Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a work-from-home mom, or a career mom – there is one thing that you’re in desperate need of, and that is time. Time seems to slip through the fingers of hard-working moms who desperately wish they could grow an extra pair of hands – or even better clone themselves. Not only do mothers need to provide first-class care for their gorgeous offspring, they need to care for themselves, their partners or spouses, as well as the family pets.
On top of all the caring that is needed, they also have to find the time to put in a full day’s work and ensure that the grocery cupboard and fridge is always fully stocked, meals are planned and prepared, gifts are purchased for friends and family members and birthday parties are arranged. Whew! Little wonder that mothers are finding that the twenty-four hours that are allocated to a single day are just not enough. The thing is that even though mom’s lists are seemingly never ending, the more time we spend trying to get things done – we find that we’ve actually gone two steps backwards and we’ve accomplished little.
Here are a few tips on how moms (and dads) can get the most out of their day.
Time saving tips for the hectic mom!
Multi-tasking is not necessarily a time saver. There is no question about, moms are marvels at multitasking but the bottom line is that multi-tasking does not necessarily save time because the multi-tasking mum is busy with three or four things at once, their full attention is not directed on one particular task and this usually means that one or more of the tasks may not be done thoroughly. The result is that mom will have to return to the task and redo it at a later stage. Although multi-tasking is a vital survival skill for the modern mom, it’s useful to learn how to single-task and focus attention and time on one task at time and do it properly, the first time round.
Hand over! The problem with most moms is that they think if they are anything less than supermoms, they aren’t doing it right! The reality is that trying to tackle everything will eventually lead to a total meltdown. Ask for help when needed and get your husband or partner involved in childcare. If your man’s a dream in the kitchen, suggest that he takes care of a few meals a week – or if he does not have cooking in the bag, ask him to bathe the kids, help with homework, etc. The days of moms being in complete charge of childcare and homecare are long gone and most men will be happy to help, if they’re asked!
Planning. Keeping a list of everything that needs to be done or that moms hope to accomplish during the day will help the time-strapped mom get a better perspective of how they’ll spend their time. A detailed list of things to do will save time and with a list in place there’s no chance of forgetting important meetings, follow-up doctor’s appointments or forgetting to buy a birthday gift!
Bills. Today a lot of mothers have taken on the role of handling and paying the family’s bills. Luckily, the internet has made this a relatively painless and simple task, but time still needs to be allocated to this chore. Having a budget prepared will give bill payers a clear idea of what needs to be paid. All bills that are received during the month should be kept in a safe place and once they’ve been paid, they should be filed and stored away.
Meals and laundry. One of the most time-consuming chores for any mom is the planning and preparing of meals, and making sure that every member of the family has a good supply of clean clothes and socks. When it comes to meals, the trick is to plan meals in advance. When menus are set for a week, the ingredients can be purchased ahead of time and when meals are planned, moms don’t spend agonizing hours trying to come up with healthy meals.
Trying to think of what to cook when children are hungry and when moms are exhausted, often results in quick, unexciting and generally unhealthy meals. A good time saver is to double up meals. Cooking enough for two meals means that when moms have little energy left for cooking, they can take out a frozen pre-prepared healthy meal.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Moms who have little time to spare tend to skip breakfast and this can have a negative impact on their health and on their energy levels. Stocking up on ready-to eat cereals is a great time saver. Those who prefer to have fruit for breakfast could make a fruit salad the night before, or a smoothie – another healthy alternative that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Little is more off-putting than tackling a mound of dirty of washing. Moms can save time by doing a load daily or every second day, depending on their family size. Having hampers in each bedroom will also prove to be a huge time saver, as there will be no need to hunt for dirty clothes under beds, etc. Doing a load daily or every second day and folding the washing as soon as it comes off the washing line (save for the items that need ironing) will reduce the need to iron, and it will also prevent a mad-morning rush where moms are hunting for clean socks, underwear, etc.
A lot of garments can be worn more than once (especially jeans) and re-wearing clothes can drastically reduce washing loads. Time can also be more effectively used if outfits are planned the night before. Getting baby’s or the kid’s clothes ready the evening before can save tons of time and if baby attends a crÃ¨che or is at a day mother, moms could have the bags packed the evening before – once again this will making the morning rush a little less stressful.
Gifts. Kids are often invited to a lot of birthday parties and running around at the 11th hour looking for the perfect gift for a five-year old can be daunting and time consuming. Save time by buying gifts in advance and keeping them readily available for the next birthday party (buy unisex gifts). It’s also a great idea to buy a few adult gifts, such as bath goodies, etc. Don’t forget to keep a good supply of gift bags on hand; this will eliminate a trip to the shop.