Monday, September 13, 2010
new mom questions... dinners and house cleaning
Okay friends in blog-world... this is the last week of my maternity leave with little Moriah. Beginning next Monday I'll return to my pre-school teaching job with the three year olds, while baby girl Moriah goes to the baby room across the hall. I'm SO thankful that the Lord provided this job when He did. It's as close to ideal as we can get right now since she'll be near me all day (I'm even able to nurse on my lunch break), I have much less stress and responsibility than I did as a public school teaching (meaning I come home with more patience and energy), and I'm still helping support us as Matt works through Seminary without any debt. *In other news, the Lord has been very good to us lately and we're almost debt-free entirely (then I'll consider donating to SBU someday when my college is actually paid for)!* So back to the point of this post... I know things will change when I return to work and that our evenings will feel full and time will fly. I'm trying to be as prepared as possible in order to make a more smooth transition for myself and our family. I've been mostly thinking about dinners and house cleaning. I'd love your tips on these two areas of life.
Have you ever made a meal plan of sorts? How does it work for you?
*Before now, I typically thought about tasty dinners made a list of five or six for the week, and then wrote my grocery list from it. Each evening we picked a meal off the dinner list, I had what I needed on hand, and we ate! That took more brain power and time than I feel like devoting these days so... I'm thinking of going through my commonly prepared recipes and sorting them into types of food and ease of preparation. Then I think I'll try to fill out a calendar with meals for an entire month, varying what we're having throughout the month and leaving room to try new recipes from time to time (I still love looking at cookbooks and magazines, so I can't give that up yet!). I hope that will allow me to plan grocery lists for each week, so that shopping on the weekend will be a no-brainer, and take much less planning time in advance. I'm also hoping to jot down five or so specific lunch ideas for Matt and I as we both brown bag it with our jobs. This would ensure that we always have something we could take for the day. I know this sort of planning would be insane to some people, but I thrive with structure and planning. For now, it seems like it might help and if it doesn't I'll stop, that simple! Let me know if any of you have tips that have been helpful for your families.
If you lived in a relatively small space would you clean it all at once or divide the tasks? How do you divide them... do you have a job every day? When do you do your cleaning?
*I've been cleaning our apartment well on the weekends... usually Saturday morning while Matt works at the bank or Sunday afternoons. It really doesn't take me long to do the things that seem most important to me, and I just do it all at once even though it can take me awhile to get motivated. These cleaning days have entailed: kitchen cleaning (refrigerator clean out of leftovers, counters, floor, etc.), bathroom cleaning (shower, sink, mirrors, toilet, floor), house cleaning (dust bedroom, vacuum everywhere). As I notice other "deeper cleaning" tasks I add them to the list. So it works well, but takes a chunk of time. I anticipate wanting to enjoy my baby girl as much as I can on the weekends and would love to have my cleaning done at other times... I also know I'll be tired in the evenings and they'll be full too. I'm not sure what might work best. I've also considered joining the GirlTalk blog ladies (C.J. Mahaney's daughters and wife) as they practice a 5am club, though I know sleep is important too. Again, I'd love your thoughts!
As a disclaimer, for those of you who know me well... I often set myself up with ambitious plans that just aren't realistic. I know that about myself, and I really don't want to do that again. I'm just wanting to try new things that might be helpful. Really don't worry about me - I'm offering myself much grace (Matt does too, always!) and flexibility as I try to balance these things!