T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Sunday, February 6, 2011

How I Do it - Secret Revealed...

So, everyone always asks how I do it. You know, juggle school, domestic duties, and still manage to squeeze in projects like these...

You know how much I love dressing my kids alike - aren't these so cute?!?

One year old birthday gifts - Left, Crunchy Beach Mama's little guy, Right, JKMommy's little guy.

For my friend Katie's little guy's three year old birthday.

There are actually a lot of reasons I am able to "do it all". First, T Rex Dad handles at least 50% of the household duties. He's a very domestic guy. We had an almost argument over who keeps a cleaner house. But he helps with diaper duty and diaper cleaning, dishes, laundry, vacuuming - you name, he does it. In most households women usually assume more of an 80% role of domestic duties. So, you can see how much of a help this really is. And yes, I am grateful for him every day.

Also, I have really great kids. They are just great - I don't know what else to say. They stick to their rhythms pretty good and are also great at entertaining themselves when I need a few extra minutes to wrap things up after nap time. And they still nap at the same time - heavenly.


One of my favorite books from childhood was Cheaper By the Dozen. It's much different than the modern movie. It was written by an efficiency expert who had 12 kids. Since reading it, I try to turn every repetitive task I do into a study in efficiency and attempt to figure out how to make completing the task as quickly but thoroughly as possible. 

One of the tasks mentioned in the book is bath time. Well, I've adapted it to fit my current situation. We have a large shower. When I say large, I mean gigantic. There are two shower heads but there could probably be 4-8 and still have elbow room. It can get a little cold so we try to be quick. However, it does have its perks. When I became a parent, I found that eating and showering were often luxuries. I think there are a few parents out there that can relate to this. 

When T Rex was tiny, we started putting him in the shower with us - just holding him close enjoying that skin to skin time. As he got older he would just play with his letters or other bath toys in the shower while I washed. It was nice because then I did not have to worry about him getting into trouble while I had my shower. The other plus, I could save shower time for when he was awake. 

I think I surprised T Rex with the camera here - I've never brought it into the shower before, hence his startled look. But Bebe Sister is SO happy here!
When Bebe Sister came along we put her swing (and then later the exersaucer) in the bathroom and continued our showers. She would also get into the shower if T Rex Dad was home to help. Now, she's mobile and stable on her feet enough that she's allowed in the shower. And boy does she have a great time. If she is not allowed in she is not shy about expressing her disdain. 

Another secret - I rarely sit still. When I'm awake, I pretty much don't take a break. It's go, go, go until bedtime. And bedtime, well, that's midnight. The kids go to bed around 8:00 pm which is when I get the largest stretch of  studying done. However, when the school work is done, kids' bedtime equals craft time.

Another tidbit - multitask. When I listen to lectures I will also knit. The lectures are recorded so I can pause as often as needed. And this happens a lot when I'm watching during free play time - sharing toys is still a learning process for both of them and someone always has to "go potty" or have a diaper change.

Another thing I do - pre-make meals and freeze them. I'll make a big batch of Shepherd's pie or lasagna, freeze them, and then we can put them in the oven on those days I'm at school. I also make big batches of salads (green or egg salad). Instant meals - very handy.

It's just little things like this that help me manage my time. Little things and big help.

What are your time savers?


Crunchy Beach Mama said...

oh was I supposed to click and look? They are sooo CUTE! P will LOVE them. Thank you so much :)

Very jealous you have a domestic husband. Mine is VERY NOT domestic...lol...now if I ASK him to do something then maybe it will get done. But he will do any "kid" duty well so I guess that counts for something? :)

I loved Cheaper By the Dozen too! You have a great shower that my boys would have a blast in because they both still love their baths but like the idea of a shower too. My dad has one like that and I did always wonder if it was cold. :)

I like how you pre-make meals. Something I never really got the hang of very well. I need to work on that.

Good job all around mama! :)

JKMommy said...

so much to say on this post - first of all THANK YOU for the adorable and thoughtful gift of an outfit for A. I LOVE it and he will smile with delight when he sees that CAR!!!! :) You are sooo sweet!

I still think you get a TON done during the day and I still don't know if I can do that too... LOVE your shower - your tile is very similar to mine, but ours is not that big and has no seat. The pics of the kids in the shower are precious! :) I never thought about putting A in the shower as he loves to splash in his bath still - perhaps when he is able to stand/walk I will start trying that out.

I used to do freezer meals before the baby, but I have not had time to "process" all the meal stuff since he came. I need to make a better committment to that as you are right - it is SUCH a time saver!!

My time-savers? Um... I have to say I have not been good about that lately. But listing things and my "household chart" that I use help keep me focused. :)

Thanks for a great post!!

Caitlin said...

Excellent post and awesome tips. I love this new "How I do it" series you've been doing! I am going to have to take some of your suggestions! Why haven't I thought of freezing meals since I was pregnant with Isaac and preparing for birth?
That shower looks like a lot of fun- love both kids' expressions!

Lately I have been doing two things: both sound kind of depressing.
1) I have been setting my alarm to get up a while before the kids do, so that I have time to shower (since ours is small), put on make up, read my email and have a cup of coffee. Sometimes one of them ends up beating me awake, but the rest of the time I start out my day feeling like I've gotten some "me" time and that I'm ahead.

2) At night, I just don't sit down until the house is at a point that I feel comfortable waking up to it in the morning. Once I sit down to relax I am toast, but if I just keep pushing, pushing, pushing, until the toys are cleaned up, floor swept, etc. then I can do it!

I am still VERY impressed with all you do by the way!

Jenners said...

Oh Man. I feel very very ineffective. I think though that you rise to what you need to do ... I don't have as much going on as you so I don't rise to the occasion. Plus I need more sleep than you. I still think you are pretty darn amazing!

Kim said...

This post did nothing except make me more in awe of you. I love the shower shots! I can't wait till Naveen is more stable to make bath time a bit easier. We make meals ahead too - it's a life saver on those nights Shaune's not home till after ten. It's great that you have hobbies you enjoy so much. I think it makes for a healthy mind and spirit. I love those little outfits you make!

And also YAY!!!!! T Rex Dad for being a wonderful modern-day husband/father. The world needs a heck of a lot more of those!!!

Emily said...

You are amazing...again and again...amazing!!

I just checked out 'Cheaper by the Dozen' from the library...how ironic!

Thanks for your wonderful example and your inspiration!

Katie said...

I LOVE THE OUTFIT!!! Orange is one of my favorite colors - so loud and cheerful and FUN. Alex will love it. The package arrived today and I can't wait to use the bath bomb!

I, too, loved Cheaper by the Dozen. I liked how they tricked the kids into learning - language records while in the bath, the solar system set up down the hall...so cool.
Some days I'm lucky to even get the dishwasher unloaded - VERY non-domestic husband. he does take out the trash though :-)