My main life-goal for the last couple of years has been to find as much balance in life as possible. Not just with work and home, but with all the other “to-dos” that creep up on us on the daily. However, family is the most important; family trumps everything else. So I have to find a delicate balance between the real world and real life. It hasn’t always been easy, and I’m often looking for tips and tricks from friends and family. So I thought I’d share a few of the things that keep me on track. It’s not so much a schedule, but a way of keeping my life in the present moment. Sure that means scheduling a few things, but it also means cutting myself some slack as needed so that I’m #FreeToBe whomever I need to be in that moment.

Cleaning the house.  //

I have tried and tried to create a “cleaning calendar” for myself. But I just can’t. Inevitably, the days when the bathroom needs most cleaned are not days when it is scheduled. Dishes are in constant rotation. And what’s the point of doing the dishes and not cleaning the whole kitchen? And once the kitchen counters are cleaned, OF COURSE I have to vaccuum! … you can see where this is headed. When I “clean,” I clean everything. That doesn’t mean our house is spotless, but it does mean I try to keep some order to it.

It often is accompanied by a glass of wine right after Moosh goes down for bed. I just hurry and clean everything, pick up all the toys, vacuum real fast, and done (for now)! But I’m free to focus on my husband for the rest of the evening!

Keeping playtime about play.  //

I’ve learned over the last two and a half years that ‘scheduled play’ is a lot less fun that just free play time. Sure, I’ll still bring Moosh to the art museum for some culture and play; but letting him turn empty paper towel rolls into swords is a lot more fun for everyone. During these moments I try and give him as much of my attention as possible.

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I have to admit, this can still be a struggle. It’s hard to not want to ‘pick up’ as he’s playing. But most of the time I refrain. Hey – it’s a balance, am I right?

Managing a laundry schedule.  //

The one chore I *do* schedule is laundry. We have enough clothes between the three of us for a constant rotation. Loads of laundry are done 4 days a week (hey, that’s better than everyday!). I clean the towels, sheets, and any area rugs on Sunday, so that everything is fresh for the week.

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We are an all free clear laundry detergent household so that Moosh can live free from sensitive skin worries! I suffered from skin irritations as a kid and Moosh does as well, so we try and limit the exposure he has to irritants. And we wouldn’t want his “Blankie Tom” (his Thomas the Train blanket) that he snuggles with all night (and all day) to irritate him now would we!?

Making my husband a priority.  //

This is the reason I try and keep my chores like cleaning and laundry to specific days and times. Because when all is said and done, at the end of the day, I want a few minutes alone with my husband. We can be so busy with taking care of the house, working, and raising our little family that we “forget” to make one another a priority. So we schedule time for just us. Even if that means getting a sitter so we can go to dinner or lunch alone!

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We’ve learned over time that we operate better as a team. Sure, we’re both great at flying solo; but when it comes to our life as we know it now? Well, we just compliment each others strengths and weaknesses.

Meal planning.  //

I have to admit – I’m a terrible meal planner. However, I am getting better. One of the ways I have “gotten better” at meal-planning is by cleaning out our refrigerator once a week — the evening before trash pickup day! That way I can (shamefully) toss the leftovers we have let expire and see what we have upcoming for the week that needs to be used. Doing so, along with regularly assessing the contents of our pantry, helps me to get ideas for the upcoming week. If I’m missing an ingredient for something, I simply add it to my to-do list to pick up the next time I’m at the store.

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I’ll admit it — sometimes life goes off the rails a bit… but that’s the beauty of it — you can get right back on track! Just cut yourself some slack and give yourself space so you can be #FreeToBe a busy mom!

 

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