For almost four years, I have been a mom. More than that really, since my whole life and priorities shifted as soon as Chloe started cooking in my belly. I would like to think that by now, I’d have it all figured out. But I don’t. And I am by no means an expert.
BUT here are some things that I do that I THINK have made my life a tiny bit easier.
- Pick out clothes the night before. For as long as I can remember, I have laid out my clothes for the next day the night before even if I have no where to be. Picking out my daughters clothes the night before has saved us so much time and arguing in the morning. My son is easy because he will wear whatever I put on him but I still pick his clothes out before I put him to bed. Then I am not searching for anything in the morning. Sometimes, I’ll even lay out my husbands clothes for him. 🙂
- Have a strict morning schedule. My husband needs to be at work early. He works for a freight brokerage company and things get started at the crack of dawn. So I am solo most mornings with the kids. Keeping a strict morning schedule ensures that we are out of the house by 7:15.
- I wake around 5:50 am (5:00 if I am working out), shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and pack up the car.
- At 6:45, I wake my daughter. She gets dressed, we brush her teeth, comb hair, and go potty. I make her a quick breakfast, and she eats while I get Ryan up.
- At 7:00, I wake up Ryan, get him dressed, and give him something he can eat in the car – apple, banana, or yogurt pouch.
- At 7:15 it’s shoes and coats.
- At 7:20, we are in the car on the way to daycare.
- Ask your family for help. We all need our sanity. Enlisting family to help out on occasion can give you so much relief. Most likely, they will be happy to spend time with your children. They also probably won’t charge you anything to watch them. We are lucky enough to live 5 minutes from my parents, and the kid’s daycare is three blocks from my parent’s house. While I still always feel guilty, my mom will help out and pick the kids up from daycare some days so I can work out, see friends, etc. She’ll also drop by and bring dinner if I’m solo parenting, or if she found something at Costco that I “must have”. Funny how you need your mom more the older you get. (Love you, Mom!)
- Daycare vs. Nanny. We went back and forth – Daycare or Nanny? Daycare or Nanny? In the end, we chose Daycare for many reasons. My main reason was safety. I like knowing that if, God forbid, something horrible happened like someone chokes or gets injured, there is an entire team of people who would know what to do. But I also love that daycare is always open. I can send the kids to school even if I have a day off work. Maybe I won’t send them the entire time (well maybe I do) but enough that I can workout, run errands, be in the house all by MYSELF. It’s a nice perk. Have you ever tried to get stuff done while a babysitter is there? It does not work!
- Find an 18 year old to babysit. It took a while for me to feel comfortable with someone besides family watching my children. One night, I gave in and decided to try the 18 year old who lives across the street. It was a game changer! She is so willing and eager to babysit. The amount of date nights we have had recently has increased by 200%.
- Have a laundry schedule. This sounds so silly but trust me, it helps. Whites get washed on Friday, kids clothes and towels get washed on Saturday, darks and sheets get washed on Sunday. In the summer, I may throw in an additional load of the kids stuff during the week because they go through so much but we can usually get by with just once a week.
- Make lunches the night before. For some reason, having to make a lunch for work/school is my most dreaded task. I would love a job where I could actually leave and go out to eat. But alas, sadly, I do not. Packing lunches the night before saves me precious time in the morning.
- Exercise. Find time to do this! It does not have to be everyday. Even just a few times each week will help you to feel less stressed, and ready to tackle those mommy duties.
- Plan your meals for the week. I know, annoying. I don’t make anything fancy though. I’ll pick up things like chicken, ground beef, flank steak, and fresh pasta, and then worry about what exactly I’m making later. I always make sure to have taco seasoning around and Roa’s Marinara. I’ll also just pick up tons of fruits and veggies that we can mix and match with each meal, and some type of starch. We love the Seeds of Change rice, and I’ll always stock up on that. I keep it simple. It’s impossible to cook anything with kids running around anyway.
- Hire a cleaning lady. If you have the means, this is the best money I spend all year. If I’m putting myself on a budget, I will gladly forgo a new pair of jeans to keep the cleaning lady coming. Ours comes every other week, and deep cleans our home with organic products. Yes, I still need to wipe counters and vacuum occasionally but she does all the deep cleaning that I do not have time for. She does a better job cleaning than I could ever do!
What do you do to make mom life a little easier? I’d love to hear!