Like all working mums, I juggle two personas between my work career and my role as a mum. I work part-time three days a week as an analyst at a market research consulting firm. On the other two days my SAHM/WAHM persona comes alive (read: play dates, mothers’ group, story time sessions and the like).
Both types of days are busy and activity packed, but with work-in-office days I pretty much can’t miss a beat, especially the first part of the day before heading out the door.
So here are the things I do to make sure that everything runs smoothly the moment the alarm clock goes off in the morning:
#1. Prepare a packing list: Although most things are pretty standard, it’s strange how easy it is to miss something. So after several episodes of important items being left out, I finally prepared a Comprehensive List of everything that needs to go in the bag. I can tell you that having a list really makes life so much easier. Saves brainpower in trying to remember to pack this and that or being worried that I’ve forgotten something.
#2. Pack office and day care bags the night before: Having everything packed and ready to go in the morning is definitely the most basic thing to do to avoid the last minute scramble.
#3. Pack items straight out of the laundry: I save time by placing change-of-clothing/nappies into the day care bag straightaway as they come out off the dryer/clothes line. Cuts down the effort of folding and putting away items into the wardrobe and taking them out again at packing time.
#4. Lay out outfits the night before: This goes both for Nathan as well as for myself. For me it definitely avoids the long pause in front of my wardrobe figuring out what to wear. For Nathan it just makes things simpler to just pop him into his outfit when he wakes up. When he’s older I think it would help to have everything ready so he dress himself.
#5. Lay out breakfast things the night before: Cereal, bowls, cutlery… and whatever brekkie stuff we’re having the next morning.
#6. Prepare lunches ahead of time: I usually cook a bit extra for dinner the day before so we can have the leftovers for lunch the next day. If we’re having sandwiches, I try to prepare all the components before hand so everything can easily assembled.
#7. Delegate specific tasks ahead of time: I think it’s common for women to take on every single aspect of the preparation process. I’m not entirely sure why. We prepare everything, wake up earlier the next day and do everything. Somehow asking men to help out with this and that on the spot gets rather stressful. So the key I’ve found is to communicate and delegate specific things for my man to do beforehand or give him a consistent task to be in charge of. And leave him to it. Don’t hover.
P.S. 7 Brekkie ideas for bubby for breakfast preparations ahead of time