6 Time Saving Tips for Busy Moms
Posted on May 15 2019
Juggling it all can be so hard sometimes! With three kids at three different schools, loads of extracurricular activities, and two parents who both work full-time, my husband and I feel the stress daily of trying to get it all done and raise happy, good humans! I think there is a unique pressure on mothers to get it all done. All of the "extras" like school projects, birthday party gifts, shopping, and meals often fall on moms. Honestly, there are a lot of days that I barely get through. And other days it goes a little better. When I remember and do the things on the list below regularly, days go smoother for everyone in the family.
Working Mom Tips
1. Establish a morning routine.
This is non-negotiable in my house and it runs like clockwork (in large part because of my amazing husband!). All three kids pack lunches and prepare their backpacks for the next day the night before which makes our morning so much smoother. Each child has a specific wakeup time (extra early for my teenage daughter who needs time to primp, later for my two boys). And all three kids know what's expected of them in the morning. We find that frequent reminders- "15 minutes until it's time to go!" "10 minutes left!" really help keep us on track.
2. Don't waste time.
This sounds like such a cliche but it's true! Smartphones are so handy in so many ways but also can take away hours of our time every day and make us miss opportunities to connect with our kids. We have a "no phone" rule at dinner (which applies to teenagers too!) and I've tried to be super conscious of my phone usage. I removed apps that take time away and don't really add value to my life. I enjoy social media but I've also taken that off my phone for periods of time to break the habit of constantly checking in. If I do have extra time in a day that's being wasted on social media, I would much rather consciously do something I really enjoy like read a book or have a glass of wine with my husband. This is one that I have to constantly remind myself about and stay on top of or it's very easy to fall back in the habit of too much phone time.
3. Create a meal plan for the week.
I'm a huge meal planner! It really keeps me sane and keeps us from eating out, which gets more and more expensive as my kids get older. I shop at Costco once or twice a month and stock up on all the staples we eat regularly- sandwich bread, lunch meat, cheese, tortillas, snacks, frozen meats and canned goods. Once or twice a week I will sit down and plan out our dinners for the next several days and then run to the store to get what we need to make those meals happen. If I'm super busy, I use a grocery delivery service and it's worth every penny if it keeps us eating healthy foods at home! When I cook a meal, I usually cook extra for either another dinner or for lunch leftovers. Like I might grill chicken to have for dinner one night and I'll grill twice as much as we need and then we have meat ready for tacos later that week on a super busy night. When my kids were younger I was worried about not using food when I cooked extras but now that I have teenagers that's never a problem!
4. Shop online.
Things have changed so much since my 15 year old was a baby. Technology and online shopping have come a very long way in that amount of time and it's never been easier to get what you need (quickly!). I shop online for pretty much everything we need- clothes, school supplies, toiletries, vitamins, birthday gifts, and more. It's such an easy way to save time if you plan ahead to get it before you need it. I use Amazon for lots of household basics, and I like Nordstrom for shoes for everyone in the family (plus returns are so easy!). Of course my favorite kids boutique to shop for kids trendy clothes and cool clothes for boys is Little Skye!
5. Say "no".
It's ok to say "no" sometimes. Even to things that sound like fun or that you want to do. As my kids get older, it gets harder and harder to preserve "family time" or just normal nights at home without a ton going on. I've started blocking out a few days or nights a month and said "no" to any offer that comes along on those evenings. I tell my teens they have to do the same. Preserving that time is not easy to do but sometimes it's so, so important and some of the best family memories can happen in those spaces too. On Mother's Day, I told my husband and kids I just wanted us to all be home together. We bbq'd dinner together and didn't have a schedule to stick to- it was the best! It's hard to make that happen sometimes but it's definitely worth it!
6. Give yourself grace.
This can be a hard one! So many of us tend to put so much pressure on ourselves to "do it all". It's ok not to though. When I cut myself some slack I realize that sometimes it's ok to feed everyone turkey sandwiches for dinner. It's ok to let the laundry pile up and it will still be there when there's a little more time to conquer it. It's ok to accept help from friends, husbands and even our kids. Your kids want a happy, healthy mom way more than they want perfection in you. It's important that we find what makes us healthy and happy and find ways to put time and energy into that too, not just our responsibilities. I know my kids are watching me and I want them to see that being a kind, good human is much more important than perfection or getting it all done.