I’m about to make a life change that involves leaving the world of freelancing – more on which in due course :) For now, suffice it to say that it’s a great opportunity that involves dropping the flexibility of freelancing (in which I choose my own hours and, often, my home office) for a 40-hour week and a commute. This raises one issue: time!

Even freelancing, that’s been an issue. My husband and I find that once the kids are in bed, we’re doing clean-up and making lunches ‘til at least 9pm nightly. (Why don’t daycares provide lunches? I’d happily pay extra!)

I polled my networks of parents for tips. I got fabulous feedback, and permission to share a summary!

The consensus is to hire help if you can afford it. Ideal jobs to outsource: cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shop. (One quote “outsourcing those critical to sanity when we were both commuting and working full time with one kiddo.”)

Other ideas include:

  • services that deliver prepared ingredients for meals, e.g. Fresh Prep and Chef’s Plate. Some people were against this, noting you save a little time but are fundamentally still stuck cooking
  • meal planning, even a 7-day meal plan that repeats each week
  • pre-bake food or make sandwiches and freeze them ready to go in lunch boxes
  • online shop for groceries
  • Amazon for everything like diapers etc
  • freeze leftovers
  • use an instant pot for quick dinner
  • let go – crazy messy house is all good and part of this stage of life :)

Something I’m trying to adopt is to try and just do stuff rather than feel bad about the lengthy todo list: for example I got some Christmas thank yous sent as soon as there was 20 quietish minutes this morning. Similarly, I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for a couple of weeks, and I’m going to let go and get it up quickly rather than finessing it to the end of the world and back. I guess it’s that old adage, “perfect is the enemy of good enough”.

And what will we do? By pure chance, the day after I collected the above great ideas I was texting with my preschooler’s first ever babysitter, now a family friend. She mentioned in passing that I should let her know if we need help with childcare in the new year. Perfect timing!