Friday, April 26, 2013

How I Survived My First Week Back To Work

Well this was the week.  Back to work after being off for a year!  For anyone who has ever taken maternity leave you know how much you dread this day.  I wasn't so worried about leaving Dustin (and Emma) because I have an amazing babysitter-I was most dreading everything else that you have to do after working an 8 hour day-meals, lunches, cleaning, etc.

So here is a few things I've done this week to make the transition easier.  (Okay so I know I'm only into this for one week, but if I could just continue this - I think I'll be able to handle this work/life balance thing!)

1.   Meal Planning - Me and Meal Planning have gone out quite a few times only to break up when I get bored or too busy.  So I've committed to Meal Planning - at least 5 days a week.  There has been a few key things that have worked for me:
  • Understanding What You Have:  I'm notorious for buying all the ingredients to make spaghetti sauce and when I get home finding out I already have everything when I go to put it away in the cupboard.  So I try planning my meals around what I already have in the pantry.  This also helps with the grocery bill.
  • Review The Weekly Sales:  I also try planning my meals around the weekly sales.  Look through the flyers and get ideas for meals based on the bargains for the week.
  • Slow Cooker At Least Once A Week (or more!):  The Crockin' Girls have some great slow cooker recipes.  (I'll try to share some of my faves on a later post).  Check out their website.  Saves so much time and stress when supper is ready for you as soon as you walk in the door. 
2.  Lunch Preparation - This ties in with meal planning.  This week I made sure lunches were ready every night for the next day but I detest making lunches!  My place of employment is not close to anywhere you can buy ready made lunches so I've been packing my lunch 5 days a week for many years.  I'm so bored with lunches and this is something I need to work on-expanding my lunch menu.  But I've been incorporating my lunches into meal planning and it has helped.  What's your favorite go to item for lunches?

3.  Laying Out Clothes (including outdoor stuff):  I've had Emma start to pick out clothes the night before and this has worked out really well. I was scared she would wake up and say she wasn't wearing what she picked out but she has been excellent.  I also lay out Dustin's too because sometimes I spend too much time trying to decide between all his cute outfits!  And because dressing in layers is the only thing you can do this time of year-we usually have to bundle up (the kids anyway) when we leave in the morning.  So I have their jackets, mitts, hats and rubber boots all hanging on their little hooks by the door.  Saves so much stress in the morning-not having to look for the stray mitten. 

4.  Making Laundry Part Of Your Daily Routine:  I think I read this on another blog and it is so true.  I'm up pretty early in the morning to be out the door by 7 so after I shower and before everyone else is up, I throw a load of laundry in and then it's ready to be dried or hung out when we get home.  If I can stay on top of this and we average 5-6 loads a week I should have one day that's free of laundry!  I've just started this so we'll have to see how it goes. 

5.  Make Time For Yourself:  That's what I'm doing right now.  I've been thinking about this post all week and couldn't wait to start working on it.   Everyone is in bed now and I've finally been able to catch up on what's been happening all week on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  So do whatever relaxes you but make time for yourself. 

I am being truly honest when I say how well this week went and how easy it was.  I know they aren't all going to be like this but it sure was great to get started off right.  Oh and maybe I'm not being completely honest - I have a confession to make...I hired a cleaning lady which obviously takes a pretty big burden off me.  This feels like a HUGE indulgence and I actually feel guilty but I know I'm not going to regret it - plus it's my Mother-In-Law and her hourly rate is very reasonable.  Have I mentioned what a wonderful MIL I have!!??

Here is Dustin on his first day going to the babysitters.  He's such a big boy now!  

Thanks for reading!


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