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hoopinglady 09:31 AM 10-15-2011
Who's with me? Any advice? I've been at it for nearly 2.5 years and have had times that I rocked it and times that I felt like I was drowning.

I have two preschoolers and a teenager myself.

I am working out all the kinks in environment, policies and so forth to try to make things more streamlined.

I always say I'm going to pre cook lunches. I have done it maybe a dozen times and it is soooo nice to have it done. I hired an assistant just for the kitchen, I actually two different girls but neither worked out (typical problems).

I'm terrible at staying on a cleaning schedule so again, sometimes I'm on it and sometimes things get overwhelming as heck...feeding ten kids a few times a day makes a lot of dishes (no dishwasher, btw, lol).

I really want to simplify things as much as humanly possible.
sharlan 11:13 AM 10-15-2011
It might be more expensive, but use paper plates. For non messy meals, a paper towel works great.
Nellie 08:59 PM 10-15-2011
I try my best to do pre cooked lunches. Sometimes instead it turns out I'm making my families dinner while I'm cooking lunch so it does give me some free time when normally I should be cooking dinner and lunch for the next day for daycare. If I'm making up a casserole I make a little one for the next day at daycare. If we are having tacos I make extra meat that I just need to quickly heat up on the stove and have all the veggies, cheeses, chopped ready to go the next day. I kind of feel bad because my kids either eat the same thing two days in a row or on the same day. I'm going to start making more with some of my meals so I can get 2 daycare lunches out of them and freezing one of them. That way the next day I can freeze what I made that day and pull out something else. Also it will give me some extras for when my family eats a frozen pizza or goes out for dinner. I love the steamable bags of veggies. It cuts down on a pot and strainer to wash The aren't to much more money than a regular bag of veggies and the convenience is wonderful. While I watch my show at night I sit and peel raw veggies and raw fruit for the next day.
I pay my 13 year old daughter to help with the washing of toys. I use the dishwasher for anything I can throw in, anything that possible can go in the washer does, and wipe down the items that can't go in either. When you have an extra pair of hands it helps. ALOT!! Bedding needs to be washed ever 5 uses. I actually do this right away in the morning. I have extra sheets and blankets for each play pen and cot(crib mattress). On Monday I strip the pack and plays and quickly remake them up, throw linens in wash, then when they are done quickly fold and return to closet. On Tuesdays I do boys crib mattress, and Wednesday is the girls.
If you have a schedule of when certain things need to get done it helps. Keep the tasks small. For a long time I'd wait to do daycare linens until the weekend. Well I do personal laundry on Saturday so it was overwhelming. Sometimes I wouldn't do the linens and the next week I'd have 6 loads of sheets and blankets vs 3. Easier to say 1st thing in the morning I'll quick strip these beds and wash. Takes 5 minutes to strip and remake, and 5 minutes to fold and put away.
BigMama 11:26 AM 10-16-2011
Hang in there hoopinglady! I am a single parent of three and over the past five years that I have been running my home child care I too have gone through periods where everything has gone smoothly and periods where I feel like I can barely keep my head above water. I have found that making extras of whatever I make for dinner helps streamline the lunch process as well. I make large batches of homemade chicken soup, turkey chili, macaroni and cheese, lasagna, etc. and then I can just heat up the leftovers, cut up some fruit, steam the veggies and viola: lunch! Also, twice a week I serve the DCK's sandwiches for lunch: sunflower butter & jelly, grilled cheese, egg salad, roasted turkey, etc. I usually do this on the days we go to the park, etc. so that it takes only a few minute to put it together with their fruit and veggies. I wash the breakfast and lunch dishes during nap & then serve snack on a napkin so that at least I don't have to face a sink full of dishes after the DCK's are picked up.
I too find it VERY difficult (ok impossible) to stick to a cleaning schedule. Usually, I stay up all of Sunday night to do my deep cleaning and set up for the week. Then on a daily basis I vacuum (multiple times), clean up the kitchen, wipe down the bathroom, and pick up the general mess left behind by three teenagers. As for laundry, I wash it whenever I can and fold it during nap once a week. I am constantly falling behind though so I can totally identify with feeling overwhelmed by all the cleaning that has to be done!
Country Kids 04:18 PM 10-16-2011
Don't get yourself down about this! Even us with husbands usually have times (most of the time for me) balancing all of this. I think having a home business and a family is one of the hardest jobs-at least for me.
Tags:assistant, overwhelmed, simplify
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