Giving yourself more time

Within the last month or so, I've been trying to be more efficient in my every day planning. My goal is to have more "free" time with Cooper and Parker and reduce my self inflicted stress! 
By free time with the boys I mean, real time that I am not distracted and can just play with them rather than, unload the dishes, load the washing machine, dust, make dinner, etc, etc, etc....


One example of my pre-made lunches.
If I'm out of chicken, or need a change, I'll pack salmon or tuna instead.

One thing that has really helped reduce the stress levels is preparing my lunch for the entire week on Sunday night. I bake four chicken breasts, pack four containers FULL of greens and veggies (spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, avocado, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli)  Cooper likes to help me with his and really is good at jamming lettuce in! :) I also pre-pack bags of fruit, an apple, banana and one more snack for each day. I settle everything into the fridge so all I have to do all week is reach in, get what I need, load my cooler and go. Cooking on Sunday to last the entire week has really saved me in the morning when we're rushing out the door!


What I USED to see when I'd run in the morning.. now it's pitch black!

The next thing I have committed to is exercising before everyone wakes up in the morning. I joined LA Fitness recently, which means I have a financial commitment to use my membership and to get the insurance discount from going 12 times a month. Getting exercise in before anyone else is up gives me some "me" time while not taking away from family time. Plus I feel great after I work out- which means I am a happier person!

Finally, the biggest thing I've been able to utilize is nap time on Mondays. I do not work on Mondays which means I get to be at home with the boys all day. Rather than use the entire day to clean or catch up on life, I try to only do that stuff while the boys are  napping. Thankfully, they will usually nap for at least an hour at the same time. I will on occasion bring a load of laundry down with us if we decide to play downstairs, but that's about it! (Although the other day Cooper wanted to scrub the toilet... so I let him.)

Something that I try to do everyday is remember that the boys are growing up everyday, they will never be as little as they are right now. I don't want to remember cleaning or cooking or doing anything less than spending precious time with them. If I can figure out a way to "have it all" and remain a happy, sane mom, I'm going to do it. These little changes I've made will hopefully give me more of that!

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