There are only so many hours in a day, and as busy moms, we try to make the most of them. Take a look at your daily life and see how these mom-tested shortcuts can help you.
Run your family like a business
Angela Gifford is a working mother of four boys who blogs at LetsTalkAboutBoys.com. With kids in elementary school, middle school and high school, Gifford is always on the run. She recently decided that it was time to run her personal life as professionally as she does her work life with the help of Gmail. “Gmail helps me manage tasks, priorities and deadlines for every part of my life,” says Gifford. “It is so easy to make myself a quick to-do, so I can get something off my mind. That may sound simple, but some of the best advice is!”
Delegate daily household chores
Julia Simens is an on-the-go mom, clinical psychologist and author. To get through each day, she delegates. “Teach family members to do their fair share of the work without being hounded,” says Simens. “Don’t have ‘mom’ jobs and ‘dad’ jobs. Don’t have ‘adult’ jobs and ‘kid’ jobs. Have family jobs, divide them out to the family members and offer guidance to help your family complete those jobs.”
Single mom Laura Wellington is raising five kids and running a growing media empire. Her favorite shortcut? Stocking up. “One of my secrets is that I keep extras of all necessities (such as laundry detergent) and my kids’ favorites (like certain cereals, special snacks). Doing so keeps me from having to throw my schedule off by running, for the fiftieth time that week, to the market.”
Use that crock pot!
Entrepreneur and author Keren Brown — who has a 3-year-old child and twins on the way — believes in family dinners and cooking with shortcuts. “I use the slow cooker to put together easy recipes in the morning before work,” she says. “I always have canned foods like corn and beans on hand, so I can always whip something up, even when time is short.”
Moms make sure their kids are well-fed but don’t always take the time to keep themselves fueled with healthy foods. “Keep a basket stocked with healthy ‘mom only’ snacks, or dedicate one drawer in your refrigerator to healthy snacks that are set aside just for you,” says Amy Clark, the Founder of MomAdvice.com. “For a quick and nutritious snack before running errands, I enjoy orange juice, flavored waters or Greek yogurt. And for when I’m running my children to school or other activities, I keep delicious on-the-go snacks like raw almonds or granola bars stashed in my purse.”
Say “no” to the less-important things
Sure, it would be nice to have a spotless house, be the president of the PTA, bake homemade bread and still get a raise and promotion at work. But, according to Candi Wingate, mother of two busy boys and president of Nannies4Hire, we need to learn when to say no. “It’s not realistic to accomplish all of these things,” says Wingate. “Decide what’s most important and do that. Delegate what you can to a spouse, nanny or friend. And don’t worry about the rest.”