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Podcast 04 Creating Summer Routines

Podcast 04 Creating Summer Routines

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast

Episode 04

Creating an Summer Routines for Your Family

 

 

 

Let’s chat about creating summer routines today! As we dive into summer, it’s key to come up with a vision for your summer and routines that allow your summer to be fun and joyful – and not super stressed.

 

 

 

 

Episode Show Notes

1:30 Review of the Week (and special gift!)

3:33 Let’s talk about summer routines!

5:27 Why you need summer routines

7:30 Create a vision for your summer

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • How will your schedule change?
  • How will the kids schedules change?
  • Will you have a more relaxed summer or rushed with activities?
  • Do you want to plan a lot of activities or let them free play?
  • How about tech time?
  • Learning Activities, reading or a break?
  • What’s your summer budget?
  • Will you take any vacation time?

11:08 Do you need a summer bucket list?

13:30 How to Stop Comparing Your Summer to Another Mom’s

16:30 What things do you want to do over the summer?

17:50 Involving Your Kids in Creating a Summer Bucket List

18:42 Communicating Summer Expectations with Your Kids

20:48 Conquering wake up and bedtime in the summer

25:00 Using time blocking for your summer schedule

27:00 Creating a chore schedule for the summer

31:00 Learning Activities in Your Summer Routine

40:00 Tech Time During the Summer

43:00 Meal Time Routines During the Summer

45:00 Creating a Summer Budget

47:00 Moments for Mom in the Summer

Subscribe & Review in the Podcast

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While you’re there, I’d love an appreciate if you’d leave a rating and review! These allow other purpose driven moms to find the show and help grow our community! Just click here to review, select ‘Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know your favorite part of the podcast! I’d love to feature you as our ‘Review of the Week’.

 

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in Today’s Episode 

Audible – Get 2 Free Books

Play Through the Bible Book

Hero Training Character Study  use code APDM20 for 20% off until the end of June 2019

Ultimate Theme Night Guide 

Khan Academy

Busy on a Budget E-Course 

 

 

Related Blog Posts

4 Steps to Cheap Summer Activities

How to Survive When Money is Tight

For the Mom Who is Struggling in Her Finances…

30+ Must Read Books for the Christian Mom 

Using time blocking for a simple weekly schedule 

20+ Ways to Teach Handwriting to Your Toddler

Using the Beginner’s Bible to Teach Your Toddler

 

 

 

 

Join the Purpose Driven Mom Club!

 

 

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How to Get Your Kids Ready for Back to School

How to Get Your Kids Ready for Back to School

How to Get Ready for Back to School 

 

It can be hard to start to know how to get ready for back to school. With summer coming to an end it’s important to create a back to school routine that you can slowly ease your family into. Depending on your kids’ ages and grades, this will look different in every home but, no matter what, I believe it’s so key to have a routine.

 

Summer can mean later bedtimes, loosened schedules and ice pops for lunch… (what? Just in my house) and the transition back to structured days, early wake ups, and responsibility can be hard.

 

In my home, we are starting the back to school routine transition for my 11 year old stepson (who is with us every other week) and has a 40 minute commute to school each day. For him, this means waking up pretty early (around 5:30 am) and getting homework done in the car or on the way to sports practices.

 

This year, my 2.5 year old daughter is also starting preschool (eep!!!). She’ll be going to school 3 days a week for 3 hours and it’s most definitely going to be an adjustment. Luckily, my 11 month old still naps 2x a day and, fingers crossed, will keep his 9:30-11:30 nap so that I can have those hours free to work on my blog or do some housework. Her going to school also means moving nap time a bit and only having time to run errands on the days she’s not at school.

 

With my baby boy turning 1 in September, I also plan to start Tot School with him! We use the incredible curriculum from ABC Jesus Loves Me  that lays out a flexible learning schedule that is age appropriate. I’ll be remaking out routines to make sure that me and him get some 1:1 time to do his ‘school activities’ too

 

back to school routines

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

Tips to Helping Your Kids Sleep Better

 

The #1 back to school routine and adjustment that most of us will have to make with our kids is bedtime. Even for my littles, we’re more flexible on bedtime (maybe an hour later if we have an event) because of all of the fun things going on. My stepson is allowed to set his bedtime in the summer and the weekends and typically is in bed by 10:30. (We allowed him to do this because it gave him some responsibility and freedom but we all knew he couldn’t hang that late so it worked out for us!)

 

Related Post: How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Your Kids

 

Tip #1 Slowly Adjust Bedtime and Wake Up Times

 

I would start transitioning your kids 2-3 weeks before school goes back in session. You’ll want to start with pushing their bedtime up a bit. If you start early enough, you don’t need to do anything drastic. Figure out what time they are going to bed now and what time you want to them to go to bed (in our case it’s going from 10:30 in the summer to 9:30 during the school year) and maybe push bedtime up 5 minutes.

 

Do that for two nights and then push it up 5 minutes more (so 10 minutes altogether). If you are doing a slow transition like this your kids might not even notice, and if they do they probably won’t freak out because ‘it’s only 5 minutes earlier than yesterday!” and you can slowly start to get them ready for their school bedtime.

 

You can do the exact same system with wake up time. If you’re like us that you most likely don’t wake them up at a certain time (though some mornings he does a camp and has to be up by 8. In this house, we are all early birds, so it is rare anyone is still sleeping by 8 am)

 

Start by waking them up 5 minutes earlier, wait 2 days and then 5 minutes earlier than that. If you give yourself 2-3 weeks before school starts, the transition can be painless!

 

 

 

Tip #2 Lessen the amount of electronic time at night

 

Before bed tends to be our heaviest tech time. Everyone is pretty burnt out from the day and myself and my husband like to decompress with the kids in front of the TV. I also work at night after the little kids go to bed (normally I work from 8:30 – 10:30 or later) so I tend to be in front of my computer and not setting the best example.

 

Studies have shown that decreasing your electronic use before bed really does help you sleep better and fall asleep faster! Start to limit the amount of technology that you are all using to help get everyone’s brain ready to sleep.

 

You can do this by either picking a few days a week where there is no tech from dinner until bedtime or slowly scaffolding back the time like we did with bedtime. Start with no tech 10 minutes before bed and then move to 20 and 30. Ideally if you can have everyone off technology at least 1 hour before bed, you’ll really be setting them up for a good night’s sleep!

 

Related Post: How to Use Habit Stacking to Make Routines that Stick 

 

 

 

So what can you be doing during those few hours?

 


Find something that ties them out and keeps them active. Go for a family walk or do a workout at home, play a game in the backyard or visit a playground together.

 

One thing we’ve just started doing is having game or puzzle time after bed. My husband loves puzzles and my toddler is following in his footsteps (she’s already up to doing 54 pieces with a little help!)

 

Since it takes her a LONG time to finish a puzzle, we can sit together and complete it and she’s forgotten about watching any tv at all! It’s harder to find activities my 11 year old likes so we try to play a game or have that be family reading time. He’s been really into comic books lately so we’re trying to encourage as much reading time as possible and before bed is a great time!

 

 

Related Post: 4 Steps to Cheap Summit Activities 

 

 

 

 

Tip #3  Avoid Sugar and Caffeine Before Bed

 

When preparing a routine to get ready for back to school, you’ll want to limit sugar and caffeine before bed. Honestly, this tip is one that I need to listen to better. I am a coffee addict  and probably have my last cup at 5pm. Granted, I’m up until somewhere between 11pm – 12am but still, that 5pm cup doesn’t need to happen. My plan now is to switch that cup to decaf for a while, then go down to a smaller coffee cup, then to herbal tea, and then just eliminate that need for a beverage completely!

 

Related Post: Gifts for a Coffee Loving Mom 

 


You can do the same thing with your kids! If you can have a good 3 hour gap between caffeine and sugar and bedtime, you’ll really be setting everyone up for success.

 

This means that you need to do an inventory of what everyone is drinking at dinner. We don’t drink Soda but my 11 year old will either have a cup of juice or sparkling water at dinner so it’s time to get rid of the juice completely. You can do a slow transition (have you noticed a theme here with changing habits??) and go from soda to juices to sparkling water to regular water over the remaining weeks of summer.

 

 

back-to-school-routine

 

 

You should also do the same thing with post dinner snacks. I grew up as a ‘we always have dessert after dinner’ family and I know that is a bad habit that I am working to change as an adult. I’ve been following the 2b Mindset program  now for 2 months (and down 13 pounds oh yea!) and it’s helped me be ‘dinner and done’. I want this habit for my kids as well so it’s up to me to enforce it.

 

You can start by changing what they are eating for dessert first. If they are snacking on ice cream or cookies an hour before bed, they’ll struggle to fall asleep. You can limit their choices to fruit, veggies and dip, or crackers to start with. After that becomes the ‘new habit’, start to make dessert a ‘few times a week treat’ so that you can help them have healthier habits too.

 

Remember, if you don’t buy it THEY CAN’T HAVE IT. I work with so many moms who will say things about tantrums and how their kids won’t drink water and I have to gently remind them that they are the parent, they buy the food, and they CAN help shape and change poor eating habits for their family (and themselves).

 

Don’t try to change everything over night or you’ll have a rebellion on your hands but, decide which habits you want to change (either sweet desserts or dinner time beverages) and do them one at a time. If you don’t make a big deal about it, your kids might not even notice!

 

 

Creating a back to school routine doesn’t have to mean that summer fun is all gone or that everyone struggles to wake up when school starts again. You can create a great routine that helps them get ready for school, without any crazy drastic changes, and sets them (and you!) up for success!

 

 

More Back to School Tips!

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School 

Activities to Prepare Your Kids for Preschool 

7 Ways to Homeschool on a Budget

How to Save Money on Back to School Clothes

 

Resources to Get Organized for Back to School!

Organize Your Life with Trello

Ultimate Productivity Bundle 

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips to Meal Prep in 2 Hours or Less

5 Tips to Meal Prep in 2 Hours or Less

 

Does a Meal Prep System  Save Time?

 

A meal prep system  can save you time, save you money, and help you eat healthier. Instead of worrying about it taking a lot of time over the weekend, start to view meal prep as a way to give yourself time back during the week. A good meal prep system is one of the best routines for moms!

 

I am a firm believer in meal planning and meal prep.

 

I believe in anything that saves you time, money and helps you stay healthy and meal planning… well it’s the whole trifecta.

 

I know that a lot of people think meal planning and prep, since it can take time upfront, isn’t as simple as it actually is. Though meal planning and prep is an upfront time investment, the hours it saves during the week are crucial. As a busy mom, I know the less time I have to take to do anything and the less decisions I need to make in the moment, the better.

 

It’s taken me a few years to actually get a system that works for me, but I finally have came up with easy steps that, when I follow each week, set me up for success.

 

I started to meal prep because I wanted to lose weight. I was following an at home workout program, the 21 day fix and committed to planning and preparing all of my meals in advance so that my temptations were limited. Thanks to the preparation I took during this time, I was able to lose 70 pounds and get a great system for my family’s meals.

 

Related Post: 21 day fix for the Breastfeeding Mom

 

meal-prep

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but help me fund this page. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Top Tips to Create a Meal Prep System

 

So you’re probably wondering… how do I get started with meal prepping without it taking 8 hours of my Sunday?

 

I stretch out my meal plan and prepping over the weekend so as not to get overwhelmed. Each week I follow the same system and complete the planning and preparation in chunks.

 

Fridays: Create Meal Plan

Saturday: Grocery Shopping

Sunday: Cooking and Preparing

 

If you follow these next 5 tips and the system that I’ve created, my hope for you is that you will be able to get your prep done in 2 hours and save yourself HOURS during the week!

 

Related Post: Healthy Once a Month Freezer Meals

 

Once A Month Meals

 

How to Meal Plan on a Budget as a Busy Mom

 

My number one tip is to make sure you’ve created a meal plan for yourself. On Friday  nights I sit down with a good episode of TV on Netflix and my recipe binder  to create my meal plan.

 

Related Post: Free Recipe Binder Printable

 

I start with picking out our dinners for the week based on what we have in the recipe binder and then pick my new recipe for the week. One of my resolutions this year is one new recipe a week to mix it up, so I grab a recipe (most often from the Fixate cookbook) and put it into our weekly plan. Dinners tend to be the hardest ones to pick out and plan because they are different each night. I rotate 1-2 breakfasts and lunches which keeps it simple for me.

 

I’m pretty terrible when it comes to thinking of ideas for meals. I struggle to come up with ideas and get overwhelmed on Pinterest. This past month I started using Theme Nights to create a monthly meal plan and it’s been great! I highly suggest grabbing your copy of it to make your planning a snap! Elisa creates great template ideas and really takes the overwhelm out of it! Grab your copy here!

 

theme-nights

To Get More Tips from Elisa, check out a Facebook Live Interview we did talking all things meal planning and meal prep!

 

Simple Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping on a Budget

 

On Saturdays I  go shopping for anything  I need to make my meals. While I am meal planning I jot down what ingredients I need for the week and then cross check my pantry inventory so I know what I need to get.

 

I recommend not trying to make too many meals each week. Keep things simple because you will need less ingredients and it will save you time and money. When you try to make too many dishes each week you’ll be spending WAY too much time cooking and running around getting specialty ingredients.

 

Find your family’s top meals to mix it up and have a rotation of a few things they like for breakfast and lunch. This way you keep your basics on hand at home and each week, only need to get a few things.

 

This also saves you time because, if you are making similar meals each week, you pretty much know what to get at the store. When I run to BJ’s each week to get my groceries (their produce is a great deal!) I know that I could literally shop blindfolded since I get many of the same ingredients.

 

Related Post: Save Money While Meal Planning

 

Have a Family Meal Prep System

 

Since I do the meal prep for the whole family and all of the meals, I know that I need help to make sure it gets done. There is nothing that makes me feel more accomplished than a full fridge of food each Sunday!

 

Ask your kids and spouse for help each week to get it done. Some weeks I get up early to get it done before church (if we have afternoon or evening plans) but most often, it happens after church while everyone is sitting around relaxing. I tell my husband I need 2 hours where he is in charge of the kiddos so I can be in the kitchen.

 

So often as women, we try to do everything and not ask for help and then get frustrated or angry when we don’t get the help we actually didn’t ask for. Because y’all can I tell you….. Our husbands are not mind readers! We have to be explicit about our needs and we can’t get upset if they aren’t met if we weren’t clear. (I know, I know, we just want them to ‘know’ but it doesn’t work that way!)

 

You could get your meal prep done in stages but trust me when I say how much easier it is if you can get that straight 2 hour time chunked for you. So ask for help and put on that apron!

 

Related Post: 4 Tips for Meal Planning on a Budget

 

 

Create a Structured Meal Prep System

 

This #1 way I am able to get my meal prep done in 2 hours or less is because I have a system I follow each week. I’ve created a checklist for you if you want to follow a similar system but, you can always adapt it to hit your own needs. This checklist includes the order that I make everything in and then I mix up my meals based on what’s prepped.

 

I prepare foods for breakfast, lunch, snacks and sides and most days, dinner is cooked in the moment. The only time it isn’t is when I am using a freezer meal or the crock pot and make the bag of food in advance.

 

My suggestions to make this streamlined are;

  • Start with anything that has to cook in the oven for a longer time (for me I roast sweet and regular potatoes as sides for our meals so I can just reheat them when needed since they take about 1 hour)
  • Season up and cook any meat on your stove or in the oven (ours is normally baked chicken breast and ground turkey that we toss in salads or lettuce wraps)
  • Work on any sides that have to go on the stove top. You only have 4 burners and I recommend using all four at a time. While you get these things on the stove, you can still be browning up meat and multi tasking. (these could be things like rice, quinoa, and hard boiled eggs. I might also steam up some frozen veggies so they are easy to grab for the kids lunches during the week)
  • While all of the hot food is cooking, you can now prep the cold stuff. If you start with the cold stuff, it’ll take twice as long while the hot stuff cooks. Since your stuff is already in the oven and on the stove, you can stir things up while chopping veggies for your salads or other meals.
  • Each week I make a simple egg and veggie frittata or egg cup so after the veggies are chopped, I whip it up and toss it in the oven with the potatoes. I tried making omelets in the morning fresh but honestly, I really couldn’t spare the 10 minutes while the littles were running around. Frittatas heat up super easily and taste yummy!
  • Take those chopped veggies and prep up some salads so you can grab and go during the week
  • Wash and cut up any fruit you need for the week.
  • Assemble meals in advance in tupperware or bento boxes. These are my fav bento boxes and you can check out more of the tools that make meal prep easier here.

 

beginner-meal-prep

 

 

Fill your fridge with meal prepping

 

If you’ve just spent this time multi tasking (carefully I hope!) in the kitchen than your counters are probably filled with food, your sink piled high with dishes, and your kitchen smelling great.

 

The last item in getting this done is to prepare and assemble any meals you can in advance. The easiest way that I have found to take care of myself and have meals ready (many of them I eat one handed while nursing the baby) is to have them all packaged out.

 

I always end my meal prep with a full fridge. I take some time to clean out anything old and we typically do a ‘empty the fridge’ Sunday for lunch and dinner so we can start fresh. Organizing your fridge will also help your kids get their food more independently as well.

 

My two year old know exactly which section the fruit is in and, if the fridge is open, knows where to go to grab what she needs. The more you get into the habit of keeping an organized fridge, than the easier your kids decisions will be too when it comes to food.

 

So take the time, organize and assemble, load the dishwasher (probably more than once unfortunately) and take a deep breathe. You just kicked booty and prepared for the week, saving yourself a ton of time in the moment!

 

Meal planning and preparation is most definitely a skill that gets better with time. When I started I would have loved to be as efficient in the kitchen as I am now. Give yourself some grace and know that you’ll get quicker and develop a system that works for you.

 

My hope for you is that you come up with a system that works for you and your family, one that saves you TIME, wastes less food, and keeps you on your grocery budget. And while you are doing your prep, take some extra time for you, put on a positive podcast and get in a good mood!

 

I’d love to know how your meal planning goes so make sure to comment below with what you typically meal plan and, drop your email if you want the exact step-by-step checklist I use to meal prep fast!

 

 

More Meal Prep and Planning Resources

5 Day Freezer Cooking Challenge

Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

4 Week Healthy Transition Plan 

Easy and Healthy Air Fryer Recipes

Healthy Freezer Meals for a Month

4 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

 

Meal Prep Cookbooks and Tools

Ultimate Theme Nights

Freezer Meals for Breastfeeding Moms

Fixate Cookbook 

Once a Month Meals

 

 

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

 

Looking for the best way to get organized for back to school? Me too! See the thing is, every summer the same thing happens, I let go of our routines slightly, get a bit unorganized, allow the house to be more lived in and messy and just enjoy. But systems and routines help so much for getting ready for back to school. 

 

But there is something magical about the start of the school year.

 

It feels just like the start of a New Year to me. Everything seems brand new, I want to work harder on my goals, finish the year strong and we start to get used to our new routines and schedules. And this year, on top of my stepson going into middle school and that adjustment, my 2.5 year old is starting PRESCHOOL!

 

I know, I know… cue the tears!

 

She’ll be going 3x a week from 9-12 which means adjust our normal schedule where we’d go on playdates or run errands, praying my 11 month old keeps his current 2 nap schedule for a bit (which means he’ll nap 9:30-11:30!! Imagine the possibilities with 6 extra ‘kid-free’ hours a week!)

 

Speaking of my 11 month old, we’ll also be starting Tot School at home in September  which means figuring that routine out and when we’ll not only do activities but having to plan them out. (We use ABC Jesus Loves Me for our ‘curriculum’ and love the flexibility it gives while providing structure to make it easy for moms)

 

With my stepson staying at the same school, not much changes for his schedule but now that it’s time to add in more sports, clubs and activities and it’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to remembering everything and just feeling on top of life.

 

trello back to school

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Using Trello to Get Organized for Back to School 

Enter Trello!

If you’ve been hanging on my page at all lately, you know I am OBSESSED with Trello, heck I even teamed up with my girl Elisa from Meal Planning Blueprints  to make an entire COURSE around how it can help moms! Click below if you want to learn all I know about Trello!

 

 

Trello is going to be a mom’s best friend for back to school and I’m so pumped to be able to use it for the first time this entire school year. Trello eliminates having to have papers everywhere, forgetting dates and to-dos and losing things you know you need.

Trello will also allow you to share your Back to School lists and to-dos with other family members so if you have older kids, it’s a great way to communicate and if you need your spouse to pick them up from practice or your mother in law to attend a school event, you can keep it all streamlined!

 

 

 

Trello allows you to make BOARDS that you can organize with various lists and tasks. And because I know you don’t have a ton of time to do things, I’ve set up a Trello board just for you to copy for FREE!

 

Just click this link and you can snag my Back to School board (you’re welcome!) Just COPY it to your account and it’s yours to edit. If you don’t have Trello, just go here and get a free account! Between the website and the app, you’ll be in your Mom Organization Glory! 

 

If you’re not sure about Trello or want to see how I organize my board, I did a video for you to give you all the tips on making this board work for you and your family! You can watch that or check out the step by step ideas below!

 

 

 

 

How to Copy Boards On Trello

 

 

If you want to copy the board, you’ll need a Trello account to do so but it’s free!  Once you log in go on over to the right where it says SHOW MENU. Next, hit the MORE button and hit COPY BOARD. When you copy the board, you can decide if you want to rename it and where you want it to go. Feel free to use it as a template, to get ideas, and customize however you want!

 

 

copy-trello-board

 

How to Create a Back to School Board on Trello

 

Step #1 Create Lists on Trello

 

 

trello-back-to-school

 

 

You’ll want to start with making lists for all the things you want to remember, Look at these as your categories. My board has lists that include;

 

IMPORTANT

 

SUPPLY LIST

 

SCHOOL LUNCHES

 

THINGS TO BUY

 

IMPORTANT DATES

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 

ROUTINES

 

HOMEWORK STATION

 

You can add as many as you want and even organize this board by kid or month.

 

Step #2 Customize Cards on Trello

 

trello-back-to-school

 

 

Now that you’ve created your lists, go though and customize each card.

 

Some of my favorite ways to do this is to add links of ideas I see on Pinterest  (because we all know we’ll pin a ton of things and forget to do them all) , link to my meal planning boards, and create master shopping lists.

 

You can do this with multiple checklists on each card, adding in important dates, sales you see, organization ideas or adding attachments with specific links!

 

Step #3 Add members to Trello

 

trello-back-to-school

 

I think one of the best features of a back to school Trello board is adding members so that you can all be on the same page. You can add your spouse, babysitter or whoever and if you want them to be responsible for a task or just let the, know of a date, use the @ sign and add their name. This way they’ll get a notification!

 

There are limitless possibilities when it comes to Trello for back to school and know that you can be a less stressed mom ASAP! Now go grab this FREE back to school board, copy it and start to customize it for your family!

 

 

 

Trello Boards and Ideas

The Best Way to Plan a Birthday Party with Trello 

How to Organize Your Goals with Trello 

Organize Your Kid’s Schedules with Trello 

The Ultimate Christmas Planner with Trello 

How to Organize Your Prayer Time with Trello 

 

More Trello and Back to School Resources 

Organize Your Life with Trello

Free Productivity E-Book

Ultimate Productivity Bundle

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

 

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

 

It’s important to have a productive weekend so you can have a productive week. This allows you to get more set, set yourself up for success and feel like stressed. Systems and routines allow you to live less stressed life and give you freedom to get done what matters.

 

I intentionally take one day off a week. I started this practice 2 months ago and am so thankful that I did. Prior to this, I was just go, go, go and didn’t rest, felt myself pulled by my to-do list, and was starting to burn out again. I knew the feelings of burn out, I had been there before. 5 years ago, I left teaching to become a full time entrepreneur and work at home mom because I felt the same feelings start to creep in. Now that I’m running my own business and family, I decided I needed some preventative measures to make sure that I was still taking care of me.

Hence… my Saturday’s off. I decided to take Saturday ‘off’ so that I could really just do what matters. The only work that I do on Saturday is what I just feel like doing, no pressure or to do list. On Saturdays if I don’t want to do laundry, house cleaning, or other ‘mom duties’, I don’t. I don’t really make too many plans unless it’s something we really want to do. Oh… and I take a nap.

 

I really love my Saturday nap.

 

But in order to make my Saturday rest day really work for me, I needed to make sure that I had a system for being very productive the rest of the week so I could relax, guilt free. And once I decided that I was going to schedule out a day of rest, it became so freeing. The week started to go more smoothly because I knew that I had a day to chill coming up, I didn’t feel guilty anymore about letting myself decompress, and I just started to laugh and enjoy our family time more. I learned to use my weekend to set my entire week up for productivity and keep it moving.

 

I chose to have my rest day on Saturday rather than Sunday for a few reasons.

 

On Sundays since we go to church, I still have us on a schedule to make sure we get out of the house on time. My husband delivers the newspaper as a side job right now so, he works Sunday mornings and I want to make sure I can give him rest time when get gets back at 6am before we go to church. Sundays are also my day to set my week up for success.

 

I may do some grocery shopping (though I often like to do that on Saturdays. I actually really like grocery shopping because I love to coupon and it’s a hobby for me and on Saturdays I get to go without kids!), I’ll meal prep so that I can save time during the week, and I’ll work on organizing my week, my planner, and other work tasks that I need to have a super successful and productive week.

 

Related Post: How to Meal Prep in 2 Hours or Less

 

 

productive-weekend

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend

 

There are a few things that I make sure to do over the weekend that help me have a productive week. I tend to spread them out over the weekend but you can create a schedule that fits best for you. You may have a busy Saturday and want to use Sunday as your prep day or you may spread it out – it’s up to you!

 

Tips for a Meal Prep System

 

The #1 thing that I suggest you start your Sunday with is meal planning and preparation. I actually have a system where I make the meal plan on Friday, shop on Saturday and cook on Sunday so that I don’t do it all on one day. This saves me time and decreases the overwhelm that I can face when it comes to getting it all done. 

 

However you decide to do it, make sure you plan out your meals for the week. We keep it pretty basic and have a rotation of 2-3 breakfast, lunch and dinner options each week. My husband doesn’t mind eating the same thing each day and it’s easy to be predictable with the kids.

 

Related Post: Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

 

I’ll spend some time doing some basic preparation like cutting up fruits and veggies, making salads, cooking up rice, steaming veggies, browning some ground turkey for quick lunches, and boiling some eggs.

 

I then make sure that I have listed out what’s for dinner each week so that I can check the fridge and see what I still need to get at the store. I try my best to make our plan from what we already have to save money and not have to go to the store as much.

 

Honestly though, I cannot stand cooking dinner. I struggle so much with thinking of what to make and it was becoming super stressful. This month I’ve started using the Theme Night System from my friend Elisa at Meal Planning Blueprints. This allows me to sit down one time and create a monthly meal plan. I thought this was going to take way too long and be a waste of time but it’s proven to be a game changer! You can check out theme nights here!

 

I suggest even packing out as many salads for lunches in tupperware as possible (even if you stay home) because then you can grab and go instead of preparing things. This helps a ton if we decide last minute to go to the park, or meet up with friends because the food is ready to go. It also prevents me from running out of what we need or knowing what i have to stop for. These are the ones we used in the picture below!

 

meal-prep-bento-box

 

 

 

Weekend Cleaning Routine

 

Even though, I have a cleaning routine where I do a little cleaning each day so that it doesn’t pile up that doesn’t mean I don’t do anything on the weekends. Often, after my Saturdays off, my house needs a little more TLC since I probably didn’t do as many dishes or pick up as much. What I have now just come to accept as a mom is that my house will probably always be covered in stuff, things will be out of place, and everything will just be sticky.

 

Related Post: The Best Digital Cleaning Routine for Moms

 

But just because my kids will always make a mess, doesn’t mean that I  won’t try to make it just a little more clean and tidy. I also find that when the clutter builds up, my anxiety peaks and for me ‘outer order leads to inner calm’ so taking time on Sundays to clean up really helps.

 

 

My suggested Sunday system includes laundry (I do 1-2 loads each day so that it’s easy to put away so my Sunday laundry is normally the same), sweep and mopping the floors, vacuuming the playroom, and doing a Zone clean up.

 

 

We do a Zone Clean Up as a family after church on Sundays where everyone is in charge of a room or area (My 11 year old or husband normally does a zone with my toddler). I put on a 15 minute timer and everyone is in charge of putting away things that don’t belong in their zone. This really helps all of the out of place items to find their way back home and means that I”m not the only one picking up the books that have been on the floor for 2 days and everyone walks around (you know what I’m saying!). If you’ve never done a 15 minute pick up, read about how it can change your home here!

 

Before I go to bed on Sunday, I make sure that I’ve done my typical evening routine and an additional 15 minute clean up. There is nothing more exciting for me (I know this is going to sound really nerdy) than waking up on a Monday morning where there are no dishes in the sink, my kitchen table is cleaned up, and the clutter is gone. It’s really my favorite way to start the week and having a productive weekend is the first step in having a productive week!

 

 

 

Organize Your Weekly Calendar and To Do List

 

The last thing that I do to set my week up for success is make sure i have a plan in place. Often, people ask me how I can be so productive and get so much done and, while I have some hacks that help, one of the things that helps is that I always take the time to plan.

 

I took a training with the Franklin/Covey system once that really changed the way that I planned. I learned all about the power of weekly and nightly planning and have since been implementing it for years. It’s what I do in my life, what I teach the moms that I coach and what I teach in my e-book and course; Design Your Day; Time Management for the Busy Woman 

 

time-management-cover

 

On Sundays, I take out my planner (I use a mix of a paper planner from Erin Condren , google calendar, and Trello) and look at my week ahead.

 

I start with putting in all the dates of things that I cannot change like doctor appointments or meetings. We use a family calendar in the kitchen so these things always get written on their first and then transferred to my digital system.

 

After those dates are in, I then plan out what tasks I want to accomplish that week. I create a list of personal items, business items, and projects (around the house and for work) that I want to complete. I break them down into 20 minute tasks so that I know they are manageable and easily can be accomplished in a day, rather than over planning myself and getting frustrated when it doesn’t get done. 

 

organize-trello

 

I then go into my planner and actually assign 3-5 tasks for each day. I split them up so that I Pick 1 personal task (call grandma, put pictures in frames etc….), 3 work tasks (write blog post, create images, email clients….) and 1 project task (brainstorm ideas for birthday party, work on mother’s day scrapbook etc….).

 

Assigning those things to a day BEFORE the week starts allows me to know what is going to happen and have a plan. This way, when it’s nap time and I get to work, or I have free time after dinner and want to work on a project, I’m not wasting time thinking about what to do, I can just take action.

 

Trust me when I say that if you set up your week for success you WILL be able to get more done, feel more accomplished and actually take a day off to rest and not feel the mom guilt! You can have a productive weekend for a more productive week!

 

I challenge you to start using this system (or one that works for you) to take more control in your life!

 

 

 

 

More Productivity Tips for Mom

How to Find More Time to Be Productive as a Mom 

The Ultimate Checklist for a Productive Week

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Morning Routine for Work at Home Mom 

 

Productivity Resources for Moms

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman

The Ultimate Productivity Bundle

Organize Your Life with Trello 

Erin Condren Planners

 

 

 

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Evening routines for breastfeeding moms help their babies sleep better and allow moms to get more sleep themselves. Depending on how old your child is, they may or may not be sleeping through the night. You might still be getting up to nurse them or they are getting up super early to eat. You might have just gone back to work or perhaps you’re attempting to wake up earlier to start to get used to a ‘new normal’ with baby. Whatever routine for moms that you’re hoping to work on, I suggest you start with the evening routine.

A good evening routine can help set your morning up for success. Having a plan and checking some things off an evening routine checklist can help you wake up knowing what you want to do, go to bed less stressed, and allow you and baby to sleep better.

 

evening-routine-breastfeeding-mom

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

Evening Routine Checklist for Moms

Whether you are in a new mom sleep haze or you’re extended nursing your toddler (I’ve been in both those stages! I breastfed both my kids until 19 months so I feel you on how tired you are!) it helps to have an evening routine checklist to guide your night. Having a checklist allows you to maximize your time, not have to make too many decisions or think too much when it’s late and you’re super tired and lets you pat yourself on the back when you make progress.

A checklist isn’t just about being perfect all the time, it’s about progress. I like to use checklists for pretty much everything because it allows me to set small goals, check out my growth and practice habit stacking.

Related Post: Using habit stacking to make routines that stick

For example, say you have 5 items on your evening routine chart and notice that you typically only get 3 done each night. Next week, you can make a small goal that 3 out of 7 days you’ll aim to get 4 things done. The next week, aim for 4 tasks every day of the week. Now you can slowly up your goals, realize how capable you are of getting tiny tasks done, and feel more accomplished – instead of defeating for not perfectly checking everything off.

When it comes to creating tasks for your evening routine checklist, you’ll want to make sure that they take 5-15 minutes per task. If you find that you’ve got a task that might take 30 minutes (say clean the bathrooms or do a big meal prep) you’ll need to break that down into smaller chunks. Instead of ‘clean the bathroom’ write down ‘wipe down sink’ and ‘clean the toilet’.

Having your tasks in small chunks allows the busy mom to take action on goals instead of living in dread and overwhelm. Small tasks are also super easy to delegate out to the rest of the family. I find if I ask my 12 year old to clean the bathroom, it’s a whole fight I don’t feel like having. But if I just ask him to wipe the sink, he will do it with minimal huffing and puffing.

 

Related Post: Creating a Digital Cleaning Routine with Trello 

As a breastfeeding mom, your evening routine checklist might have less of your homemaking tasks and more of your mommy duties.

I’ve provided a sample evening routine checklist at the end of this post for you. It has some things that I do in my nightly routine but there is also a blank copy so you can add in your own. It’s helpful to write on it, put it in a sheet protector and use a dry erase marker so that you don’t have to print a new one each week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening Routine for Infants and Toddlers

 

Before we dive into an evening routine specifically for a breastfeeding moms, let’s talk about what your baby or toddler could be doing for their evening routine. It’s super important to have routines for your kids (note that I said routines, NOT super duper strict schedules) so that they can see some predictability in the world. Having them on a routine makes things a ton easier on both you and baby!

 

Your baby will go to bed at various times depending on how old they are. For a great chart and baby sleep help, I highly suggest the book Precious Little Sleep! This book and its corresponding blog helped me SO much when I was struggling to get my baby to sleep!

 

Related Post: 7 tools to help your baby sleep better

 

I also suggest an earlier bedtime than you think for your kids. When mine were little, I was putting them to bed around 6:30pm and everyone thought I was crazy but science proves that sleep begets sleep! So tell all those people who tell you to ‘keep the baby up later so it sleeps in’ that it’s not true! Once they got older (mine are now 1.5 and 3.5) they do go to bed closer to 7:30-8:00 pm

 

When creating a sleep and evening routine, make it predictable and the same as much as possible. A calming bath with lavender soap can help them sleep better and start to signify that it’s getting close to bedtime. We also did our best to not nurse directly before bed so I suggest that the last feeding is right before you start your bedtime routine (about 20-30 minutes before you put the baby down) This helps decrease nursing to sleep associations and let’s you clean up any spit up!

 

After you’ve nursed the baby and possibly given a bath (because I”l be real, we probably do a bath about 3-4 times a week and not every night), take your baby or toddler up to their room to finish the evening routine. Try to get your baby used to being in their room if you’re trying to transition them out of their bassinet or your bedroom. It helps to play in their room during the day to increase their comfort level.

 

Use some lavender lotion, give a short baby massage and get them comfy in a fresh diaper and pajamas. We always end our night with a story and prayers – this part of our routine started on day 1! Please start reading to your babies daily as soon as possible (even in the womb!) It helps develop their language and love of reading early on!

 

Related Post: 3 Keys to Nighttime Success (and why diaper doublers are a must)

 

We then use a white noise machine, blackout curtains and slowly back away from the bedroom. I do let me kids fuss/cry a tiny bit before bed and my kids may make noise when I put them down but are quiet by the time I get to the bottom of the stairs (well most nights!)

 

Our favorite baby sleep items include:

These Blackout Curtains

This white noise machine

These incredible velcro swaddlers (we used this until my kids could roll over)

 

Need help getting you baby to sleep through the night? Check out the tips on my friend Jilly’s site by clicking the banner below!

 

 

When to Breastfeed Your Baby At Night

Depending on the baby’s age they might have middle of the night feedings for a while. My daughter didn’t stop her night feedings until we weaned them at 12 months and my son stopped his on his own around 6 months. You can make the choice when to stop them but, around 6 months, when they are starting solids, you may notice that your baby doesn’t need to nurse at night as much.

If you’re pumping during the day so that someone else can give the baby a bottle, make sure you have it ready to go. Neither of my kids took bottles…. EVER (it was awful and we tried every dang one) so it was up to me to nurse them every night.

Babies will most likely nurse every 2-3 hours until they are about 3 months old and then it increases to 4-6 and then they can go longer stretches. Each baby is different but be prepared with a good video monitor so you can see when your baby is up. Sometimes your baby may just stir or make noises in the middle of the night, like we all do, so I usually gave them 5 minutes before I went in to see what they would do.

Do your best to put the baby back down after you nurse, again it’s normal and okay if they fuss a little, so that you can get back into your bed. I won’t pretend that I haven’t pulled my kids in bed with  me or fell asleep on a chair but it’s really not safe (unless you practice all safe co sleeping practices from the AAP) and really only like ‘half sleeping’. If you can put them down and crawl back into your bed, do it!

 

 

 

Routines for Breastfeeding Moms

After you’ve gotten the baby into bed for the first time, take some time for you before you jump right into trying to manage your home and housework. I like to take 20 minutes to literally sit in my bed, put on a positive podcast or audiobook and scroll my Insta Stories to decompress. I used to just scroll stories but I found it made me a lot less productive, so by putting on a podcast I at least get my mind in a good spot to do things. Check out my list of favs here!

Pick 2-3 tasks that you know you need to get done to set up tomorrow for success. My suggestion is to do one task to close out your day, one task to physically prepare for tomorrow and one task to mentally prepare for tomorrow.

To close out your day you might;

  • Sweep the floor
  • Take out the trash
  • Load the dishes
  • Wipe the counters
  • Fold that load of laundry that has been sitting there for was too long
  • Complete a 15 minute pick up

To Physically prepare for tomorrow you could;

  • Prep any lunches
  • Take out meat to defrost for dinner
  • Pack up other kids book bags or items
  • Set out quiet time activities for older kids
  • Pick out your clothes or the kid’s clothes

To mentally prepare for tomorrow you might;

  • Write down 3 things you’re grateful for in today’s chaos
  • Set up your planner for tomorrow
  • Pray or have quiet time

By picking just a few tasks, you really set yourself up to start the morning more prepared and less frazzled. This helps a lot if you aren’t sleeping through the night and don’t want to make a ton of decisions in the morning.

If you need to pump to prepare for the next day, I really suggest doing this with an electric pump while you mentally prepare for tomorrow. I find this to be the least active time where I’m really sitting and gearing up for the day. I loved my Medela pump with the hands free nursing bra and even though I didn’t have to pump a lot it was a lifesaver for hands free pumping!

Speaking of pumping, if you’re a pumping mom and need help creating a routine, want to troubleshoot issues or unsure of where to start, go and check out the Pumping Mom Academy (click the picture below!)

 

 

I’ve created a checklist that really helps a breastfeeding mom create an evening routine that works. I’ve added in the things that really help me but make sure you download and print the blank copy to customize it! Make sure if you do you share it on your Instagram and tag me @apurposedrivenmom! I’d love to see how it’s helping you!

Does your breastfed baby sleep through the night yet? Post in the comments and let us know what your night’s currently look like!

 

 

 

evening-routine-breastfeeding-mom

 

More Help and Resources for Breastfeeding Moms!

How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Your Kid

3 Keys to a Nighttime Routine for Infants

7 Tools to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Sample Morning Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Evening Routine for Stay at Home Moms 

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

 

Must Have Resources for Tired Moms!

Baby Sleep Made Simple

Pumping Mom Academy

Makeover Your Evenings Course

Free Productivity E-Book