Doing It All — Real Advice for Real Life from the American Nanny
Real Advice For Real Life
Parenting Expert Advice from Author and America’s Nanny,
Doing It All
Long gone are the days of Susie Homemaker, where the ultimate task and treasure of her day was preparing the family meal for 5 o’clock prompt – presented on a perfectly set table, sat at by perfectly groomed children, while herself apron painstakingly pressed ready to proudly serve her family their evening meal.
Greeted with a kiss on the cheek by her husband as he walked through the door, the entire family sat at the dinner table and enjoyed gracious food and conversation. Ah, how practically perfect in most everyway.
Today’s reality is that with mom at the workplace, dad at the office, and the kids at school, at childcare or with the nanny, mom is still expected to come home and voila bring everyone back to the gathering place of the family home – the kitchen table – with a home cooked meal set in place and ready to go.
Regardless of where they’ve come from or where they’ve been, and after herself having to regroup and switch gears from work to home in nearly the blink of an eye, it becomes her concern to figure out how to get everyone home, to plan and prepare meals, and to work around the grueling soccer schedules, dinner meetings and tutoring sessions that occupy the busy and rarely coordinated schedules of her family – just so they can enjoy a few minutes of family time in their otherwise disjointed days.
As a professional nanny with over a decade of experience in dual income homes, I’ve often seen the struggle working mothers face trying to do it all. The stress that comes with having to choose between family dinners and business meetings, coordinating childcare coverage and the daily struggle of not being able to be in multiple places at the same time often constitutes a full time job in itself.
So how can today’s working mother enjoy the family dinners of times past, while balancing a loving home life with a productive work life?
Here are a few of my tried and true tips that have helped many moms’ do it all.
- Limit your family members’ extracurricular activities to a manageable minimum. More than two activities per person push the families’ scheduling limit.
- Use the carpool lane. Team up with others who share in the same activities and take turns with transportation.
- Have a set dinner time. Even if the dinner bell rings later than the days of times past, the wait will be worth it.
- Plan your meals in advance by having theme nights. Have Monday as meat night, Tuesday as Tex-Mex night, etc.
- Grocery shop online. Many grocers offer the convenience of meal planning and delivery that can save you time by doing it all with the click of a mouse.
- Give everyone a job to do. Work as a team, having each family member take turns in the set up, preparation, serving and clean up tasks required for the nightly meal.
- Go disposable ( Many more non plastic option today). The time saved in clean up effort, allows for more family time and lets even the youngest child have a meaningful part in the dinner process.
- Invest in a crock pot. Old fashioned meets new age. Put it in in the morning and come home to a house that smells like you’ve been cooking all day.
- Pass off tasks to others. If you can afford to have a weekly housekeeper handle the heavy duty cleaning- invest in it. If you can afford to have your dry cleaning and laundry picked up and delivered instead of having to do it yourself – go ahead – but use the time saved to spend with your family.
Have a meaningful conversation at the dinner table. Go around the table and ask each person to tell the best and worst thing of their day.Looking back we realize that although we may have said goodbye to Susie homemaker and hello to working mother, the goal of both remains the same.
To enjoy a bit of family time at the end of each day at the family gathering place – the kitchen table. Hopefully, now, you know how to get there.
Michelle is an active member of the nanny community. She is the founder and president of Boston Area Nannies, Inc., a local non-profit educational organization and has served on the International Nanny Association Board of Directors.
She is called on by the media as a nanny and parenting expert and has been affectionately dubbed America's Nanny. Michelle has appeared on television and has been featured in print.
Podcast of Interview with
Books by Michelle LaRowe
A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists: 100+ Lists to Save You Time, Money and Sanity - Grocery lists. Checklists. To-do lists. Lots of people love--and live by--lists. And parents are no exception. Today's families are busier than ever, and moms don't have the time or energy to search and scramble for the parenting information they are desperately seeking. This handy, practical reference guide will save time, money, and sanity for today's busy women.
Working Mom's 411 is your one-stop resource guide for navigating through the often choppy waters of managing kids, career and home.
Nanny to the Rescue - America's nanny offers a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced babies and toddlers.
Nanny To the Rescue Again - Faced with multiple choices regarding school, friends, and activities coupled with the ever-widening influence of the outside world, parents of 6-12-year-olds need help. America's nanny is back to offer a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced children.
To learn more, visit www.michellelarowe.com
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