So many great food sales this week! Did you stock up on staples along with your Thanksgiving turkey? I have enough flour, sugar, and canned pumpkin to last me well into the spring. My husband rolls his eyes at me, but it’s an investment in our food budget.
Lately I’ve gotten to hang out with two new moms, and I’m struck by how much the early months and years of motherhood are a time of stocking up for the busyness to come. A few months into parenthood, if you establish a fairly predictable routine and prioritize your child’s sleep needs, you’ll likely find yourself feeling that this isn’t too bad. (If you’re ten months in and still hating your life, please get a hug and maybe talk to some different seasoned moms about adjusting your parenting philosophy–Anna and I tend to be on different sides of the sleep training/co-sleeping spectrum, so remember that what works for one family might not be the best for yours, and there’s not one perfect way.) But in general, once you figure out baby basics, you find your groove, you have about three dependable naptimes per day, and it’s not as overwhelming as it was at first. You can do this! And then you start wondering if you’re being lazy because you have a bit of time to yourself during the day for perhaps the first time in your adult life.
If you have some down time during the day and your child is still taking a morning nap, you have been blessed with the opportunity to stock up on homemaking skills. Now is the time to figure out how to time meals so that the vegetables and the main dish are done at the same time. Or how to cut up raw meat. Or how to stock a pantry. Or how to buy the right amount of produce so that you have enough for the week but nothing goes bad. Or how to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Or figure out how to add more vegetables to your dishes.=) Or how to streamline your cleaning/laundry/grocery shopping/menu planning routines. Or how to be in the Word every day. Or just how to set up your day so that you get everything done.
Most of my friends who are juggling work and home say that this is hard to do, and I agree. When I was working prior to having our son, I simply didn’t have the time to invest that I had once I was home full-time. So if you are home for the first time with a little person, embrace this season! I know some people swear by Fly Lady or other services or checklists for getting everything done in their homes, and I’ve learned a lot from reading other people’s menu ideas and cleaning schedules. But I’ve found that because I invested the time in stocking up on those skills when my children were little, so much of homemaking has become second nature that I don’t need a set program to keep my house running. And it’s a good thing, too, because we are busy, busy, busy living life as a family of 6!
What skills have you improved since your early days of motherhood? And what great deals did you find at the grocery store this week? =)