Monday, March 20, 2017

Workin' It Wednesday: Balancing Work & Home Life

Hi! Thanks for joining me today for a belated link-up with Shay and Erika and their Workin' It Wednesday link-up! Today it's all about managing home and work life.


A little bit of background info on me: I'm in my 9th year of teaching. I work as a middle school social studies teacher in the same district where I went to school as a teenager. Robert and I bought our first house in the district, and for several years, I enjoyed a 3-5 minute commute. Robert changed careers a few years ago to go into teaching, and 3 years ago, we moved to a community further west so we could have a nicer home and guarantee that our kids would be in great schools. The only downside to this is that my commute is now one hour each way. 


Ari is in preschool in my district, and Trip goes to elementary school in our home district. Our weekdays require us to be out the door around 6:30 so we don't spend more than an hour in traffic. Trip has a daycare program on his campus that he goes to before and after school until either Robert or I can get him. This program has been so beneficial to us because I have a ridiculous fear about my kids getting on school buses! 

In the fall, the kids play soccer with practice one night a week and games on Saturdays. Ari has also taken dance one night a week this year. In the spring, Roo has asked to play baseball which will require another evening for practice and games on Saturday. And then swim team starts up in April which takes up every weeknight and makes for long Saturdays. 


So, all that being said, I try to plan ahead as much as possible! See my dining room? That poor table is only clean when I have company coming for lunch or dinner. It's my headquarters for parties and projects, and it gets cleaned up after parties (sometimes!).


I do all of my meal planning on Saturdays so that I can check all of my coupons and ads.


On Sundays, I go to the grocery store for the whole week, and I usually hit up Target to pick up anything else we need. 


Sunday afternoons have me meal prepping. I pack up the majority of our lunches to have them ready to go for the week. I add the fruit, sandwich, and beef jerky to Trip's lunch each morning when I wake up so they don't get gross during the week, and then I grab and go with my salad and meal bar each morning. I grew up eating the same lunch pretty much every day, and apparently my kid is okay with it, too. It works for us! 


Some weeks I try to cook up a meal either on the stove or in the Crock-pot on Sunday so that I have it prepped and ready for Monday or Tuesday. Follow along with me on Pinterest to see some of my meal boards, and always stop by on Thursdays when I do my Try It Thursday recipe link-up party. You can see ALL of my Try It Thursday recipes on THIS Pinterest board!


I'm a big list person, so I always have a list going of my to-dos for the day or week on a paper on the kitchen island. (I am guilty of adding things to a list just so I can experience the joy of crossing it off!)


I also keep sticky notes of things that I need to add to the big Target or grocery store lists so I don't forget to add them on Saturday or Sunday.


To maximize my free time, I truly depend on my planner. It's a mix of school and home stuff, but I keep daily to-do lists and reminders in it so that I can stick to my plan while I am at school and not bring any work home. If you are new to teaching, the one thing I wish someone had told me was to always try my best to get it done at school. Nobody likes to bring home 120+ papers, grade them, and put them in the gradebook at home! Also, I try to get my lesson plans, flip charts, and copies done for a couple of weeks at a time. This way, if something comes up at home (like a sick kid!), I'm not rushing around trying to get things prepped for my students or a sub. 


The kids have a routine and chores to do when they get home from school each day. Since they have to be in bed so early (7:30 p.m. because we wake them up at 5:45 a.m.), I really like this system because again, it maximizes their free time so that we can watch a show together, play a game, or read extra books. 


We're really lucky that Trip's teacher sends home the whole week's worth of homework over the weekend, so he takes care of a lot of worksheets on Sundays so we only have to worry about our reading time and spelling on school nights. Ari also reads as part of her daily homework, and we keep track of her books on a chart on the fridge. 


To deal with my steroids, I'm also currently planning out my afternoon snacks and trying my best to stick with the schedule. 


With my colitis not currently in remission, I've been too exhausted to get up and do my workouts in the morning, so I try my best to keep up with my workouts in the afternoon either before or after dinner when the kids have free time. I have scheduled my workouts in my planner for the rest of the school year so I don't have to worry about remembering when or what workout I needed to do. Stop by here on Tuesdays for my Tuesday Training sessions if you want some quick but powerful workouts! You can view ALL of the Tuesday Training videos on THIS Pinterest page.


We try to sit down and eat together as a family every night and then spend some time watching a family show before bed or add in some extra book time. 


My Sundays aren't usually "Sunday Funday," but putting in the work to make the week go smoothly and allow us to have fun on the weekend is worth it. 




I talked about how I get organized and do chores more in THIS post. You should link-up with me and the ladies at Moms' Coffee Date for our monthly link-up party! Our next link-up is coming up on April 20th, and we're sharing our favorite Target finds! 


I also did a Day in the Life post that you can read HERE

In case you missed my previous Workin' It Wednesday posts:

If you are a teacher or work out of the home with a long commute, please share some tips with me! I can always learn and improve, and you guys have great ideas! Thanks for stopping by today! I posted our weekend recap earlier today- you can view that post HERE. I'll see you back here tomorrow for our 12th Tuesday Training of the year! 

18 comments:

  1. Ugh! I have the hour commute each way situation too. Although I can't meal plan to save my life.

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    1. Commutes are the worst! I'm planning on changing that this next year though. Laura at the Horton Family blog just posted a great idea about meal planning on her Friday blog- it would be super helpful! Have a great Monday!

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  2. You know I make lists about my lists,lol!!! I think we organized/planner people have a leg up in life, things just flow a little better with keen organizational skills. You got this life thing down girl!!!! Happy Monday beautiful!!

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    1. I'm so bad, I even keep the planner on my front seat of the car so I can jot things down at stoplights! Have a great start to the week!

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  3. I LOVE all of your lists and your tips and tricks. I can relate to all of this as a mom and teacher. I love how you leave work for work. As we know, we never feel truly caught up with teaching. Happy Monday, this was a great post!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jenna! It took a while, but I have definitely got to keep as much work at the school as possible- life is already busy enough as it is! Have a great week!

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  4. YAY for lists and crossing things off! I've been known to add something just for the satisfaction of crossing it off myself. If I go to the store without a list, I'm toast. I can barely walk from one room to the next and remember what I'm doing these days. I hate that you have such a commute although I bet it's a special time with just Ari. I sure hope your colitis will decide to play nice soon. I know from watching my cousin what a battle that is and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Happy Monday Allie!

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    1. Yes, that time with Roo is so great for us! She is so excited to be in the same school as Trip though next year, and it'll be nice to have them together!

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  5. I SO NEED to get back to meal planning again- I love how you organize on Sundays- I think I will give that a try- one less thing to worry about during the week :)

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    1. I've got us meal planned through the beginning of May with so many new Pinterest recipes that we want to try! I just plan everything out on a Word document so I can see and vary things as I go.

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  6. I loved reading your tips! I need to implement some of your meal planning strategies! I have a long commute too and I think prepping in advance would help a lot!

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    1. Thanks, Laura! Yes, meal planning is a life-saver for us, especially when I can cook a meal on Sunday and not worry about doing much on Monday after a long day back to work. Have a great week!

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  7. First off, I'm so sad I no longer get to start my day. Y reading your blog. I get to work early and read some blogs before getting after things. Our server is now blocking your site! :( I cannot believe all that you accomplish. I have a 45 minute commute with 0 kids. It can really be a challenge with all that is requires at school; however, planning ahead saves me. I pack our lunches and everything ahead of time and don't feel guilty going to bed early. I've really enjoyed some of your recipes for our dinners!

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    1. Oh no! That stinks! My kids are real troopers, and I'm proud of them for being so on top of things in the mornings. We love your banana bread! It's made almost weekly around here!

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  8. Wow girl!!!! You are a super woman!!!

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    1. Ha yea right! I'm crazy, I just try to keep all of it from showing at the same time!

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  9. You're awesome! I really really need to do meal planning and get in that habit - it'll definitely help my week go smoother! I have a crazy commute when I head into work too so I totally feel you on that! Props to your little for being ready and out the door by 6:30 :)

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    1. Go over to the Horton Family Blog- Laura posted a great idea for meal planning last week that I'm totally going to borrow! Do you use Audible on your commute? I used the free trial a while back and loved listening to books on my drive.

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Hi friends! Let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from you!