Let’s face it. Moms are always on call. Whether it’s to wipe snotty noses, go grocery shopping or scrub toilets. I’m sure there’s moms and dads who can testify to having a lot to do with little time to do it. I’ve only been a mom for eight months, but I’ve learned now more than ever that my time is very valuable. How I use my time can make a huge difference.
I’ve always thought of myself as a multi-tasker, but nothing beats juggling mommy-wife-job duties.
Along my mommy journey I have developed some habits that help to streamline my day so that I can have more time with my hubby and my daughter. I work full time and my day usually starts about 5 am or earlier and doesn’t end until 11 or after midnight. In no particular order of importance I’ve created a list of things us busy moms (and dads) can do to get more done in the day.
1. Electronic circular/reward programs
I downloaded the app flipp so that I don’t have to collect so many sale papers and the places I shop most often will let me know when there’s a sale. I’ve also downloaded the Pampers app because since our daughter’s NICU days she’s been using Pampers. It’s the brand we prefer, but by no means not the only good brand out there. On every pack of wipes and diapers there are these codes and a certain number of points are assigned based on your child’s diaper size. Once you’ve collected so many then you can trade those points in for a reward. The rewards include totes, diaper related merchandise and an opportunity to make a contribution to some wonderful foundations.
2. Pay bills online
I write all of our recurring bills in a calendar on the date it is due and how much. We sit down and determine what bills will be paid from which check and pay them all at once. That way you don’t have that unpaid bill hanging over your head. I go back to my calendar and mark it paid.
3. Grocery shop once a week
It can be hard, but on a good week I run all of my errands on Saturday and before lunch time I’m done. I wake up around 7am, finalize my menu for the next week and my grocery list. Then I hit my circle — produce market, aldi, dollar tree, food lion. It may seem like a lot, but each store meets different needs. I get fresh fruits and vegetables from the produce market; pasta, canned veggies, snacks, sauces from Aldi; cleaning supplies and wellness supplies from Dollar Tree and the occasional makeup product and meats and other grocery items from Food Lion.
4. Do double duty
While you’re making dinner throw a load of clothes in wash and/or if you have time before getting the kids up or after they go to bed. I mean let’s be honest, laundry is one of those things that requires little action from you — put the clothes and laundry detergent in and start it up, that’s it. You can fold the clothes after dinner.
Wash dirty dishes while you make dinner. Why wait until after doing dishes. Why not clean mixing bowls and pots as you are cooking that way it cuts down on the time you have to wash afterward.
5. Pack a second diaper bag.
Leave it in the car or if you have older kids pack a ‘to-go’ bag. In this bag you can put car games like the license plate game or spot the car (for preschoolers pack a pad and pencil and when while driving let kids write down license plate numbers or spot the type of vehicle. You can even create a check list of vehicle types ahead of time and when the kid spots one let them place a sticker over the word) or hangman —pack bottled water or CapriSuns or snacks like dried fruit. Also include a blanket, pillow, a change of clothes because just because they are older doesn’t mean they will have accidents.
6. Make a list.
I make lists of everything, from groceries to blog ideas. I write every thing down b/c these days there’s so much going on that I just don’t trust myself to remember it. So when you’re on the elevator heading to the office take a few seconds to add to your grocery list or if you’re in the car do a voice memo and make a shopping list.
7. Prep meals
I admire those moms who prep their meals weeks ahead, but when you have a picky eater (hubby) I can’t really go that far out. I prep my meals at least two days ahead. Sometimes my husband says he’s not in the mood for chicken and or just wants veggies so creating meals for the week just doesn’t work in our house. But what I do is include him in on the meal planning that way he knows what meals are upcoming. Oftentimes we may have nachos one night and I’ll take the extra ground beef and make spaghetti for the next day.
8. Quick clean
While at the red light or before you get out of the car why not take a baby wipe and clean the steering wheel, armrest, door handle and crevices near your gearshift. Put a small trash bag or even a recycled grocery store bag and take out the trash. Empty the trash when you get out. Shake the floor mats out when you don’t have time to vacuum. Use hand sanitizer on spills or ink stains.
9. Mommy’s day out
Hire a babysitter or get nana and grandpa to watch the little one so you and hubby can clean the house. At least once a month we get my mother-in-law or sister-in-law to watch our daughter so we can give the house a deep clean without having to entertain her. We can devote our attention solely on the business of cleaning.
We created a snack drawer for my stepson. We always have fresh fruit and of course chips, but we put extra snacks in a height appropriate drawer that has pudding, fruit snacks and other things he likes to eat. This way kids know this is THEIR drawer and can have a role in picking out the snacks that go inside and keeping the drawer organized.
When we run low on products I add it to a master list on the fridge during the week and it cuts down on the amount of time it takes me to create a shopping list on the weekends.
What are some of the ways you save time as a busy mom or dad, share with us via instagram
or just comment below.