Parenting

How do you keep your household running?

Katie is looking for tips and tricks to help her stay organized. See how she has dealt with the hectic month of February — and learn about our giveaway!

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I’m worried we’re becoming the Hecks — Patricia Heaton’s endearing yet completely disorganized family on TV’s The Middle. Their idea of meal prep is a trip through the drive-through. On every single episode, they camp out in front of the TV with bags of burgers and fries. I’m waiting for an episode called “The Hecks Get Scurvy” for the lack of fruits and vegetables. It’s cringe-worthy, honestly, and yet, Blaine and I are pretty much keeping Chipotle in business.

For the first two months of Soph’s life, we were set (weird, I know). My mom and I had stocked our freezer full of quick meals in a new baby world, and Blaine and I made sure we had all the ingredients for our favourite weeknight meals on hand. We muddled through the days and then made snap decisions about dinner by opening the freezer and choosing whatever tin-foiled package or pan was on top.

But eventually those pre-made meals were few and far between, and now there was a baby in the picture. A baby who needed a bedtime routine, smack in the middle of dinnertime. Cue the take-out menus. Of course I know this is a bad habit, both financially and nutritionally — hence my fear that we’re becoming the Hecks — but it was so much easier to make a phone call before bath and have supper show up at the door when Soph finally went to bed. February was a rough month.

Then I noticed one of my Twitter followers was actually a company boasting organizational tools for families — including trackers for diapers, feeding, etc. (I was dying for one of these when Soph was first born, instead of my random midnight scribbling) and menu planners. Yes! I need help! Stat. So, my love of Glow Baby was born (pun intended).

Glow Baby owner Lindsay Harris was a mama just like me, trying to get her new family’s act together, but she went one better and created products to help. Blaine and I love the shopping list notepad — we plan out our meals for the week and then break each recipe down into a shopping checklist. We also have the family calendar, with monthly and weekly pages, so we can keep track of appointments and events, as well as scheduling what we’re eating and when. So far, so good. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but we’re in better shape already. They no longer recognize our number at the sushi place up the street, so that’s a start at least.

As the days go by, we’re finding solutions but I think it will be a long time before our household runs like a clock (much to my chagrin). Things that used to be easy, things I did without a second thought, aren’t as simple anymore. But we’ll get there. We’re learning. And fellow mamas like Lindsay, who have tips and tricks I haven’t yet figured out, are a godsend.

So with that in mind, as a Monday bonus courtesy of Glow Baby, I have menu planners to share with the blogosphere. If you’d like a chance to receive one, tell me: how do you keep your household running? Any tips for this new mama?

NOTE: Please ensure you are signed in to leave a comment. This giveaway will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 4th, 2012.

To be awarded on a first come first served basis to those who answer the question above, until inventory is depleted. Quantities are limited at the discretion of Rogers. You must be a Canadian resident, 18 years or older, excluding residents of Quebec. No cash value.