Hey everyone! How is the weekend? I hope it is filled with laughter & some playing outside!
And a little working out 🙂 It’s just me & Nathan today, but thank goodness for an improvement in naps – I had time to do a Tone It Up Burn, Tone & Flow workout x 2 during his morning nap. Yesterday was a stroller run; all I can say is it’s harder than it looks people!
On a different topic than the usual fitness-food-baby stuff, I thought I’d share some of the changes we’ve been making as a family lately. There’s no doubt that a baby is the greatest joy imaginable, but they are also quite expensive and time consuming. It’s great if you have the funds and additional help, but if not it’s easy to become overwhelmed. We found a couple methods/tips that are working really well for us as dual-working parents that I thought I’d share.
And before you start to think we’re crazy: as background, both my husband and I work professional jobs with 40+ hour weeks, we are budgeting, we highly value our time with our son and also want some time for our own fitness and hobbies. I get up between 4:30-4:45 each morning so I can hit the gym, have 9-10 hours at work, pick Nathan up and have an hour or two with him, then an hour or two for dinner and to spend time with David (or just to myself) before bed. We had to find ways to get all the errands done, and have time to sleep. Because I can tell you after six months of poor sleep, sleep deprivation is no good!
The Whiteboard: One of the first things we did to get our lives in order was start a whiteboard. I was reluctant for a long time since it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing thing, but I finally gave in. And it is SO worth it. We keep it on the back of a bathroom door so it is hidden enough but remains in sight as a reminder. It helps that my husband and I are both list people. We keep a larger monthly list with high, medium and low priority items. Everything from finances and taxes to birthday presents to house maintenance to ebay sales. We also keep a smaller weekly list for all the routine items we have to do each week – meal prep, trash, housecleaning tasks. I just refresh the boards monthly and weekly, respectively.
All I can think is “nerd alert!” in an Austin Powers accent
Meal Planning: Another area we realized we could save more money and time with was meal planning. Pre-baby we went out to eat or ordered food more frequently and didn’t think much of it. We also had the time to pop by the grocery store more than once a week if we forgot something – and the Whole Foods salad/hot bar for that matter! Now, we plan our meals and lunches and are able to do all of our grocery shopping in one run per week (and we reduced almost all of our spending at Whole Foods which made a huge impact!). I plan our meals out Saturday mornings and then grocery shop either late Saturday morning or Sunday morning and fill up on gas at the same time. It’s least crowded weekend mornings so I can be in and out fast. I keep a list and cookbook of all our favorite recipes so I can refer to it if I need inspiration. I always packed my lunch, and now David is packing his lunch too, so I make around 4 lunches each for us, plus snacks each week. Sunday afternoon I spend a couple hours prepping all these meals – basically chopping, cooking grains/beans, and doing as much pre-work as I can for the week, and preparing all lunches. It’s an effort, but in the end it saves a lot of time and money during the week. And we are still dining out every once and awhile on the weekends for fun.
Outfit Prep: This is a minor time saver, but still helpful. I realized it takes a lot of my time each evening to lay out my clothes for both work and workouts/gym, so I started laying all my clothes and gym clothes out for the week. On Sunday I check the weather forecast, plan my workout schedule, and put all the items I need for M-Th in some closet hanging boxes. I do the same for Nathan so his outfits are ready for his dad to dress him each morning.
Next up is budgeting!