As a working mom, getting enough time to get everything done can be pretty hard. Days usually seem shorter because we can’t fit everything within a short time. Working moms know that things can sometimes get a little hectic or even chaotic.
So, exactly how do some working moms or busy moms get the time to go to work, come back home, clean, cook, shop for groceries, volunteer, run errands, arrange playdates, help the kids with their homework, and basically manage to raise a normal family, all without going crazy? Well, the answer is pretty simple: those busy moms have learned to make the most effective use of their time. They have come up with time-saving methods that make their work a million times better. Want to do the same? Read on to find out how you can do the same.
1. Plan a week ahead
Moms have routines. That’s how they survive because routines make life so much easier. If you have already established your routine, why not use it to plan ahead? If you know what meal you have on what days, then you can decide to prepare several days’ meals in one day. Chop up your veggies neatly and store them in the fridge so that it gets easier whenever you cook. Pick out outfits a week or several days earlier so that you don’t waste time deciding on what to wear on that morning before work. Take advantage of that Sunday afternoon to plan your entire week. All these little things are great time savers.
2. Wake up a little early
Wake up early doesn’t mean don’t get enough sleep. Mothers are supposed to have enough sleep otherwise they’ll lose their minds with all the things they get to do to ensure that everyone is well taken care of. Waking up a few minutes earlier than everyone else gives you time to organize everything before kick-starting the day. You can take a shower, get ready and prepare breakfast so that when everyone is up, you can help them get ready without any pressure.
3. Don’t waste time getting up in the morning
Do you find yourself snoozing the alarm countless times before deciding to wake up? If the answer is yes, then you are not alone. Getting out of bed in the morning can be tough. We all want to sleep in every morning but we can’t. We have to get up and grind. We have to get everyone ready. We have to make that money.
So what can you do to make the getting up process quick? This is what works for me: I place my alarm across the room so that I actually have to get up from bed to turn it off. Placing my clothes next to my bed where I can actually see them also reminds me that I need to wake up.
4. Prepare breakfast for the week
Preparing breakfast when you are already running late can be a tough task. You’re already pressed for time but need to eat a healthy breakfast. To avoid the hassle, always prepare breakfast beforehand. I like preparing whole wheat banana nut muffins, sandwiches, pancakes, vegetables, blueberry scones, different proteins, granola bars, and vegetable and egg muffins on Sundays so that I only have to heat them up in the microwave and be good to go. You get to enjoy a healthy breakfast with no hassle. I also never forget to preset my coffee so that I simply have to brew it in the morning.
5. Pack lunches the previous night
Packing lunches can be time-consuming. To save you those few minutes and to make your mornings easier, pack lunches during dinner. I usually find that cutting up extra veggies and cooking extra protein during dinner allows me to have extra food that I can use to whip up the kid’s lunches. These extras are great for whipping up quesadillas and sandwiches. You can also use leftovers to make salads or different wraps that the kids can enjoy as their lunch. Also, don’t forget the kids’ drinks. Remember to pack their water, juice, yogurt or milk the night before.
6. Put everything within reach
There are things that kids can’t live the house without. These include backpacks, shoes, and jackets. Imagine running late and having no idea where your child’s backpack is? Or have no idea where one of her shoes is? Even just thinking about it makes me anxious.
So to avoid this from happening, ensure that everything is placed at a particular place. Create one spot for everyone’s backpacks, jackets, and shoes. When you place things at the same place, everyone knows exactly where their stuff is and this makes it hard for things to get lost. Plus it makes everything run smoothly.
Just ensure that everyone drops these things right back at the same spot so that they’re available again the following day. Once the kids are done with their homework, ensure they put it back in their backpacks so that they don’t forget their homework at home. When you learn to organize things, children also learn this habit from you. They learn to be organized at an early age. And isn’t this what every parent wants?
7. Order Groceries Online
Grocery shopping with my toddler is the hardest thing I usually have to do. This might sound a little harsh, but it is true. All the tantrums, the running around, grabbing everything and throwing things around really gets to me and makes it super hard to shop. You end up running around like a maniac, trying to pick out things as fast as possible. I can’t count the number of times I have had to forget or leave out some things simply because I have no time to choose between two flavors, two brands or two sizes.
The solution to this? Online grocery shopping. Once again, thank goodness for technology. Shopping online is very convenient. You can order groceries online and have them delivered to your doorstep at a fee, or you can choose to order online and pick your groceries up at the store where someone brings them out to your car free of charge. I absolutely love shopping with Shipt and Instacart. Walmart Grocery is great as well.
8. If you don’t like shopping for groceries online, shop just once a week
Not everyone likes shopping for groceries online. Some people prefer to pick out their groceries themselves. If this is you, there still ways you can save time and make grocery shopping a bit easier. First of all, start by designating one day a week for grocery shopping. You can’t be running to the grocery shop every single time you run out of something. You can also keep making your shopping list throughout the week so that by the time you go shopping, you’ll be having an exhaustive list. Also, let everyone know which day is grocery shopping day so that they can let you know whatever they need before then.
9. Put your bills on auto-pay
Busy moms have a lot on their plates. If you have the opportunity to get one thing off the list, say paying bills, then you should grab this opportunity as fast as you can. Writing checks, mailing the checks, ensuring they cleared and all that can be time-consuming. If you don’t want to deal with this, then you have the option of putting your bills on auto-pay.
With auto-pay, whenever your bill comes through, it takes whatever amount is needed from your bank account. All you then get is an alert notifying you that your bill has been paid. Just ensure that you have enough money in your bank account to cover the bill amount.
10. Keep track of your to-do list
So technology is not just used when paying bills. There are thousands of apps you can use to make your work so much easier. There’s this app I stumbled upon that helps me keep track of my to-do lists. It’s called “Remember the milk”. The beauty of this app is that you can share this list with whoever you want. I share it with my husband so whenever I don’t get time to get something, he does. You can also check out “Wunderlist”. It works the same.
Amazon prime also makes everything so easy. Sometimes forgetting those little purchases like paper towels or a new razor. Things that are quite important. Amazon prime usually comes to my rescue when it comes to these things.
11. Figure out what wastes your time
Everyone has those things they do that wastes their time. For me, it’s looking for my phone every time before leaving the house. For some reason, I never seem to remember where I placed my phone! That’s why I decided to get a central charging station for all the phones in the house. This way I always know the first place to look whenever I start my frantic search before leaving the house. Although this hasn’t solved the problem 100%, at least 80% of the time I always find my phone at the charging station.
If your problem is finding your keys, then get a hook or a key bowl and place them by the door. Some people have a huge problem with screen time. The internet is so interesting and sometimes we find ourselves going down random rabbit holes. For example, you might start out watching interesting cooking videos on Youtube. Two hours later you might find yourself watching random Indian ASMR videos and may have np idea how you got there. To save time, limit screen time for not only for yourself but your kids as well.
12. Always pack an emergency bag
Every single mom needs an emergency bag whenever they leave the house. It doesn’t matter where they are going to because kids are super complicated. You might be out grocery shopping then baby poops or pukes. That’s why you should have an emergency diaper changing kit in your car. Because you never know when baby will need changing. Your emergency bag should have diapers, wipes, a small towel, spray bottle with water for cleaning, paper towels, a change of clothes, a receiving blanket, a grocery bag for keeping the soiled clothes and finally some gloves for when they make really big messes.
I also like to carry a thermometer, snacks for when they are hungry, and books and some travel games for when they are bored. Keeping them preoccupied in the car saves you the trouble of having to pull up to deal with tantrums and having to calm them down. All these items are really important because imagine having to run to a store to get diapers or wipes or even a change of clothes because you obviously can’t let your kids walking around looking messy and dirty.
13. Take advantage of available apps
Apps make everything very convenient. They help save time and bring about some sanity. As aforementioned, there are grocery apps like Grocery iQ, ShopSavvy, that make our grocery shopping so much easier. There are also banking apps that help us deposit checks from our phone and basically just make carrying out financial transactions really easy. There’s no need to go queueing in banking halls. Bank of Mom is an app that helps you keep track of your children’s allowances.
There are also calendar apps that help us keep events and appointments organized. Examples include Cozi, There are food apps like How to cook everything, that help us find interesting recipes whenever we feel that our families are tired of eating the same kinds of food.
14. Do not overschedule your family
Keep things simple. It is easy for many moms to fill up their family timetables with activities, leaving no room for simple downtime. You do not have to join every mom group or volunteer for every committee. You also don’t have to participate in every event or sign your kids up for each and every activity. You’ll be running around trying to ensure everyone arrives early to every event and eventually burn out from all that running around.
Sit down with your family and decide which things are truly important and sign up for those. Keeping things simple and prioritizing the things that are truly important helps save time.
15. Have some mommy time
Taking care of yourself should always come first. You cannot take care of everyone else if you are not okay. Have some me-time once in a while to reorganize your thoughts. You can ask for help from your partner or even hire someone to look after the kids while you relax. You can take a nice relaxing bath, go to the spa, do yoga or pilates, or even meditate. If you can manage to take 20-30 minutes a day to relax, the better. I did a post about ways moms can relax and unwind during stressful days. You can check that out.
Mums are generally really busy people, but if a mom doesn’t know how to manage her time, things can get a bit overwhelming for them. With these hacks, life becomes a bit simple. Try them out and let me know what works for you!