As any working parent knows, working and parenting forces one to be more creative with their time. Especially when you spend 8+ hours in an office. That leaves the rest of the day for waking up, preparing meals, getting the kids obstacle course style to where they need to go, mad dashing it to work, continuing the relay race of pick up (bonus points for picking multiple children up from multiple locations) dinner, bath, bed, pass out on the couch.
For me the thing the basics get done during the day- child care, meal prep, chauffeuring, etc. Errands, personal time (what's that) and friend time unfortunate get pushed to the side. Grocery shopping has to be done in person so that usually gets pushed to the evenings or weekend evenings as I refuse to grocery shop with my children in tow (can you blame me)? I am always looking for creative ways to squeeze things into my day. Here are my favorite hacks. What are yours?
- Errands at work. I try to maximize my efficiency by running errands that are withing walking distance to my work. I used to work near a CVS. Have I bought milk and stored it in the mini fridge in my office until it was time to go? Yes I have. You can get a significant amount of grocery shopping done at a CVS including kids snacks, diapers, cards, gift cards, eggs..the basics. I also work on a medical campus. I may have bought balloons for baby showers and birthday parties at the hospital gift shop a time or two. Now I work near an awesome market that sells fresh produce. Perfect for that mid week lull when my kids have eaten though all the fruit in our fridge.
- Amazon. This is such a time saver I can not even begin to profess my love for it. Prime membership is worth its weight in gold. Forgot to buy a birthday present? Two day shipping will get it there before the party. Out of toilet paper? You can get that delivered to your door.
- Costco. I dont think I actually save any money here however because my kids eat granola bars like they are going out of style this saves me from making multiple trips to the store within a week.
- Personal time. This basically = my commute. People say how bad Atlanta traffic is. That is true. However most days I don't mind. I have 40 minutes each way by myself with no one else in the car. I have discovered Fresh Air on NPR. I catch up with my friends. I have time to think. It is as wonderful as it sounds. FYI if you need to reach me- call me during my commute!