I don’t know about you, but this summer has been REALLY busy. I feel like the days are racing by at record-breaking speed, and when I tuck my daughter into bed each night, I often wonder where the day has gone and regret not spending more one-on-one time with her.
Of course, I always have good intentions when we wake up in the morning. I plan different activities and errands we can do together in between camp pickup and dinner, and always try to squeeze in a craft or some reading time before bedtime, but I feel like I’m forever getting bogged down with the small things, like preparing meals, mopping up spilt milk, refilling sippy cups, loading and unloading the dishwasher, and scrubbing pots and pans, which leaves me little time to be the fun mom I want my daughter to remember. It’s like a never-ending cycle that I can’t seem to break, and I find it particularly crazy on weekends when my husband is home and we’re traveling here, there, and everywhere, socializing with friends, and trying to find the time for an occasional adult night out.
The good news is that I’m a ridiculously organized person, and after a few months of enduring complete chaos every single day, I realized I needed to come up with an action plan if I didn’t want all of my daughter’s summer memories to be of me slaving away in the kitchen. And with back-to-school looming in the not-so-distant future, I really want to make the next couple of weeks count, so I took some time to reflect on how I can do things BETTER, and I’m amazed at what a difference one small change to our routine on crazy busy days has made. Not only am I no longer racing around like a mad woman when I have too much on my plate, but I feel like I’m able to spend more time creating lasting memories with my family.
It’s pretty amazing!
And since I know I’m not the only mom out there who is always on the hunt for tips on how I can spend more time with my child and still maintain a sense of order in my home and life, today I’m teaming up with Dixie® to teach you my little trick.
Now, you all know that I’m a big believer in packing lunches and choosing outfits at night, and that I always get up at least an hour before my daughter so I can squeeze in a workout and make myself presentable before she wakes up, and while those 2 strategies go a long way in helping me feel prepared and allowing me to be more present with my daughter each morning, they don’t really help me out during the craziness that is the dinner hour in our household.
Have I ever told you how much I hate that time of the day?
It always feels like a comedy of errors to me because, no matter how hard I try, every single thing that CAN go wrong often DOES go wrong while I’m trying to cook something nutritious for the 3 of us to eat. I don’t know if it’s because we’re all hungry and tired, or that we just need some downtime in the late afternoon, but I often feel like everything goes completely downhill once 5 o’clock hits, and by the time we’re finished eating, the kitchen is a complete disaster. And since I am unable to focus on anything else until every single plate is stacked into the dishwasher and all the countertops are wiped down, I often find myself rushing through my daughter’s bedtime routine.
Which isn’t fair on her.
So last Monday, I did something crazy. My daughter had been in full-time camp so I could hammer through a bunch of work projects, and when I dropped her off in the morning, I promised her we’d make these awesome Peppa Pig cupcakes I found on Two Sisters Crafting’s blog when I picked her up later that afternoon. She was absolutely ecstatic, and when we stopped at the grocery store on the way home to gather our provisions, I threw a bunch of Dixie® paper plates, bowls, and cups in our basket.
I had intended on using them while we were making our cupcakes so I didn’t use all of our dishes right before dinner, but when I saw how incredibly easy it was to clean up the mess from our afternoon project, I decided to serve dinner on them, too.
(I’d share a photo of the cupcakes I made, but they didn’t turn out nearly as nice as the ones by Two Sisters Crafting, so I’m too embarrassed…)
And you know what?
It was the most stress-free dinner hour I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. Not only did it only take FIVE MINUTES to clean up the dishes when we were finished eating, but it made dinner extra special for my daughter. She was thrilled that she got to eat a ‘picnic dinner’, we had HEAPS of time to cuddle in bed and read books together before I tucked her in for the night, and we were both smiling when I turned her light off and told her I loved her.
Of course, I thought my husband would balk at the idea of eating on paper plates when I served up his dinner later on that night, but as it turns out, he is sick and tired of me asking him to put his plates in the dishwasher a million times before we turn in for the night, so the idea of simply throwing his plate in the trash when he was finished eating excited him too.
Oh, and full disclosure? I now use my Dixie® stash on busy mornings when I don’t have time to load and unload the dishwasher.
So on those nights when you’re feeling really overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to get the Dixie® products out.
They will make you a better mom and save your sanity to boot.
What are your tips and tricks for finding ways to spend more time with your kids?
If you found this tip helpful, please share it on Pinterest!
Dixie believes nothing should interrupt family moments. Gather around your loved ones, linger a little longer, and be more here.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dixie. The opinions and text are all mine.