So I've compiled a list that sums up a few ideas of how to survive as a working mother. Actually, I think it applies to any mother, working outside the home or not. The bottom line is 1) Lower your expectations and 2) Simplify. I don't do all of these but they are wonderful thoughts and ideas. Here are a few:
- Use Costco. Orange chicken cooks up in under 15 minutes then add rice and a side of green beans. Truth? I cook up orange chicken and figure the orange is the fruit/vegetable and the breading is the grain. Dinner? Done.
- Buy in bulk. If something is on sale, buy as much as you can. I have a couple of cases of cream of chicken soup and black beans in my cold storage. I have over 100 lbs. of bread flour. I will use all of it. But I don't have to go to the store any time soon for those items. I also buy toilet paper at Costco, soap of all functions, and chocolate chips whenever it goes on sale. You know. The staples.
- Pre-lit Christmas tree. Besides the fact that I haven't said a swear word while putting the Christmas tree up the past few Christmases is 'nuff said.
- Better yet, if you have room, don't de-decorate Christmas tree. Just store it then return it next year in its previous state.
- Give cash. Tacky, I know. But how many candles or body lotion can a girl collect before she regifts them? (Answer: I've been regifting them for years. Please. No more.).
- Neighbor gifts: Don't give. It spirals out of control. If you give to the Jones', you have to give to the Smiths and if you give to the Smiths, you have to give to the Taylors. We'll take the gift and regift it to someone else, anyway. I'm just sayin'.
- Co-worker gifts: Take a plate of cookies or fudge and place a placard close by announcing these treats ARE their gift. Enjoy.
- Accept a certain amount of chaos. I can't keep my house spotless with six people living in it. Not only that, right after school is homework time. Books, paper, etc. are strewn throughout the common areas. Not a good time to clean the house. I'm raising kids, not trying to be featured in a magazine.
- School lunches are a blessing. Judge me for wasting so much money on food saturated in fat and high calories, but have you seen my kids? They have no chance at obesity. Few countries offer school lunches. I consider myself very, very lucky. My kids consider themselves very, very lucky when they take a sandwich to school.
- Not everything needs to be made from scratch. My mother made everything from scratch. She ground her own wheat, made bread, canned food from her garden and trees, sewed all of our clothes, grew our own cows. My children beg me to make bread. My spaghetti sauce is unmatched. I've gone through stages of making my own soap, dipping candles, making homemade pasta and a number of other skills that are nice to know. But not necessary. We live in a different world than our parents and grandparents did. I don't hang my sheets out to dry or squeeze out the excess water with a hand wringer.
- Stop comparing yourself to your neighbor. We see a snapshot in time of their life and assume things. Wise man say, "ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME."
What do YOU do to make life easier?