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Being a working mom can be hard. There’s so much to do for the kids and work and the household that it’s hard to get it all done.
On top of that, the craziness of weekday mornings can be it’s own thing entirely. Getting everyone fed, dressed and out the door can be a major undertaking.
Here are some little hacks that can help you as a busy working mom make life that much easier for yourself. These might not be huge individually, but together they can save you a lot of time and stress.
Wear a Robe Over Your Clothes Until You Leave
One big struggle when you have babies or young kids is that you can get all dressed for work and then something gets spilled or someone spits up and you have to change before you even get out the door. Try wearing a robe over your clothes until you are ready to leave. This can protect your work clothes from any mishaps.
Pump Milk While You Drive
I cannot recommend this one enough. This is such a time saver and its actually one of the good ways to multitask. Most pumps are able to be used with batteries or some can use a car charger. I have a car charger for my Medela pump and it works great. I get in the car, set up the pump and then start my commute.
I totally recommend getting the Freemie milk collection cups to make this even easier. They are compatible with several pumps on the market or you can use their pump. These cups fit into your bra and connect to your pump to collect the milk without having those bottles sticking out from your chest. Plus its way less expensive than the Willow.
Always Have Healthy Snacks in Your Bag
Whether it is you or the kids, when you are away from home, someone is bound to get hungry. It’s great to have healthy snacks in your bag at all times or even just leave some in the car. A container of nuts or a couple of squeezies work great. This means you don’t have to get side tracked from where you are actually going in order to pick up snacks.
Make Things a Race
Lots of kids love to compete, so make getting ready in the morning a race. Se who can get dressed the fastest, or who can shower the quickest. You can track who is ready the fastest each day with stickers and at the end of the week, the winner gets to pick the game for game night or the movie for movie night.
Write Everything Down
The worst thing you can do as a busy mom is to try to keep everything in your head. Then your brain has to work all day remembering everything you need to do, everyone you need to talk to, and everything other people tell you. That is exhausting. its no wonder were tired at the end of the day.
Instead, just write everything down. You think of something you have to do, write it down. Your kid tells you about an event at school, write it down. At the end of the day you can go over your list, add things to your to dos, add events to the calendar and then they won’t be forgotten.
Get a Coffee Machine with a Timer
Having a coffee machine with a timer means you have one less thing you have to do or wait for in the morning. Just place a mug there the night before and let the machine make your coffee so it’s ready when you get up. That one thing can save you a few minutes every morning.
Put as Many Things as You Can on Auto Ship
Everything that you use all the time should be on auto ship. This means diapers, wipes, vitamins, coffee, toilet paper, etc.. Anything thing that you use and run out of regularly can be put on auto ship. This mean that you won’t have to worry about tracking how much is left or going to the store to purchase it. The products will arrive at your house right when you need them.
Use Your Lunch Break to Run Errands
Instead of having to fit in errands on the weekend or on the way home from work, do errands on your lunch break. I like to bring a protein and veggie smoothie and a sandwich for lunch. This is something I can eat quickly and then bring the smoothie with me if I have errands to run. I’ve done things like run to the post office, picked up a prescription, bought bread and milk, or gotten holiday cards.
Use Location-Based Reminder Apps
These apps, like Checkmark, send you a notification when you’re near a designated location, reminding you to do something. For example, you can set a reminder that alerts you the next time you’re in Target to buy milk, or the next time you’re near a post office to buy stamps. This can come in really handy.
Basically, meal planning is the best way I know to save you both time and money both of which are super important in my household. Meal planning allows you to know ahead of time what you and your family will eat for the week which allows you to shop more efficiently and waste less food that doesn't end up getting eaten.
It also allows you to eat healthier since you are making your own meals. I have a whole post on the benefits of meal planning which you can find here.
11. Have the Whole Family Prep the Night Before
Don’t just take on the role of evening prep all to yourself, have your family join in too. Have the kids pick out their outfits the night before and set them out. Have them pack their book bags the night before and you do the same with your work bag.
If the kids are old enough to make their own lunches, they can do this the night before too. Anything and everything that can be prepped ahead, should be prepped ahead. This will make your mornings that much less stressful.
12. Keep Diapers and Wipes in Multiple Locations in the House and Have Spares in Each Car
This one is a time saver for the weekends. One major time waster when you have a baby is having to go back and forth to one location multiple times a day to change their diaper. Instead have a basket of diapers and wipes in a few locations in the house so you can change the baby where you are.
It’s also helpful to have a few spare diapers and wipes in each car so that in case you forget to check the diaper bag before you leave or if the baby has more bowel movements than usual, you can be prepared. It’s the worst having to run to the store and buy a full pack of diapers when you know you have plenty at home.
13. Spelling words and memorization homework can be done in the car ride home from school
This is a great way to kill 2 birds with one stone. Your kid gets part of their homework done before they even get home and you travel home. This gives more time at home for other things to both you and your kids. If you have other kiddos who might be too loud for this activity, give them a snack to keep their mouths busy.
14. Have a Public Calendar
The one thing that will keep things running smoothly is when everyone knows what’s going on. Especially as the kids get older and their activities increase, having everyone on the same pare becomes more and more important.
It’s great to have a command center with a large calendar in a central area of the house. There everyone has their activities and meetings and events listed so everyone knows whats going on. It’s also crucial to make it a habit to regularly check the calendar. The calendar is only as good as how often you use it.
15. Be Present
The best thing you can do as a working mom is be presenting everything you do. When you are at work concentrate on work so you can get the most done accurately and efficiently. When you are with the family, focus on the people you are with. Remember it’s not the quantity of time spent doing something that matters but the quality.