There are some days when it feels like I am treading water, just barely getting by and then I realize that I've actually been managing quite well. When I look back at my week and see all the tasks completed that I set out for myself, I am a little amazed and I have a small feeling of victory.
The question then is how do I manage it all, a full-time job, volunteer work, housework, exercise, meals and my wonderful hobbies of knitting and crochet. It all seems amazing considering how many knitting projects I decide to tackle at one time.
I used to feel bad that my house didn't look like my sister-in-law's which is immaculate even though she has 3 children under 7! I had some ladies over for a tupperware party and afterward some comments came back to me about my house. Instead of hearing about the layer of dust or the cluttered kitchen I was told that the person felt ‘at home' in my house. For me that was a wonderful compliment. I try to keep certain things like the bathroom and kitchen clean, but the clutter is what makes our house a home. You may see a bit of dust occasionally and you'll probably see stuff piled on top of the fridge no matter how many times I say I'll never put stuff there again - but come in sit down and visit - you'll never be terrified that someone will spill a drink or put fingerprints on a mirror. So rather than spend all week cleaning frantically I save the chores for Saturday. I take time to wake up with a nice cup of tea and after that everyone pitches in to get the laundry, vacumming and general tidying done that week. It's nice to see the house clutter free for a day or so - and then we're back to our normal cluttered but cozy home. We then have Saturday evening and Sunday to relax.
There are days where meals do consist of some drive-thru fare. We were doing this a lot one year and the cost of it was really adding up. Even when we just stopped at the store to get ‘something quick' the costs were rising on our grocery budget by leaps and bounds. We then decided to get ourselves a slow cooker. This started to help us a bit, but we still had times when we just got a quick meal because we didn't plan ahead enough. The next step took a bit more time but really helped with our grocery budget - we started to meal plan. I don't meal plan each day, but we wrote down any slow cooker and quick meal ideas that we had and made up an ingredient list so that we would have the right food on hand to make meals without having to get take-out or hit a drive thru. This is a huge life saver during the Fall/Winter when my DH has a lot of early evening meetings and not much time to have supper prepared before he is off again for work.
This all helps to save time for all the fun extracurricular activities including my many knitting projects and even time to exercise - at least they can both be enjoyed while watching t.v. or a good DVD or on the commute to work(thank goodness DH can do the driving)!
At work I am very efficient and I get the week's jobs done early - I don't work well on tight deadlines - doing things as soon as they need to be done will generally leave me with more leisure time at work to both blog and read blogs. The weeks where I try to do blogging and other non-work things first generally leave me feeling of being rushed. I generally find with all my chores and duties that if I do them right away I have plenty of time for the good things in life!
Things that make my life easier: Slow Cooker, Dishwasher(huge life/time saver), Front loading washer(drastically reduces the time it takes to do laundry) and a wonderful DH who pitches in with all of the household chores including the cooking!