organizing the have-tos and get-tos

To say I’ve felt overwhelmed lately is an understatement. I can’t seem to keep up with things in my work life or personal life. There’s so much to do, and so little time. I’m being pulled in a million directions, so Monday I sat down and churned out a to-do list.

Now, sometimes writing down everything that needs to get done makes things more overwhelming. That’s definitely how I feel about things in my work life. When I attempt to write it all down to try to figure out how I’m going to tackle everything, it makes things even more overwhelming.

But for my home life, I’m hoping a little more organization will help me get more done in a short span of time, and give me a little help in balancing the have-tos and get-tos.

As most of you know, my husband owns a gym. And like most gyms, his hours cater to the working class, meaning he’s open when most people are off work. The only catch to this is I don’t see him until 8:30 or 9pm, meaning I’m a single mom on weeknights. By the time I pick up James Michael and get home, I have 1.5 to 2 hours with him before he goes to bed. Then another 1.5 to 2 hours before I go to bed. Writing it out makes it sound like so much time, but in the moment it all seems so fleeting.

I’ve written before about how it’s hard being a working mom. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about making the most of the time I do have. I want to capitalize on the couple hours I have with James Michael each evening, and not worry about the load of laundry that’s wrinkling or the spaghetti squash that I need to throw in the oven. I want to focus on him entirely.

In making this master to-do list, I also want to give myself a little me time, too. I want to build in time, even 15 or 20 minute blocks, for me to do things that I enjoy. Sure, I can’t CrossFit five times a week like I used to, but I can shoot for a couple times a week. And obviously, I can’t blog as often as I used to, but I can work in time for hobbies.

I realize I’m probably blogging about this prematurely, since it’s really day 1 of implementing this plan. I know I’ve forgotten tasks, and not accounted for things that pop up at the last minute. And that’s ok. This list addresses the big stuff, and by writing it all out makes me feel like I’m in control—even though life may beg to differ.

Hopefully I didn’t get too ambitious, but I also have tried to think through what I can do to save time each week so that I can fit in more undivided attention to James Michael and more time for personal hobbies. So I’d like to start meal planning for the week. In the past, I’ve never been a fan of this approach, because I wanted to be inspired to cook dinner that night. But, that was back when time wasn’t an issue. Even though it may take a little time to think through on the weekends, I would love to know exactly what I’m cooking for dinner that night when I come home, even if it’s something as simple as fish and veggies. I also am going to try prepping meals ahead of time. Theoretically, this approach will allow for a couple nights a week to CrossFit, blog or bake.

Do any of you mama’s have suggestions for how to fit it all in, especially when you’ve only got a few precious hours? Please let me know your secrets—I’m all ears!

On a side note, a couple weeks ago, my husband told me that no one read my blog any more because I never post recipes and instead only blog about James Michael. I didn’t contest it, because it’s true. Life has changed since I began blogging. Maybe I now fall into the category of a very inconsistent mom blogger. It is what it is. My life has been forever changed by JM’s birth. Do I miss cooking and creating in the kitchen? Of course. I still take a crack at new recipes every week or two, but I can’t seem to find the time to share them on here. Maybe that will change with my new to-do list, only time will tell. All I know is I blog about what I’m passionate about, and James Michael will always be at the top of that list 🙂

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