6 Time-Saving Hacks for Busy Moms
Hey everybody, it’s Neve from WeTheParents.org. If you’re like me, and just about every other mum on this planet, then you’ve probably wished for more hours in the day; probably an extra four between the time your kids go to bed and you do.
You could finish the chores, check off those niggling admin tasks, keep in touch with your friends, and then, just maybe, you could take a moment for yourself.
Okay, so you ain’t gonna get an extra four hours per day, but keep reading to learn six smart time-saving hacks that will shave four hours off your motherly-work-week. That’s half-a-day, folks! Enough to regain some of your sanity and, perhaps, a taste of the life you once had (before kids).
6 Time-Saving Hacks for Busy Moms
Get the kids involved in chores
This may seem counter-intuitive. Surely each job will take twice as long with a little person ‘helping’.
Well, firstly, it’s important that the chores are carefully selected and age appropriate. With that in mind, children pick things up quickly and soon you’ll find their little hands are helping to get stuff done faster.
Also, and most importantly, doing chores with your kids means that you are getting bonus quality time whilst also getting things done. This is great if, like me, you sometimes feel guilty because it seems you are constantly doing ‘jobs’ rather than being present with your children.
Meal plan (like you’re in the military)
This is a biggy, so let’s break it down.
First off, browse online for new recipes. Include these with a list of your current go-to meals. You want around 10 meal ideas in total.
Next, make a food calendar. Throw all your meal ideas into a hat and get the family to choose what they want to eat this week. Put all of the meals onto the calendar. This step alone will save you time and headspace over the next six days. It also means that you can do the weeks grocery shopping in one hit (an enormous potential time saver.)
Finally, pre-prepare meals. This is huge, so don’t leave this one out. It takes a bit of adjusting to at first, but it’s well worth it. Pick a day when you can dedicate three or four hours to chopping veg, pre-cooking sauces and making salads and dressings. (I do this on Sunday morning when my husband takes the kids swimming.) Invest in loads of quality containers, then tub it all up and pop it in the fridge or freezer.
Trust me, after a few weeks, once you’ve got this routine down, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it.
Clean the bathroom during bath time
A sneaky hack that I love: Once or twice a week, whilst your kids are in the bathtub, you can whip round and clean the bathroom whilst keeping an eye on them at the same time.
Note: For this to work safely, your children must be old enough to sit in the bath without constant, close supervision. If you have a small baby too, then pop them in a play yard by the bathroom door.
Forget the ironing
If you haven’t already, simply stop ironing. It’s a time killer.
There are plenty of wrinkle release sprays you can use on your clothes, and, for that matter, plenty of clothes that don’t require ironing.
Except for special occasions, keep the iron tucked well away in the cleaning cupboard. (Sorry, iron!)
Prepare the night before
Studies have shown that we perform tasks less efficiently when we are under stress. This means that it will take you less time to put out clothes and pack day bags if you do this once your kids are in bed and the house is quiet. Don’t leave it for the morning when things can get chaotic and pressured.
Learn to say no
This is a challenging tip to master but it has the power to transform your life. The aim is to cut out everything that is non-essential in your life. By doing so you will win back time and space to focus on what is truly important for you and your family. To do this, you’ll have to learn to say no.
When someone asks you to do something or suggests a get-together, ask yourself, “Is this the very most important thing I should be doing right now?” If the answer is no, then don’t do it. Be disciplined and only do it if the answer is yes.
You may even need to say no to yourself. For example, I love cloth nappies. I used them with my first child and have even written an entire guide on them. When I had my second child, though, things just got too much. I had to say no to cloth and I switched to disposables. (There are some decent biodegradable ones out there.)
Go for it!
Try these six time-saving mum hacks today. You might just find that you reclaim a (slightly) calmer and more fulfilling life.
Neve blogs at WeTheParents.org where she seeks to bring out the humour in parenting and gets nerdy researching and reviewing the gear that mums and dads (apparently) need. You can also catch her on Facebook and Twitter.