Work/Family/Life: Doing It All (Or Actually Just Trying To Survive)

I realize I haven’t written many posts about being a Mom and so I thought it’s about time I did.  I’m not going to lie – juggling 3 kids younger than 5 years old, work and being a wife is challenging.  But, I actually think because of my new found commitment   obsession with being organized, our family is actually able to survive.  I love being an ophthalmologist, I would never give it up in a million years.  But, being a mother and wife are very important to me as well.  To do all of it, I have became extremely organized and have a million checklists for it all. I thought I’d share some of those tips with you.  My favorite blog for tips and tricks is  I started reading this blog when I was expecting Arya.  The author of this blog has 3 boys and at the time, I wasn’t sure if Arya was going to be a boy or a girl and I could very easily relate to her need to tame the clutter.  Now, I don’t have the time or energy to spend hours making beautiful labels for everything as many mommy blogs out there do.  I need a system in place to make my life easier, that’s it.  So, here they are, things that have helped me stay organized and allowed us to function as a family.

1. Getting Ready in the Morning

Any mom knows this can be extremely tough.  Get yourself dressed, get the kids all packed and ready to go so that you’re not late for work.  My oldest son thrives on routine and schedules (actually I think all kids do), so I made this checklist for him, borrowed from here.  He’s 5 years old, so he’s really old enough to be helping get himself ready for school.  Heck, by the time I was 11 years old, I had to pack my own lunch the night before school!  And, he loves this list.  I laminated it so he can check it off with a dry erase marker.  Often, he will tell me if I’ve done something out of order (I mentioned he loves routine, right?).

Morning Routine

In addition, I have checklists for what goes into each child’s backpack.  I created this because my husband always wanted to help during the morning dash, but he was always asking me “What do I need to pack for them?”  If I have to tell him, then I can just do it myself, so instead I made checklists.

If they have activities for the day, I have checklists for those bags too – swim bag, karate, etc.  I won’t bore you with those.  But, everything is packed and ready to go the night before.

2.  Mail/clutter

I hate mail.  I’m not sure why, but I just can’t stand going through junk mail and paying bills.  I pay the bills at the office just fine, but home bills are another story.  To curb all the mail/bills/multitude of artwork my children bring home from school, I created a filing system.  I basically scoured pinterest and did a combination of things that worked for us.  All mail/art goes into the gold tray when I walk in the door.  Then, I sort it into this wall hanging unit which is set up in our office nook.  It seems to work – haven’t lost bills so far!

3.  Toys (Clean-up)

I realized I was spending about an hour a each night cleaning up toys, organizing, etc and like Norma Ray, I decided I wasn’t going to do it anymore.  The boys are in preschool and at school, they clean up their toys beautifully, so why not at home?  I love baskets for toys and now all the baskets have labels on them, so the boys know where everything goes.

4.  Meals

I think this is probably the most difficult to do for working Moms.  My kids want to eat at 5:30 pm, they’re starving by then.  So, I need to have as much of the prep work done before I get home so that I can cook in a flash.  To stay organized, I use this meal planner – laminated cards with the recipes on one side and a list of the ingredients on the back and reference number for where the recipe is (Pinterest, particular recipe book, all  I sit down every Sunday and plan out the week, then I can just flip over the card and write out my shopping list from the ingredients).  I have color coded the cards – gray = crockpot, blue = pasta, green = grill, etc.

I painted a magnetic board with chalkboard paint and hung it in my kitchen.  I have a little magnet chalkboard container in which I keep the meal cards.

So, those are just a few of my organizational systems.  My house certainly is not a well oiled machine.  There are days where we feel like we barely keep it together, but these things help us juggle it all!

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Dr. Rupa Wong


Hi! I'm Dr. Rupa Wong. Physician. Private Practice Owner. Mama to 3 kids. Managing Partner. Educator. Textbook Author. Conference Co-Founder. Mentor. I am more than just one thing, even as a doctor and I bet you are too. I would love to help you envision the life you want, and then get after it. What are you waiting for?

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