Parent (every day) hacks for ‘back to routine’
There are a few ways to make things a little easier when it comes to food. First and foremost, learn some basic, quick, and easy meals that you can batch cook, for example lasagnes, shepherd’s pies and delicious stews are perfect for this time of year and will feed many families twice, yes it can get a little bit repetitive but most children don’t mind when they enjoy it and a quick freezer pull out is perfect for those busy evenings.
It’s always good to stock up on your major essentials too and PLAN. Print off our ‘meal planner’ here, you can stick it to the fridge, add ideas as a whole family and then everyone knows what’s being served up on particular days. It also means less ‘random’ items are added to cart on shopping days and leaves a little extra money for the weekend.
First things first, don’t try and tackle every part of the house every day of every week. A great way to prioritise is to do clever things like a ‘CLEAN IN 15’ – set a timer and get as much done as you can in that time limit, swapping between different rooms on different days, you can even get the smaller ones involved as a CHALLENGE (wishful thinking?)
It’s also great to have certain days for certain things: particular washing days and particular ‘putting away clean clothes’ days. This means you allow yourself a break when you truly need it and prioritise when you have to.
And finally YOU:
Which is really easy to say, but it’s important that you recharge when life becomes extra hectic and routine resumes again. We all work our best when we feel good so set ‘achievement notes’ for days and weeks. Get into the habit of showering and taking time for yourself once little one is in bed, prep all of the little one’s nursery / school bits the night before so that you have time to grab yourself a hot cup of tea in the morning.
ACCEPT HELP when you need it. Family make great babysitters, friends can bake fantastic treats (and lend an understanding ear), and your partner can watch the children if you need fifteen minutes to get dressed, eat, or just generally take a break.
The last few months for so many of us have been testing, but we also understand that getting back to the way things were will be testing (and exhausting) too. Preparation and support are essential. Remember you are only human, be kind to yourself and do whatever YOU need to make this transition as smooth as possible.