Welcome back for part two of the interview Betsy and I are doing about working and motherhood. Check out part one here. You can check out Betsy’s answers to these questions on her blog here.
What is the hardest time of the day for you? What is your favorite time of day?
Anytime I have to go to the bathroom. I didn’t realize how much being a parent would involve just realizing that going to the bathroom can’t happen when you’d like it to because it just would be too much of a thing if we’re out or that there’s a child asleep on me and I can’t move or we’re trying to get out the door and Ben is going to find some way to injure himself if I run upstairs quickly to pee.
The hardest time period of the day though is probably 5pm until 7pm when my husband gets home. Ben has woken up from his nap but if I want him to go to bed at a reasonable hour I have to get started on dinner. Usually Colette wants to be held during this time and Ben sometimes has way too much energy. I feel like all I’m doing is putting out fires during that time while trying to cook dinner.
My favorite time of day is probably first thing in the morning. It’s when my son is the chattiest but he’s also pretty calm for the first hour or two. I love hearing the stuff he comes up with.
How do you prioritize time with your kids?
I try to be really engaged all morning. I don’t work or open my computer and I try to avoid being on my phone (although I’m not as good at this now that I’m breastfeeding). We do some activity out of the house and they have my full attention during this time.
I also have a personal rule for myself that if my son brings me a book and asks “I read a book?” that I will stop whatever I’m doing and read to him. It’s important to me that he likes to read and knows that I see so much value in reading.
Truthfully, I’d like to prioritize less time with my kids (ha!) and a little more alone time.
When do you get things done as far as household chores, meal planning, grocery shopping?
Full disclosure: my house might just be dirtier than other houses. Not like filthy but definitely expect a tumbleweed of dog hair or two. I struggle to keep up with the bigger deep cleaning type things like washing the baseboards and cleaning the bathroom.
We always run the dishwasher at night and I try to empty it while Ben eats breakfast (so he doesn’t try to “help” me) and I try to do one load of laundry a day to stay on top of things.
For meal planning I make a list of 5 or so recipes that I want to make for dinner that week. I can’t pick which day I’ll make them because I’m very “what do I feel like today?” about food so I wait until the day of and then pick one.
Since Amazon fresh became free for Prime members, I just order my groceries and get them delivered. I used to feel bad about this but honestly, the prices are better than my local grocery store so it’s really the better option for us.
What are 1-2 practical tips you’ve found helpful in your day to day? (go-to recipes, toddler activities, social media accounts to follow, etc)
I started doing all the dicing/chopping for all the veggies that I need for the week on Sunday evenings. This has made making dinner with two kids way easier. I also sometimes pre-bake Tofu or rice. I do meal prepping for my husband’s lunches every Sunday. That involves some type of chicken in the crock pot, a carb, and a veggie.
My favorite recent easy recipe is The Stew from NY Times Cooking. I basically make it once a week now because it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever made at home.
For toddler activities, I follow @busytoddler. I also bought two big plastic bins with low sides and I’ll put anything in them to make sensory bins. I’m not opposed to letting my son get dried black beans everywhere if he’s entertained for an hour. I put our Gathre mat underneath it and when he’s done, I fold it in half and pour the beans back in.
Also I put his socks and shoes on while he’s eating breakfast in his high chair because he’s still and distracted.
What’s one thing you’ve learned about staying at home/working outside the home from being friends with the other person?
I’ve learned that everyone decompresses from the day in a different way. Betsy cooks lovely meals almost every day and I marvel at how she does it because after working all day, that would be the last thing I’d want to do. I know she enjoys it though and it helps her decompress from her day. Cooking is definitely one of my responsibilities in my home but I truly don’t enjoy it. I always say that if I won the lottery, I’d never cook again!
I hope you enjoyed this interview and it’s shed some light on how Moms manage with different work situations. Again, thanks to Amanda and Laura for coming up with these questions and doing the interview that inspired this one. You can find Amanda’s original interview post part one here and part two here. Huge thank you to Betsy for inviting me to do this!