When you're a working mom, every minute counts. You have your schedule down, your calendar organized, and your to-do list prioritized, but that doesn't mean things always run as smoothly as you imagined. Even the most on-the-ball woman can use a few working mom hacks to make their day seem less bumpy. From getting dressed to making lunches, every mom should have a few tricks up her sleeve.
The pressures and responsibilities of work and family can be a big stressor for working moms, and trying to get it all done each day requires a lot of perseverance. Each of us only has 24 hours in each day, and maximizing those hours is at the core of every life hack. Learning how to turn dinner into lunch or making sure you get a workout in can make big difference in your sanity level. Using time and resources to your advantage can give the working mom something she sees little of: free time. Yep, having a little bit of that glorious free time can be just what a mom needs to feel rejuvenated enough to wake up the next morning and do everything all over again.
To save time, be more efficient, and add some happiness to your routine, start using these 15 working mom hacks, so everything gets checked off the list.
1. Dress Yourself Last
Every mom knows that meal times can be messy, and breakfast is no exception. To keep your work attire clean, have your clothes for the day picked out, but don't put them on until the last possible minute. If the thought of not being dressed in time makes you anxious, try tossing on a robe over your clothes. Think of it as your protective shield.
2. Quickie Workouts
Time is a precious commodity on weekdays, and not everyone wants to be up before the sun to make a 5:30 a.m. class at the gym. If you're having trouble getting your sweat on, try streaming a workout. You can exercise for as much time as you have (even if it's only 10 minutes), in the comfort of your own home.
3. Double Batch Food
Save time in the kitchen by doubling up on some staples. Making a dinner with rice, pasta, or potatoes this week? Double up on the amount and use the extra for a meal later on in the week. That means half the rice from Monday's stir fry goes in Thursday's enchiladas.
4. Shop In Bulk & Online
If your family is like mine, we consume household items like laundry detergent, toilet paper, and shampoo at an alarming rate. To save yourself multiple trips to the store to replace commonly used items, try buying in bulk from online retailers like Amazon and Drugstore.com. You'll be shocked by how exciting it is to see a giant box of paper towels on your doorstep!
5. Group Bathing
If your kids are still small enough to all fit in the tub or shower at once, toss them in and scrub away. It's an easy way to make every minute work for you, and have everyone smelling like lavender when you're done.
6. Pick Out Clothes For Week
Have the kids prepared with a weekly clothes organizer, like this one from Wayfair ($25). Each Sunday, the kiddos can choose their outfits for the week and have everything they need waiting neatly in this hanging container.
7. Keep Snacks Handy
It never fails, only five minutes down the road and my children are stricken with hunger. To stave off the tears — and the pleas to pull into fast food — I keep a stash of granola bars, trail mix, and fruit leather in my bag at all times.
8. Make Cleaning A Game
A few years ago, a good friend taught me about the 10-minute Tidy, and it has worked its magic ever since. Kids love anything that feels like a game, challenge, or competition, so use that desire to clean your house. Setting a timer for 10 minutes and see how much everyone can get clean before the timer dings. It might not sound like much time, but you will be amazed by how much better things will look when everyone is done.
9. Use A Grocery Delivery Service
Buying groceries for the family can be time consuming and dragging the kids to the store after a long day is a cruel form of torture. Try using a grocery delivery service, like Shipt, Peapod, or Greenbean Delivery. Or swing by Walmart on your way home, using their grocery pick up window, where you can gather the items you ordered online.
10. Turn Dinner Into Lunch
Give last night's leftovers a disguise by making them part of the next day's lunch. Try wrapping dinner's roast chicken in a tortilla with a little cheese and packing it for the kid's lunch. To save even more time, make lunch as you're cleaning up dinner and it will be one less thing to think about in the morning.
11. Stay Charged
Nothing is worse than when a low battery apocalypse strikes. I'll keep it real and admit that I rely on electronics at times to keep my kids entertained. To keep everyone's tablets, smartphone, and Mp3 players ready to rock, use a multi-device charging station. Now all you have to remember is to plug everything in at night, and you'll be good to go!
12. Phone It In
Some days, you just can't do it all. And that's just fine. Which is why we have friends, babysitters, and pizza delivery guys to make life easier. There are times when you need to wave the white flag and call for reinforcements. Don't give yourself a hard time on those days. You work hard and you've earned the help.
13. Keep Toys At The Ready
If you know the little ones are going to be poking around while you are doing your make up or scrambling eggs, keep some toys tucked in nearby places. Keep little hands busy with a book or lego bucket that you can keep in bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Then they are occupied while you get ready — everybody wins!
14. Combine Work Time
Use homework time as your time to catch up on emails and extra work. This way, you don't have to do it during family time or when the kids go to sleep and you just want to binge watch your shows.