Time Management and the Chef’s Wife

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Being married to a chef, (and being a stay at home mom), most of the work to be done at home falls on my shoulders.  My husband works 70-80 hours a week, so the free time he does have, he uses to sleep and spend with us.  I don’t want to have a huge list of things I need him to do around the house during the few hours he’s off.  This seems to work well for us.

There’s only one problem.

I tend to get overwhelmed easily.

Combine that with the amount of work it takes to care for a family, a home and a small business and that can be a problem!!

I’m a list maker.  OneNote is full of lists of things to do today and in the future.  I have shopping lists for different stores I need to go to.  I have a list of weekly chores for myself and the kids.  Some days I think I’m really organized and can stay on top of things.  Other days, I just look at what needs to be done and sit there overwhelmed.

Sometimes I get a glimpse of my chef/husbands to do list and I’m even more overwhelmed, now for him and for myself.

Even with all these lists and my calendar, I still struggle with managing my time.  I have this strong desire to get things done around the house.  (I can’t sit down when the house is messy.  With 3 kids, I don’t sit down much.)  I want to spend time with the kids.  I know it’s important to also take a few minutes for myself each day, or I will get burned out as a wife and mom.  Then of course there is the last minute changes in schedule of my chef/husband when I need to drop everything so we can spend time together as a family.  (Can anyone else relate to that?)

It’s hard to stay on top of things.  It seems like there is always something that needs to be done.


So what do you when you’re too overwhelmed to do anything?  How about read a book?    When there’s too much to do and you’re overwhelmed, that makes sense doesn’t it?  Read a book, browse through Facebook, read blogs . . .anything but the million things I have to do on my list!!

I’ve said before that I’m not much of a reader.  I don’t purchase many books for myself.  I occasionally check out some from the library, but they usually get returned before I’ve read them or even started them.  But I am excited to say I recently bought a book!  SHOCKING!!  It was short.  It was cheap.  AND it was by someone who I respect and has been helpful to me in the past.  The book was on time management.  If I’m willing to read something on a topic, then I must be really desperate, because, really, I don’t read.

tell your timeAnyways, Amy Lynn Andrews, my favorite resource for all things blogging and website, wrote a short e-book called Tell Your Time.  She had some great goal setting ideas and I really liked “seeing” her real life example that I could relate to.  That’s just how my brain works.  So when I saw her personal schedule for managing her life (work, kids, home, husband time, etc.),  I decided to give it a try.  I needed to find a way to fit in the things I needed to do so I had time to do the things I wanted to do!

Each day is so different in and of itself for our family, I ended up with more of a routine than a schedule, but it’s working!!  Woohoo!!  Instead of managing all the things I had to do on a calendar, I now have a “routine” and an order I do things in.  That way I make sure to do the things I need to do, and I don’t get stuck in a rut.  It’s also helping me move toward the goals I have for myself and for our family.

I was struggling with getting all the things done I needed to for our family and work was taking over.  For some reason, if I see a routine written out (like below), I am more likely to stay focused and quickly move on to the next thing, giving me more time to do the things I need to.  And having a “routine” without hours and minutes on it, took away the stress of having to look at a clock.  (I do have an alarm set on my phone to make sure we make it to the bus stop on time!!)

So here’s what I’m working on right now to try and stay on top of everything I need to do. There is play time with the girls and time for myself all throughout the day in the gaps here and there.  I found that by  prioritizing what needed to get done and placing an order on it and an approximate time on it, it freed up my time in the evening to spend with my family.

By doing this, I’ve had plenty of time to get the things done I need to around the house AND have more time with my family!!  Woohoo!!

You’ll notice there’s no “Chef/Husband time.”  If he’s home and doesn’t need to sleep or do something, he takes the place of whatever is going on (or goes along with it if it’s homework, meals, etc.) 

  • Up at 5:30 am
  • Bible Time
  • Check email
  • Get ready
  • Breakfast
  • Laundry in

 Bus Stop

  • Laundry
  • Dinner Prep.
  • Daily chore
  • Room of the week chore
  • Work or blog – My time

Bus Stop

  • Lunch
  • Rest for 5 year old/Work or blog for me – My time
  • Kindergarten homework and AWANA Verses
  • Prep snack for girls

Bus Stop

  • Snack and chat about the day
  • Homework, AWANA Verses, Piano
  • Dinner
  • Pack lunches
  • Showers for the girls
  • Reading
  • Girls in Bed – 8 pm and 8:30 pm
  • My time (TV, read blogs, fall asleep on the couch, etc.)

So that’s my life right now, give or take a few activities that get stuck in there a few times a week like workout, Bible Study and volunteering in the girls’ classrooms.

Anyone else struggle with getting everything done that you need to?  How do you stay on top of everything you have to do with a chef/husband that works so many hours?  If you work full-time outside the home I’d really love to hear how you manage your time!

From one chefwife to another,




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