Sunday, November 16, 2014

Working Mum's guide to getting organised for Christmas

Christmas is nearly upon us. If you are anything like me you'll wonder where all those months between this December and last have gone! Tis a busy life as a working mum. May this list of tips and resources make this festive season a little less stress and a whole lot more rest for you, our hardworking mums...

  • Childcare centres often close at Christmas so talk to family and friends who may be able to help out if you need still work. Ask with plenty of lead time as they're more likely to be accommodating - last minute asking can be a bit like last minute shopping - people are more likely to feel put out, impatient, uncooperative. 
  • Schedule in some me time - once you start writing all those lists of things to do, people to organise etc it can get a bit overwhelming which is no surprise given mums do still take the load in the organising and preparation element of the festivities. 
  • Outsource where possible - don't be afraid to delegate jobs to partner, kids, guests or a paid service. We know things need to get done but they don't need to be perfect - it's the quality of energy you do it in that makes all the difference to your experience. And this is what inspires your loved ones (it's not the perfect spread, the ironed tablecloth or the glossy presents!) 
  • Use one of these 7 Christmas planning apps - we love the free Ink Card app which will print and deliver your personalised christmas cards directly from your phone to anywhere in the world.
  • Free Christmas gift planner from Working Mums Collective to help you plan your prezzie buying. WMC says "make sure you have enough wrapping paper for your gifts. Start wrapping early so you don’t have to do it all in one go. Or take your gifts to a charity gift-wrapping service in a local shopping centre. Not only will you be helping a good cause but also it takes the stress out of it for you."
  • Buy on the Internet where possible - it's often cheaper, it saves you time and entering the crazy, racy world that is shopping centres at Christmas time.

Here's a few more tips from Sarah from the Working mums Collective...

Christmas menu planning

If you like me are having family at your house for Christmas you need to get planning what you are going to serve. It’s better to plan early than to try and get organised last minute. If you want a traditional meal with leg ham and turkey you might need to order in advance.

Look at recipe books, I love the free monthly magazines from both Coles and Woolworths – they always have some great menu ideas in the lead up to Christmas. Write a list and order anything you need to in advance and schedule in your grocery shop in the couple of days before Christmas.

Tip: Go to the supermarket early in the day to beat the rush. The earlier you get there the quieter it will l be and the quicker you will get your shopping done.

Tip: Get family members to bring a dish with them so that it lightens the load. If you organise the meat, get other family members to bring salads, vegetables, bread and a dessert. That way you don’t have to worry about it all. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen, I would rather spend it with my husband and children as well as other family members.

Organising your home

Do you have jobs to do around your house that have been on your list for a while? Schedule them in and get them done before Christmas if you have the time. You will feel so much better knowing that they are done before the end of the year.

Are you having people come to stay at your house? Get organised with bedding and sleeping arrangements early so you can buy or borrow anything you need.

Tip: Write a list of everything you want to do around the house and aim to tick one item off your list each week – if your list is that long.

Decorating your home

I love Christmas and I love decorating my home for Christmas. I also love decorating the table for Christmas Day. If you too are like me and enjoy decorating your home and Christmas table you will want to think about your theme and colours in advance. My Christmas colours are red and silver so I will be extending this theme to the Christmas table.

It is on my list to go get my decorations by the end of November so that I don’t have to worry about it during the month of December. The Christmas tree went up on the weekend after the pageant so that is one tick off my list.

Tip: Set the table the night before so that it is done and all you have to do is worry about spending time with your family and cooking .

Organise your calendar

Christmas is a busy time of year for all of us and with two working parents both with commitments after work including events and Christmas parties it is important to get your calendar and commitments organised so you know who is where on what day and whether you need to get a babysitter for your children for certain events.

Tip: Put a calendar in your kitchen or a high traffic area in your home to record all Christmas parties and commitments for all family members so nothing gets missed and everyone is on the same page and organised for the busy Christmas period. Or use your outlook calendar and share appintments with your partner.

What are your tips for getting organised at Christmas time?

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