There are simply not enough hours in the day to do it all, and working moms feel the crunch even more so. These simple time-saving tips can help ease your stress and stretch the time you do have so that you can focus on the important stuff — your family — in your down time.
Crock Pots and Instant Pots should be in the arsenal of every working mom. Delicious soups, stews or even meatloaf in 30 minutes or less? Yes, please! Crock pots do require some advance prep, usually the night before, but throw it all in and set it on low, and dinner is ready when you walk in the door at the end of the day. The Instant Pot is exactly that….dinner in an instant. They might seem intimidating at first, but check out these food bloggers, recipe guides and Facebook groups for tips and ideas on super easy meals.
Meal planning can also make your life easier! Working moms can benefit from some weekend meal prep time — packaging up your own meal prep kits for easy freezing (marinated meat, plus chopped veggies for easy grilling or roasting).
Grocery Delivery/Meal Prep
There are some amazing local resources that offer everything from personal chef services to ready-to-cook crock pot meals, freezer meals and general prep. Check out this Seacoast Moms Blog post for a complete list!
Don’t Hesitate to Hire Help
You get paid for the work you do — at least the work outside of home. Your time at home is valuable, too. Should you be spending what little spare time you have scrubbing toilets or snuggling kids? While many may not be able to afford weekly housekeeping services, try asking for local help with some of the bigger jobs. There are ways to keep from breaking your budget — talk to a potential housekeeper about just doing bathrooms and floors, or even monthly cleaning or bi-weekly instead of weekly. How to find the help? Ask your local Facebook mom’s group or online garage sale page for referrals.
There’s An App For That
Your smart-phone can save your life! One of the most valuable time-saving tips I can recommend is to use that smartphone how God intended it — to make your life easier! Use Google Calendar to set up repeat events, reminders and alarms so you don’t miss something important! List apps like AnyList allow you to share lists with another user in real time. My husband and I keep shared lists for Target, Trader Joe’s, Lowe’s and our weekly groceries that we can both add or delete from in real-time. I also use this app to keep lists for meal planning and other reminders that I want to share with my husbnad.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
One of the most important time-saving tips for a working mom is to let some of it go. Focus on what’s really important — time with your kiddos, a comfortable, if not immaculately clean, home, food on the table. If that means take-out or pizza delivery once a week? Fine. Your family’s clothes may not get further than the clean laundry basket, but do wrinkles really matter so much? Nah.
Get the Kids Involved
Even when my boys were in preschool, they helped around the house, bringing trash cans from the bedrooms to the big kitchen trash, or wiping down tables with baby wipes. No matter their age, giving your kids a share in the household duties not only makes your life easier, it’s better for them, too. Studies have shown that kids who do chores are more likely to be successful in life! From folding laundry to picking up toys, making their own breakfast and packing their own lunch, your kids are probably able to do more than you realize.
Don’t Neglect Self Care
How is this a time-saving tip? Simple. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not going to be able to keep on taking care of anything else. You’ll be more efficient, flexible and purposeful with your time if you are well-rested and cared for. Many working moms cross themselves off their to-do list first, but this is a huge mistake. Give yourself a break every now and then. Schedule that massage, make time for the gym or a walk on your lunch break.