I recently listened to a podcast that said, “If your best moment is Friday afternoon, that means you hate your Monday through Friday.” I immediately concluded that this person must not be a working parent.
If you’re a working parent, you know what I mean. As a full-time working mom of two, I long for the weekends. Here’s the thing, though: I don’t long for the weekends because I don’t enjoy what I do Monday through Friday.
I long for the weekends because it means no lunches need to be made. I can actually make a meal that’s not microwavable and frozen. I’m not forced to conquer homework battles or rush to an after-school sport or activity. I can actually enjoy the bed-time routine because I have more time on the weekends.
This doesn’t mean that I regret my career choices or my life Monday through Friday. But, it did open my eyes to how I can make my weekly routine more efficient. I don’t want to live for the weekends and dread my weekly routines.
Here are some of the ways I prepare for the craze of the work week:
I get it. Right now you’re saying, “But who has time for meal prep?” Let me tell you. It is life changing. If you set aside a day, you can make up to 20 freezer meals that will last for a few months. You’ll know exactly what your family will be eating and it’s ready for you to cook when you come home. Can’t spare an entire day? That’s fine! Take an hour to prep meals for the week ahead.
Bonus tip: Don’t forget to embrace leftovers or breakfast-for-dinner (a favorite in my house).
Lay Out Clothes on Sunday
We all know the morning routine is basically a rendition of WWIII. There is nothing more infuriating than searching through unfolded laundry, finally finding a matching pair of socks, to have your child cry about not wanting said socks.
Look at the weather for the week on Sunday and lay out each outfit so you can easily pull from it every day.
Bonus tip: have your child help pick out their clothes on Sunday. It helps them gain a sense of independence and (hopefully!) saves you a battle in the morning.
Straighten Up Everyday
Yes, I know. This one. I wish I was one of those people who didn’t mind clutter in the house. Unfortunately, I’m not and I get very irritated about it, especially during the week.
Dedicate 30 minutes picking up and cleaning the house each day—just enough so you don’t feel scattered during the week. You’ll feel more organized—a key component for any working mom.
Bonus tip: Get your kids involved, too! Use an app to track chores and award points when they complete them.
Plan Your Week Ahead
If you’re like me, it’s so helpful to have a visual concept of what’s to come the following week. I’ve started sitting down Saturday morning before the craziness of the day begins. With coffee in hand (who can think clearly without it?), I map out exactly what is happening the following week: workouts, dinners, after-school activities, doctor’s appointments, important work deadlines/meetings, etc.
Bonus tip: Have a shared calendar with your partner. It helps you both stay on track.
Some of these tips may not be for you, and that’s fine! Try just one or two and see if it changes your workweek and your perspective of “living for the weekends”.