Monday, March 01, 2010

How Do I Do It - A Day in the Life (Part One)

How do you do it?  I've been asked this question many times.  How do you keep up with the responsibilities of raising three kids, co-owning a business, and everything associated with it?  The answer is preparation and planning ahead!  This is my motto.  I live for planning ahead.  Most of my day is spent figuring out my next move. In the evenings I spend lots of time preparing for the next day from choosing outfits for the children and laying them out to preparing lunches.  A day in the life of a CrAzY Working Mom is indeed crazy and busy!  There are a few things that I have found to make my mornings and evenings go much smoother.

Rise & Shine:  Getting up first allows me to have time to wake up before catering to someone else's needs as well as get dressed, hair and make up done before having to do it with children at my feet.  I wake up at 5 AM.  Although I do not have to leave the house to begin the transporting of the children to their various destinations until after 7, I have lots of work to do before we can get out the door.  Thank goodness we invested in an auto-brew coffee pot a few months back.  My coffee is brewed and greets me with a sensational good morning as I stumble out of bed each morning.  This prep-work is done at night as I clean the kitchen after dinner.

Lunches:  Making things ahead can be very helpful for saving time in the mornings.  I have to make lunches for both hubby and oldest child.  I usually prepare what I can of their lunches the night before.  This includes getting their thermos filled with sweet tea and having it in the refrigerator so that all I have to do is put it in the lunch box and go. I also put snacks and chips (non-perishables) in the boxes.  This just leaves me to make the sandwiches (which could become soggy if you make ahead) and add in the ice packs in the morning.  This could shave up to 5 minutes off my morning.  When you're getting three kids and yourself ready, five minutes could make or break you!

Getting Dressed:  Choosing your clothes and accessories the night before will save you valuable time getting dressed and avoid melt downs!!  In the evenings, usually after baths Shelby and I (or her father) will choose her outfit for the next day.  We have found this to be more productive.  It gives her time to look through and choose what she wants to wear and we're not pressured for time.  If she wants to wear something new and different, she has time to try it on.  We gather everything from shoes and socks to accessories so that it is all in one place.  That way when they begin to get dressed the process is not delayed while looking for something!  With the younger children, I also lay their clothes out, but they are not picky (yet) as to what I choose for them. 

Breakfast:  The snack sized ziploc bags are perfect for dry breakfast cereals, cheese crackers, or fruit and nut combos to make your own trail mix.  Make up a few of those and keep them in a designated "snack drawer" along with pre-packaged muffins, etc. so the children can choose their on-the-go breakfast before heading out the door.  Usually we do breakfast on the go.  My children like to drink milk when they wake up.  Emily drinks white, Shelby drinks strawberry, and Tyler likes chocolate.  I buy the syrup and add it to the white milk.  I usually prepare this the night before and have it in the fridge so it's easily accessed when they wake up in the mornings.  They are cranky if they don't have their morning milk.  Most of the time the milk will fill them up so they will eat something like a bagel, muffin or dry cereal on the way to school.  The little ones are offered breakfast at the daycare and most of the time will eat there if they are hungry.  Shelby takes after her father and just doesn't really eat breakfast.  She saves it in the van to eat as a snack on the way home. 

Off We Go:  Keeping the things that you need by the front door makes things easier.  Backpacks can hang on coat racks.  Make sure each family member hangs their things on the same hook each time to keep from getting things mixed up.  Put gloves, hats, scarves in jacket pockets if possible.  This time of the year is tough when we have coats, hats, gloves, scarves, backpacks, lunchboxes, etc.  I usually have to make a couple of trips to the van to get things out there (and start it to warm) before we actually all head out the door.  By the time I fill my hands up with all of the "stuff" required for the day there's no room to help little Emily down the stairs from the house.  If we're running on time, we take the little ones first because their daycare is before Shelby's school.  We drop them off and take Shelby to her destination - 1st grade.  If we're running behind we take her first.  She has a tardy bell to beat, but the little ones have a 10 o'clock cut off time so we don't have to worry so much about them.

Of course while I am at working doing everything from auto insurance quotes to payroll, it's more like a quiet time for me away from my children! My job can be stressful at times, but for the most part hubby and I work very well together and things usually go very smoothly.

That is only a small part of a day in the life of CrAzY Working Mom. I'll touch on our evenings in future post.  I hope that you all have a great Monday!  I have some exciting PR news coming later on this week and a great give away that you are all going to want to come back for tomorrow!!!

14 comments, add yours here:

katherine. said...

with all due respect to my friends who are "late-breeders" having children when you are younger is a good idea.

from an energy standpoint if nothing else.

Akelamalu said...

You're so right - planning and organisation are the key!

OLLIE MCKAY'S ~ A Chic Boutique said...

Good post! I definitely was more organized when I worked "out" of the house and kids were still home etc - it MADE me be more organized!! Since now I only have my online business I really have to work hard to portion out my days! Happy Monday!

"Lois Grebowski" said...

dang, that's day full of work right there!

Crazy Working Mom said...

katherine. - I'm assuming that you're referring to me as a "late-breeder". My husband and I made the decision when we were first married to enjoy our marriage for a few years before having children. We did. Times were hard financially for us back then, and we knew that we didn't want to bring a baby into the world until we were ready both financially and mentally. We were married at 21 and had our first child 4 years later at the ripe old age of 24. We had children again at 27 and 30. I wouldn't go back and change a thing. I have a sister who is only 22 and she has 3 children. She started at 15. I just don't know if I could have it!!

Akelamalu - YUP! Organization is my b/f/f!! ;)

Ollie McKays - Happy Monday to you too.

Lous - Are you read for another cup of coffee!? *LOL*

Sandee said...

I so remember all of this and I only had one child. I will still so very busy. I can't imagine have three kids. Just saying.

Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

Lazy Daisy said...

You Go Girl, I'm certainly impressed. I always knew you were a clever girl and now I have proof. All your organizational skills are really paying off. Take some time for yourself. Congrats on the weight loss too. Your my hero!

Willa said...

I don't do lunches in advance but the dress part really save me a lot of time in the morning, especially looking for my boys socks and underwear. lol!

Amazing Gracie said...

This was only Part I? Boy, I've always thought, but now I know - you're one heckuva woman!!
I was more like your sister. You and Brien played it smart. My brother and his wife waited until they were 30 until they had their first. He just graduated w/honors and a degree in engineering. They were much better parents than I was. I guess it depends on the person.
Congratulations on your weight loss!
~~~Blessings~~~

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Crazy Working Mom said...

Hey, Anonymous spammer...GO AWAY! You will be deleted. If you want links here, e-mail me and we'll talk prices. It's not free!

Ruby said...

very inspiring post..your lucky to have children now.. I am still waiting..wink! have a great weekend ahead...