The seven days of Hanukkah have raced by, Christmas is fast approaching, and soon we’ll be correcting 2012 with 2013 – this time of year time takes on a unique preciousness. Already jam-packed schedules and never-ending lists must magically make room for all that goes into making the season special.
At a gathering of Parent Talk’s Career Moms this fall the topic of the evening was “time saver” – helpful anytime of year, but especially when we’re all attempting to make it to the holiday season finish line with a little grace, dignity and sanity.
Here are a few highlights you will hopefully find helpful…
- Telecommute, work part-time or shift your workday to hours that better fit your family’s schedule – don’t be afraid to ask, your employer just might surprise you.
- Amazon Prime -- orders arrive in 48 hours, shipping is free and you avoid wasting your precious weekends driving around, shopping and waiting in lines.
- Buy cards (happy birthday, new baby, wedding, sympathy, get well, etc.) in bulk and stow them away, instead of running to the store every time you need to put a message in the old fashioned mailbox.
- When you see something you know someone would like, buy it, even if their birthday, Hanukkah or Christmas are months away, stow it away – you’re there, save yourself some time, heck, you might not remember this gift when the time comes.
- Buy yourself a little extra time in the morning, set your alarm a few minutes earlier -- it will make getting out the door in the morning so much easier.
- Coordinating multiple schedules is a constant challenge. Several Career Moms use Google Calendar to get the job done. Others recommend checking out Cozi.com – you can coordinate multiple schedules, shopping & to do lists, and meal plans, and access it all via your home computer or smart phone.
- Use that camera you’re always carrying around with you – your smart phone – to capture visual reminders.
In the Kitchen
|Make the freezer your friend|
- Several Career Moms swear by Roche Brothers’ home delivery service.
- Make a weekly meal plan.
- Prep vegetables, fruits and school snacks & lunches for the coming week.
- Pack lunches the night before.
- Slow cookers and pressure cookers can be supper saviors.
- Cook big one night – lunch and leftover will be your reward.
- Double up – lasagna, soups and stews, casseroles, muffins, cupcakes and cookies – stock the freezer.
- Career Mom, Jess, suggested checking out her friend, Debbie Koneig’s book, “Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents”. Another Mom recommended 100 Days of Real Food.
- Create diversity on your dinner table – coordinate swap suppers with a friend.
Taming the Adorable, Little Beasts
- Beep & Boop – this free iPhone application “is a simple, fun app…that turns learning good behavior into a game kids love”.
- Layout clothes for the whole week – eliminates one more thing for you to do in the morning and encourages kids to dress themselves.
- If you have a bathroom upstairs and down, buy toothbrushes and toothpaste for both – eliminates running back upstairs to brush forgotten teeth when you need to be running out the door.
- Don’t be afraid to share the work with your little ones – age-appropriate chores (setting and clearing the table, watering plants, helping with the garbage, even a preschooler can put away silverware) help them build self-esteem and learn the importance of pitching in.
- Find a Mother’s helper and use them -- buy yourself some time to get things done, or just read a magazine.
Hope you find a tip or two to help you through this holiday season, and through the coming New Year.
Lollie Weeks blogs about life in suburbia, being a parent with ADD, her culinary adventures, Pinterest obsession and doughnut addiction at The Fortuitous Housewife. She lives in Needham with her Handsome Husband, the Baron of Boredom, Master of Mischief and their not-so-bright, but oh-so-sweet Border Collie, Zara.