Call me Mili Vinilli but I blame it on the rain. Well, partly I blame the baby but mostly the rain.
This summer, when Fort Wayne experience record rainfall that caused severe flooding, our typical family activities were washed out. There were no bike rides to the park to play; the equipment submerged under dirty, mucky water. Trips to the zoo were out of the question; a baby is not going to stand the Ergo with rain falling on his head and animals are not interested in romaing exhibits. Even just taking a walk, without a weather shield for the BOB, was far from attractive.
And so we ran. Errands. A lot of them.
On any given Saturday, we would start our day with a workout. I would meet the girls, rain or shine, for a run and the boys would head to the Y. We would reconvene at home, where I would scoop up the little ones and head to the grocery. We would shop, getting food for the week and lunch that day, and head home. We would eat a quick, easy lunch and then head out again. Destinations included the hardware store, the big box store and, on a really riotous day, the book store. By the time we were finished, it was 3 p.m. and almost time to get ready for the hustle for the dinner.
It was OK the first few weeks, even months, but the grind of it began to wear on me. We were always going somewhere and never doing something. There was never time. Time to spend together as a family and time to have a moment for ourselves. We have to make a change, I told Mark.
My dear husband, God love him, wasn't so enthusiastic. He actually enjoyed the hustle and bustle of it all, frequently asking: What are we doing? Where we are going. I'd shrug my shoulders and sigh as I offered suggestions.
Until one day when I said Meijer. Meijer is a one-stop shop, allowing moms to get everything they need and save on the one thing they can't buy: time.
Now the routine is a bit different. Sure, we start out with exercise. I still run with the girls, and he still heads to the Y with the boys. Instead of a trip to a stand-alone grocery and then to other stores to fill in our needs, I head to Meijer. Not only can I procure the ingredients for the week's dinners (tonight --> grilled cheese with sausage vegetable soup) but our other household needs. A battery for me key fob, plastic storage totes for the clothes a friend so generously gave to Miles/us, diapers for pooping machine Si, laundry soap to remove the evidence of our pooping machine's pooplosions'. The whole trip takes an hour – the same as a regular grocery store, only I don't have to make two or three other stops. It leaves me, and the family, a lot more time to do things.
Like bake mini apple pies for Papa. Go to breakfast with my friends post-run. Grab coffee on the way home.
Of course, shopping at Meijer doesn't make everything run smoothly – especially with a new(ish) baby and Miles in school. Here are some other ways we save time at our house:
• School clothes are washed and ironed on Sunday, and each day's outfit is bundled together. Having everything in one place, ready to go, makes life a million times easier in the morning.
• I have two gym bags (an Apera and a Lug, both of which I love) and I pack them both for the first part of the week. I teach four times a week so I can't take care of it all at one time but every little bit helps.
• I make PB&J for Miles' lunch in bulk and store them in the freezer. All I have to do is grab one when he's opted for cold lunch.
• Speaking of bulk, I also make burritos for Mark's breakfast. A half-hour to 45 minutes of cooking nets a month's worth of burritos. Considering I spend 10 to 15 minutes making breakfast on any given morning, I'm saving myself tons of time.
• Most importantly, I pick my battles. I gave Miles homemade baby food, made my own yogurt, had a sourdough starter. But life is crazier now, and I don't have time for everything. I choose what things will most improve our quality of life and let go of the things hat are extra. Knowing what I can handle is the most important thing.
You can make more time for yourself and win a prize from Meijer and Procter & Gamble.
• $25 Meijer gift card
• Tide to Go Stain Stick
• Tide PODS
• Pantene 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner
• Bounty with Dawn
· Pampers Wipes
Enter to win using the widget below.
You can also share a “Make More Time for Mom” moment by submitting photos via Instagram using the hashtag #MMT4M. Everyone who participates has the opportunity to win a $250 Meijer gift card weekly.
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Disclosure: I received my own prize pack from Meijer in exchange for this post but was not otherwise compensated.