HELPFUL IDEAS TO SAVE YOU MOMMY TIME!
Now that the kids are back in school, you’ve got all the time in the world, right? Not likely! Instead, it just means the chaos is more concentrated to before 8 A.M. and after 3 P.M, or if you have smaller children still at home...well, it’s still just chaos.
Time is something none of us parents seem to have enough of, so today, I wanted to share some time saving tips for busy moms and dads that will hopefully reduce a bit of stress, too. And don’t worry, I refuse to put, “Wake up earlier” in any of my advice. We’re tired enough.
Grocery Pick-Up Service
Throughout much of the country, grocery stores are making the shopping experience fast and friendly. By ordering online and scheduling a time you can pick up your order, you can save one to two hours a week, at least! Create your list straight from your phone while you’re at an appointment, during lunch, or during a younger child’s naptime, and choose a pick-up time. Most apps also have digital coupons you can add to your order. Once you place your order, schedule a pick-up, and when you get there, they bring it to your car, load up, and you’re on your way.
Grocery pick-up comes with two awesome bonus benefits, too. One - you can make a weekly meal plan as you create your order, which eliminates the “What’s for dinner” dilemma; and two - you’ll save money by avoiding impulse items.
Remember the “What’s for dinner,” dilemma? It’s 5:00 P.M, and you have no idea what to fix for dinner. The baby is fussy, the kids need homework help and the last thing you have time for is cooking. You could call for pizza, or you could reach in your freezer for a delicious, home-cooked meal that is ready in about 45 minutes.
With most meals you make, you can simply make two or even three batches of a meal, serve one, and freeze the other two. It only adds a few minutes to prep and cooking time and it saves you a ton of time down the road. Chicken enchiladas, lasagnas, casseroles, and soups all freeze beautifully, just to get started. Just get aluminum foil, disposable aluminum pans, and some plastic wrap, and you’re all set.
Up your freezer game by batch cooking and freezing pancakes and breakfast burritos for fun, easy weekday breakfasts. Here are some great ideas from AllRecipes, or check out the thousands of ideas on Pinterest!
Simplify Your Morning
When’s the busiest time of your day? If you said mornings, you’re not alone. Getting the kids ready and out the door, making sure backpacks are loaded, lunches are packed and everyone is loaded in the car or at the bus stop on time is a race. Invariably, the one morning you think you’ve got everything together is the morning where the baby has a blowout on your way out the door and your oldest needs a permission slip signed. Only now he can’t find it.
If you want to streamline your mornings a bit, shift some of the madness to the evening before. I know it’s probably your only time to relax, but taking 10 minutes to lay out your kids’ clothes, pack lunches and put them in the refrigerator, and make sure backpacks are loaded will save you more than 10 minutes in the morning because you won’t be pulled away every second by someone needing something.
Get your morning off to an even better start by prepping the coffee pot the night before, laying your own clothes out, and keeping easy breakfast ideas on hand!
Stop Being a Chauffeur
If your kids have football practice, ballet, or other extracurricular activities, how much time do you spend sitting and waiting for them to get done? Maybe an hour or two a week per activity, and if you have multiple kids, that adds up fast! Instead of spending hours a week scrolling Facebook while you wait, hire a college student to be your activity chauffeur.
It may seem expensive, but think of the time you’ll save that you can spend helping your other kids with homework, having one-on-one time with them, or just experiencing the joy of not having to chase them around the ballet studio or football field. Ask people you go to church with, coworkers who may have an older sitter, or even care.com to find someone who’s old enough to drive your kids to their practices.
If you can’t find a driver-helper, consider carpooling with a parent and taking turns taking kids to and from practice. It may take you a few minutes out of your way once a week, but in return you get a few hours back of your time.
Time bundling may sound strange, but this time-saver is actually really easy. To put it simply, we all have stuff we don’t want to do - clean the bathroom, sort outgrown baby clothes for donation or consigning, or workout. To make it more appealing, you bundle what you don’t want to do with something you do want to do, like listening to a podcast, watching a movie, or listening to an audiobook.
While multi-tasking can hinder your ability to get something done because you’re splitting your attention between two things, temptation bundling is generally to help push you to do something that’s kind of mindless. You don’t need your whole brain to sort baby clothes or tackle the laundry pile, so watching tv isn’t going to slow you down.
To get the full effect of this exercise, only do your “treat” activity, like watching your favorite, binge-worthy show when you’re doing your dreaded task. Chances are, you may start looking forward to it!
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