I actually thought I’d be sad to see the words ‘maternity leave is over’ but weirdly, I’m not. I love spending all of my time with Madison and if I could get paid for doing so then I would do it every second of the day but with the dream of owning our own home and moving out of Mum and Dad’s place pretty soon, the need for a ‘full time’ wage was needed. Going back to work full time wasn’t always the plan, I originally only wanted to find something 2-3 days per week but when my old position became available I decided to go back 4 days a week after having a chat with my old manager.
Working ‘full time’ (aka 4 days a week) is actually way better than I thought it would be and although I have zero time and zero energy most days (I’ll have another post up soon about my work/workout routine) I’m loving the ‘Mum’ tasks of organising lunches and dinners and making sure that all of Madison’s stuff is ready for wherever she’s being looked after the next day. My nightly routine has become some what of a ritual to me now and so I thought I’d write a little post on how I organise Madison (and Steve and I) now that I’m back at work and my maternity leave is over!
Meal Plan! The Key to Organisation!!
Whether it’s for eating healthier, working lunches or even just organising Madison now that my maternity leave is over a Meal plan is basically my best friend. It’s a little trickier as we do live with my parents but we’ve pretty much gotten ourselves into a groove where it works for us all now. I meal plan for the week for dinners for us all and for lunches for myself, Steve and Madison. I usually make Steve sandwiches as he’s out and about most days driving around (unless he’s in the office in which case he usually has dinner leftovers or a simple meal that I can whip up) and for myself I usually have simple healthy lunches like sandwich thins or a pesto pasta / rice dish. When it comes to Madison I like to give her a good meal wherever she is and whoever she’s with. I fill her Bento box from Petit Fernand with snacks and fruit and then usually giver her either sandwiches or a meal that I’ve made specifically for her (from the freezer stock pile or leftovers).
I am obsessed with the personalised Bento box that we were very generously gifted from Petit Fernand because it’s just so damn handy; the many compartments this lunchbox has is amazing and really helps me divide up all of Madison’s meals. I love using the bottom compartments for the main meal, whether that be something cooked that will need to be re-heated or whether that’s a simple sandwich and some crackers or snacks. The top compartments are then usually reserved for her fruit. She’s a massive fan of Raspberries, blueberries and raisins, so they’re usually something you can always find in her lunch box and cucumber is usually on the other side. This bento box also has an in-built, removable ice pack which is so handy for when her meals need to be kept chilled or I’ve packed something like a yoghurt in there too. I am obsessed with how cute and yet handy thing Bento box is and couldn’t recommend them enough.
On Madison’s first day of going to the childminders I grabbed a sharpie and wrote her name on everything to make sure nothing would get lost or stolen. I get so much anxiety about someone else using her things or wearing her clothes and so I made sure that every cup, spoon, bottle, coat and even pair of socks had her name or initials in. A little bit paranoid I guess, but when I spend so much money on her little bits and pieces, I do tend to get precious about them not going missing. Since she started when she was seven months though, I’ve moved on to a much better way of keeping everything in check and everything labelled nicely and that is with the help of the Petit Fernand ‘nursery’ value pack stick and iron on labels. I was very Kindly also gifted an amazing array of labels for Madison with her full name on in every different shape and size you could imagine. I particularly love the shoe labels as well as the iron-in name labels that fit perfectly into the backs of her coats!
I’ve had no issues whatsoever with any of the labels so far and what I have used (obviously I’m keeping some aside and not using them all willy-nilly just now as my God that girl can grow) have lasted really well. In particular my favourite little Joules jumper has an iron-on label in and it has not budged one bit no matter how many times it’s been through the wash and its still as vibrant as it was the day I first ironed it into place and her water sippy-cup has had one stuck on for weeks now and survived the dish washer multiple times already. These labels seem to be really good quality and I will definitely be buying all of her clothing / stick-on labels from Petit Fernand in the future too! So far nothings gone wandering either!
Organise my life the NIGHT BEFORE
Something I’ve never been good at is making sure I remember everything I need to when I’ve just woken up – I mean, who’s brain actually functions before 8am anyway?? One thing I’ve learnt or at least found handy since I’ve been working again has been to get everything organised and ready to go the night before (this totally allows extra snooze time in the mornings too). I usually find myself laying out the outfit that I’m going to wear as well as what I’d like Madison to be wearing the night before so that it’s easy to just pop-on and go in the morning. This may not sound like something revolutionary to most of you, but for me, deciding what to wear is always a super ball-achey task and when I now have to decide what Madison will be wearing too, it’s just double the hassle. I also get Madison’s backpack packed up the night before with everything she’ll need for where she’s going (she dots around all over the place in the week) and organise my gym bag and lunch ready to go too so I can just grab them before I leave! It saves so much time in the morning and makes it easier to just go as soon as possible with no faffing!
What do you do to stay organised? DO you have a night time or morning ritual to ensure everyone’s got what they need and will be where they need to be?
You can read more of my parenting blog posts here!