Reclaim Your Weeknights
Are you an over-worked parent in a two-income household or a single-parent struggling to fit in a life around your full-time job and child-rearing responsibilities? If so, you are intimately familiar with the desire to reclaim your weeknights with some relaxing time for yourself. Read on for strategies on how to streamline your activities in order to make the most of your time and free-up those precious moments for relaxation.
Making free time for yourself on weeknights requires planning ahead. By preparing some or all of your meals ahead of time on the weekend and freezing them, you recoup the time you otherwise spend on weeknights in preparing and cooking individual meals. For instance, prepare a stew on the weekend and store and freeze it in one-person, two-person, or other frequently used portions to be reheated on upcoming weeknights.
Making scalable dishes also helps conserve your time. For example, make a double-batch (or more) of a favorite pasta dish instead of individual sandwiches. In this way, you are using economies of scale by preparing one dish, but in larger volumes and thus saving time.
Preparing dishes ahead of time does not have to be limited to meals and main entrees. You can make a double-batch or triple-batch of cookie dough and freeze it. Then, for the nights when you have a last minute request to make cookies for a child’s class party, all you need to do is thaw the dough and bake.
Keeping your pantry fully stocked will help reclaim large portions of free time on your weeknights! Instead of having to make a last minute run to the nearest grocery store before dinner time, most likely during high-traffic hours on the roads and in the store, you will be able to quickly and efficiently prepare a delicious meal with the items you already stocked in your pantry. Instead of having to load up the kids into the car for that last minute trip, they can be finishing up homework as you prepare dinner.
Multi-tasking also helps you squeeze in the most activities in the least amount of time, creating more time for you at the end of the night. Have your kids sit at the kitchen or dining room table doing their homework as you prepare the evening meal. That way, you are assured that their homework is completed and that their nutritional needs are met as well.
Spread the workload! By having your children perform simple duties and chores, such as setting the table, loading and unloading the dishwasher, washing or prepping vegetables, you as a family accomplish more in less time. It also means you will not have to tackle these tasks yourself, leaving you more time to relax and read a book or watch TV with your spouse.
Another great time-conserving strategy is to install headsets on all your telephones. By using headsets instead of hand-held phones, you are able to multi-task when preparing dinner, cleaning the house, doing laundry, etc. You are able to catch up with friends or relatives over the phone while accomplishing necessary household chores.
Switch to online shopping and save many hours during your work-week nights. Instead of spending your limited time driving to and from the mall, as well as the time fighting the crowds and waiting in long lines, you can quickly and easily purchase what you need at many online stores. Buy everything from birthday and Christmas gifts to household furniture to school supplies for projects online and keep it stocked so you do not run out. This also helps you avoid the last minute trip to the mall for a birthday gift for a child’s classmate that eats up two hours of your planned free time during a weeknight.
Be firm and consistent about your children’s bedtime. Once your children are established in a comfortable and consistent routine of when to go to bed, you and your spouse will have a guaranteed “child-free” time every week night to unwind and share quality time with each other. Many couples appreciate this time to relax and reconnect with each other after their hectic days. And if you are a single parent, you will enjoy the time to read a book, watch your favorite show, work on a scrapbook, or indulge in your favorite hobby.
By employing a combination of these time-saving tips and strategies, you will find that you have reclaimed time for yourself on weeknights. And you can do it without sacrificing on the things you value, such as preparing delicious and healthy meals for your children, maintaining a well-run household, ensuring your children’s homework is completed, and spending quality time with your children and spouse. By reclaiming your weeknights, you will recharge your energy, allowing you to make the most of each day.
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathy McHenry, founder and owner of My Online Meals is passionate about cooking and food. For information on meal planning visit, http://www.myonlinemeals.com/. © My Online Meals – All Rights Reserved