Wednesday, June 22, 2011

10 time-saving tips to make Mama's busy life easier

silver clock by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

i'm a mom. yep, been at this gig for almost 7 years now. and i love it. and it keeps me super busy. over the years i've picked up a few time-saving tips and tricks for making this bustling Mom Life a little easier. here are 10:

1. wake up before the children and use that time wisely. yes, i know sleep is a precious commodity and everyone says sleep while the baby sleeps but trust me on this. shower and get dressed while the children are still snoozing. or tackle that sink of dirty dishes. then, when the sleeping angels wake up, you won't feel pressed for time or pulled in a million different directions.

2. invest in a good blender, and get familiar with smoothies and protein shake recipes. drinking your meals is fast, nutritious, and requires very little clean up!

3. fire your dirty clothes hamper. do laundry continually. keep the laundry cycle going. if it's dirty, toss it into the washer right away (but don't start it). when the washer is full of dirty laundry, wash it.

4. prep for tomorrow today. do as much as you can tonight to prepare for the morning. make snacks, fill sippy cups, lay out outfits, restock the diaper bag, and so forth. you will sleep peacefully knowing that you're ready for the morning. 

5. plan your family's meals. i know this sounds daunting but i promise it's a time-saving tip to make your busy life easier. what a relief to know on Monday morning what you're having for dinner that night and all the rest of the week, right? if you're not planning meals, you're probably scrambling and stressed out around 5pm and that just makes your busy life even more stressful.

6. do chores while your children are content. i made it a habit to always do kitchen chores when my baby was content in the highchair. now that my little ones are older i make the most of those moments when they are playing happily together or entertaining themselves. 

7. multitask. i pack my husband's lunch every morning before he leaves for work. while doing this, i also clean out the fridge. since i'm in there anyway getting his lunch stuff, i also grab old take-out boxes and leftover containers, old produce - trash, trash, trash. in just a few minutes the lunch box is packed and the fridge is clean!   

8. slice and dice fruits and vegetables as soon as you bring them home. other than a few exceptions to the rule, like apples and bananas, go ahead and prep that produce! put it in air-tight containers and stick it in the fridge for grab-and-go snacks and recipe-ready ease.

9. keep a snack bag. (and make it a pretty one!) this is a bag dedicated to snacks on the go. what's inside? sippy cups or bottles of water, a variety of healthy and yummy snacks for the kids, and a reusable ice pack. pack this at night. see #4.

10. teach your children to do things on their own. like put on and take off their own socks and shoes. like wash their own hands. like feed the dogs. your little ones are more capable than they let on, and teaching them these simple things will save you tons of time. 

and there you have it. my ten tips for making a busy mom's life easier. in all honesty: i wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. for more information on how you can participate, click here.