By Noelle Sadinsky – from Fridge-To-Go
I have 2 young boys who are 3 and 6 and I don’t pretend to know it all. Actually I still have a lot to learn about this whole parent thing and I’m open to it.
I think my brain can hold information from about 6 months previous – and 3 months of new info moving forward.
I believe there are many things to help simplify the chaos of life with children and let us enjoy those moments even more. As a small business owner, I am able to be flexible with my time although sometimes I need to be even more efficient to keep control of things!! Here are a few of my own tips that might help.
So how do we get back to basics enjoy the little people in our lives even more and still accomplish a whole lot?
I try and prepare or have a contingency plan as much as possible, while still being realistic with many things. On the food front, I don’t plan a weekly menu for the family as I prefer to be more spontaneous and see what we feel like eating.
I do a big shop every 2-3 weeks and then little ones for specific things as you still need to ensure there are fresh ingredients for quick (and healthy) meals along with plenty of things to snack on.
I do school lunches the night before and use leftovers and other bits and pieces as much as possible to give my son variety (which he likes). For example, I might make a wrap with cream cheese, smoked salmon and cucumber, a yogurt squeezee, cherry tomatoes and chopped cucumber and a piece of homemade banana bread.
I use our Fridge-to-go 8 hour lunch bag ( www.fridge-to-go.net.au – we have an exclusive Lose Baby Weight offer below too) to ensure his lunch stays fresh all day and if anything comes home, it can go back in the lunch bag the next day so there’s less waste (and I save $$)!
My younger son also loves to carry his own lunch bag of snacks and treats around when we’re out and about especially as he’s a much pickier eater than his brother. I can throw in some cut up veggies, fruit, cheese, milk, etc for both of us so we eat good food regularly and it doesn’t interrupt our adventures.
I found organising all those kiddie activities work if each thing has a separate bag. I have a bag in the car for my 3 year old with a change of clothes, wipes and snacks – we’re in the middle of toilet training which is always fun so this saves me often.
If I use something in the bag, I replace it as soon as I’m home or able to, then I don’t have to remember to do it later. This goes for all our separate swim bags (for each son), dance bag (yes it’s brilliant for balance for boys and girls!) and of course school bag! We have a spot near the front door for each bag so everyone knows where to find things (including dad). You can go crazy with organising and even do it by room so it depends on how far you want to take it – this site is a great resource too – http://theorganisedhousewife.com.au/organising-by-room/).
We think keeping the kids busy and moving is so important for their bodies and minds. It depends on the age of your kids as to what’s appropriate, but it’s not hard to get outside and have a play whether it’s in the yard kicking a soccer ball or going for a swim at an ocean pool. It doesn’t have to cost a lot and sets up great life habits.
We make it fun telling the kids we’re going on an adventure and make our destination a surprise. It only has to be a new beach/park/etc to feel like a new adventure and you’ll all end up having a ball. We also try and set a good example making time for ourselves to be active so our kids have positive role models which is very important. Don’t forget to have plenty of down time and unscheduled fun too as we all want our kids to remember to be kids!
Sleep is also a magic ingredient in our house to keep things running smoothly. Not only for the kids, but us parents too – we try and get 7-8 hours if possible as it takes a lot out of you running around after kids. If you’re in good condition – eat well, exercise when you can and make special time for yourself, you’re a much better asset to your family – and they NEED you to be in form!!
My boys apparently need 10-12 hours per night so I think they could use a bit more than they’re getting! As soon as my 6 year old starts with major attitude and grumpiness, I know we’re letting the bedtime slip so it’s back to the routine and getting on track.
Take Care of YOU
I do like to multi-task and prefer to be organised when I can, but the chaos of children often takes over so planning is key. There will always be more laundry, another meal to make, toys to pick up, homework to do, etc so give yourself a break and stop for a break or go have a massage – and don’t feel guilty!
When you’re overwhelmed, stop and get back to basics. You’ll feel better and end up being more efficient and your family will only benefit
Special offer to Lose Baby Weight members
Buy 2 or more Fridge-to-go bags online (www.fridge-to-go.net.au) and receive a FREE Single Bottle Beverage Fridge valued at $29.95. Perfect for transporting your 1.5L of water so it stays cool. Just use code LBWBevOffer when prompted for the Promo Code in the checkout.
Valid until March 15th 2013 or while stocks last.