Most weeks are tough for me. I work full time, chauffeur the kids to and from school, and have to make sure everyone is fed, bathed, and clothed. Being the only adult in the house, means it is all on me. I can ask my kids to help with chores, but when it comes down to it, I am responsible for making sure my family has clean clothes to wear, healthy food to eat, clean dishes to eat off, and we are at the bus stop on time every single day. This is stressful. Add in a full time 40-hour per week career with many deadlines, and it can sometimes feel like the odds are stacked against me.
Some weeks the laundry doesn’t get folded and we have to find our clean clothes out of the dryer and/or laundry basket. Other weeks we may have to use tupperware bowls for cereal in the morning because we ran out of clean cereal bowls. Still other weeks we may eat fast food 3 or 4, or maybe even 5 nights for dinner. I have realized that the week days can be tough and sometimes it’s just not possible to accomplish everything as a single working parent maintaining a home alone and raising 2 children. I am only given 24 hours per day to do all of these things, no matter how many times I ask for more.
My weekends are when I get it all done, if it gets done. It is imperative I make time on the weekends to catch up on the laundry and dishes since it’s likely I didn’t have time during the week to keep up. When I’m really on my game, though, I will even plan our whole weeks worth of dinners. Typically I will make 2 recipes for the week. Accomplishing this, means I can go all week without cooking, yet still have healthy food for my kids and I to eat every single night.
I was particularly proud of myself this weekend, as I was able to get through 2 huge piles of laundry with the help of my kids, probably 6 or 7 loads worth, 3 loads of dishes, and made 2 meals for the week, with enough leftover to freeze a meal for a future week, when I have less time for prep.
This week, I was able to make sloppy joes with mac & cheese and veggie tots, and enchiladas for our dinners. Having the dinners made and the laundry and dishes caught up will help reduce my stress, which helps me focus and be more effective at home and at work. It takes 2-3 dedicated hours for me to usually prepare a weeks worth of dinners, and up to 4 or 5 if you add in baking time. This saves 30 minutes to an hour every single day during the week, which is the most critical time I have when I’m exhausted after work and the kids are starving after school