Question of the week #18

ImgresThis is the question that I get asked again and again and again.  I am pretty sure that everyone has a different answer to it but I will give you my 2 cents.

Can you share some time management tips for those of us juggling start-up, baby, household, life, etc?

First of all, this is and will always be a tough juggling job.  If you can afford it, the key is good help.  That means a few things.  At the beginning that person can do a lot more than you realize and that includes keeping the house clean and doing the laundry.  Babies sleep a lot and there is plenty of time in the day for someone to get those other things done for you.  Again, if you can afford it, it is key.  Even when we could not afford help and I was home 24/7, I had someone come once a week to change the beds and do the laundry.  It was a god send.  

Someone gave me this advice which was great and we have passed on to everyone we know who has had a family.  Make a date night every week no matter what.  If you can, hire someone to help you with childcare and have the deal be with that person right from the beginning that they stay late lets say every Thursday night.  Go out alone with your wife, husband, partner and try and talk about something besides the baby.  It is beyond important.  Otherwise you get lost in the weeds.

The Internet is a key lifeline.  Order clothes, groceries, supplies and everything you need on line and have them delivered to your place.  If someone is there during the week, great, then they get to put stuff away.  If not, have them delivered at a specific time once a week when you are home.  If you have time, book out a few hours on Sunday to make some food for the week like pasta sauce or lasagna.  Also, if you have room, buy in bulk.  Always nice having a bottle of shampoo in a drawer when you run out.  I am a huge fan of product depth in the house.  No need to make your life more stressful.

Your kid is your number one priority and make sure you take time out for that.  If that means getting home every night at 5pm to have dinner with them before they go to bed, do it.  You can always return to the computer and work after they go to bed.  If you don't develop those relationships with your kids when they are young they will want nothing to do with you when they get older.  They are only young once and with technology, you can figure out how to balance much better than people did 20 years ago.  

As your kids get older, their needs change and sometimes that means different help.  Maybe you need someone to just pick up the kids when school ends and take them to their respective after school events or playdates.  Then that person can do more of the cleaning, cooking and other errands in the morning.  It is all based on what you can afford.  It is a constant juggle but I'd rather stick to going out for pizza on my date night once a week than a nice place and a movie and put the money into good help.  If you both work, having a third adult in the family is a key to life.