The other day on stories I was talking about how my officer and I use Google Calendar to keep our schedules straight. I asked you to tell me what your one “hack” or best tip would be for blue life, and yall gave me some of the best answers! So many of you asked about what others said, so I thought it was easiest to put them all into one blog post.
Meal Prep/Bulk Cooking
You guys…this is a game changer. It can seem daunting sometimes to sit down and plan out meals for the week (or month, or however long you plan ahead for) but once it’s done I always feel a million times better knowing it’s all planned out. A lot of you pointed out that this also saves money-there’s less waste and not as much temptation to grab take out. A few moms also pointed out that having meals planned solves the “what’s for dinner?!” question!
It’s also helpful to bulk or batch cook a bunch of meals at a time. Whether you do a few days worth for the fridge or even more for the freezer, this saves time in the long run and makes it easy for your officer to grab a prepped meal and stick it in their lunchbox for their shift. This also helps save money-you can buy extras of things when they’re on sale, and you are throwing away way less uneaten food.
I’ve used Google Calendar for years-I love how easy it is to update and I love nerding out and color coding all of our events and responsibilities. I also love that it syncs to both of our phones, so it serves as a “living schedule” that we can both update and check in on, and is also accessible on a computer. It’s also helpful that reminders pop up on my phone-that’s the best way for me to remember things.
A lot of you prefer to have a physical calendar on the fridge or wall that gets updated each month. Quite a few parents pointed out that this makes it easy for the kids to see when mom or dad is working and what days they have off. Whether you use an electronic or physical calendar or a combination of the two, keeping the schedule straight is one of the hardest and most important things!
Don’t Read the Comments/Stay Off the News
You guys…how true is this?! I always try to skip the comment section of controversial articles and most articles involving my officer’s department. They’re not always negative, but when they are those bad comments seem to really stick with me and float around in my head all day. We live in an antipolice culture right now, so even watching the news can be rough on my soul. It’s up to you to decide what amount of media is right for you and your family, but I’ve found that for our household, the less the better.
A lot of you suggested some super helpful apps. The Marco Polo app is great for staying in touch, especially when your officer is at work-it’s advertised as “video chat for busy people”. It’s basically a hybrid of texting and voicemails, but using video snippets to communicate instead. It’s a nice way to feel more connected, especially when most of us can’t call our officers regularly or expect immediate text replies.
The Amazon Alexa is exactly an app but is definitely an electronic hack to stay on top of things! It was a clear winner-one mom pointed out how great it is to be able to access things or make a list while your hands are full!
I shared in my podcast episode with The Waiting Warriors that I use the notes app in my phone to jot down little things throughout the day that I want to share with my officer-funny things, updates, or questions-so that I don’t forget later.
There’s tons of other great apps to help you stay organized, schedule important events, budget, and anything else you need for busy blue life. If you have a favorite, drop it in the comments!
Grocery Pickup or Delivery
This was by far the most popular hack! Whether you use ClickList, Amazon Fresh, or Instacart, so many of you shared that it saves so much time not to have to peruse the aisles. It also helps cut down on impulse buys-I’m much more likely to grab that extra box of cookies or pack of gum at the physical grocery store, but rarely do that when ordering ahead of time online. Options vary depending on where you live, but most stores are offering grocery pick up now and even load the bags in your car for you!
Spending Time Together
This is my personal favorite answer by a long shot. I think that sometimes when we get so caught up in rocking blue life and getting it all done we forget that the most important part is to simply spend time together. Whether that’s prioritizing eating a meal together or scheduling dates and vacations, simply spending time together is something that can get pushed to the back burner if we’re not intentional about it. Another suggestion was to make the most of your officer’s work days so that you could take advantage of the time he has off, spending it doing fun things instead of all the chores or errands.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but includes most of the responses I got from my stories the other day! Psst-I’ve been trying to stay more active on my Instagram stories, lately, so make sure you’re following over there!