bath time etc. We have some kind of laughs every day even if the kids don't see it as a "fun day".

Spend time with your family: That's an easy one, as Y works most weekends my mother and/or father tend to visit most weekends. I catch up with my sister every few weeks, usually with us visiting her as she has a toddler. I'm very close to a cousin who lives about 20 minutes away and we catch up every now and then too which is also fun for the kids to hang out with her cooler, older kids!

Socialise with friends: I'm very bad at this. I tend to use Facebook to fill the cracks, as it's just so hard to catch up when most friends are working and have kids. One friend and I try to do a movie night once a month or so - we don't always manage it but the idea is there and we do tend to catch up on a semi-regular basis. Recently I've made a little list in my head of friends I haven't seen in awhile but with whom I'm still in touch, and I have resolved to fix up a visit with each in the next three months. I know, very ambitious!

Prepare an evening meal juggling a baby/toddler bedtime routine? Ditto to Single Married Mum's comment: "I can't take my foot off the pedal - I need to keep up the homework-tea-bath-bed-momentum, or it can all go pear-shaped pretty quickly." Exactly that. When I was working full-time I used to cook 2-3 nights for the next day, Y cooked 1-2 nights and the other night was a "picnic dinner" which worked pretty well. Now I work 3 days a week, so I cook on the 2 days I am home, and this gives us enough to stretch to 4-5 nights' dinners. When it's dinner time I need to be able to heat/finish the meal and get it on the table fast, so I worked out some time ago trying to start and cook at 5 or 6pm is no good for me - even those "15 minute meals" are too hard and take too long at that horrendous time of day.
After dinner it's homework then bath then wind down for bed. 

Deep clean your house: I don't deep clean, but every few weeks I will go into something of a frenzy and do a couple of extra things, like clean out the appliance cupboard, clean skirting boards or wash the windows. But I don't do them often enough, so my house would be a prime contender for one of those "how clean is your house" TV shows. It's all surface baby.

Do the food shopping: I tried online shopping a few times when the kids were toddlers but it just frustrated me because every freaking time there would be a few things out of stock and I'd end up having to go to the shops anyway. It was easier just to go to the supermarket at nighttime when Y was home and the kids in bed. Now I tend to go on my way home from work or on my days off (now that I have days off!). We do use Aussie Farmers Direct and get milk, bread and orange juice delivered, which is fantastic. 

Do bulk ironing: I don't iron. I put school dresses and the odd other thing in the dryer for 10 minutes to de-crease them, and anything else gets re-washed and re-hung to de-crease if needed. Y irons his own shirts and pants. Pants these days come with permanent creases in them - yay! 

So that’s how I find the time....sort of.

Now I am going to break rule 4 above and not tag anyone to join in - because I recently did a Liebster Award post I don't want to start annoying too many people by tagging them every second post. But I do thank Single Married Mum for tagging me, and I had fun joining in.

Would you like to join in? Feel free! Say that I tagged you ;-)
How do YOU find the time?


  1. Great list Jackie ! - Thanks for doing it. There's a bit of a pleasure/pain thing going on with memes ! Can completely understand why you're not tagging. I mean what happens to memes anyway? Do they just go on forever??
    I agree with you about online shopping - I keep trying it, but it seems to take me longer than a supermarket trip. AND I've got my sizings completely wrong a few times and ended up with ten grapes, one banana and a tiny, one glass only, bottle of wine (disaster!) But so many of my friends food shop online and swear by it, so I'm going to keep plugging away xx

    1. Thanks SMM, and thanks for inviting me!
      Yes, memes go on forever. Maybe next time it comes round I'll have developed some super time saving organisation tips to share :)
      That's funny about online shopping - the wine bottle must have hurt in particular!
      I agree, everyone raves about it so I keep thinking I'll try it again, but I haven't for awhile.

  2. I think you're incredibly organised - and no doubt utterly exhausted at the end of each and every day!

    Not sure where my time is 'found' as it just slips through my fingers. Still, I'm earning a tiny income, the house is vaguely clean, the washing machine and dishwasher are rarely still and everyone seems (mostly) happy. Oh and having the second fridge door lined with chocolate helps too.

    1. Thanks Kath, very nice of you. And it sounds like you're very organised and efficient yourself. I do like the sound of that fridge...



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