As busy working mothers, we need as many time savers as possible. The work week can be overwhelming, so even the smallest time savers can make a world of difference. Here are some easy things you can start doing immediately depending on your child’s age.
1. Recruit the kids
Kids can handle simple chores as early as two years old. Determine what is reasonable for your child. I have found that a reward system works well for my six-year-old twins. They earn stars for some chores, and each week they can select a reward. Sometimes it is as simple as ordering a movie or going to the dollar store. Now there are some chores that they do without reward, because I don’t want them to think they should get rewarded for doing what they are supposed to do, but I also want to instill a good work-ethic. Whatever the assigned chores, stay consistent.
2. Create a To Do List
On a weekly basis, create a to-do list. There is a lot that goes on during the work week, and you are sure to forget something. A list helps to get and keep you on track. I use my phone calendar quite a bit so reminders will pop-up. There are also a few simple apps available as well. I especially need to keep up with my kid’s school projects, school parties, fundraisers, etc. First grade is rather demanding!
Use as many automated services as you can. It saves me time using the bill pay feature through my bank. I understand some people still like to write checks; my husband is one of them, so to each his or her own. Also, if you have standard prescriptions, and a mail order prescription plan, sign-up for it. No need to go the pharmacy if you can have your medications automatically mailed to you.
4. Grocery Shopping
Let me tell you something, Amazon Fresh has changed my life! I don’t have any affiliation with Amazon, but I love them so much, I probably will soon. You can order in the morning, and have your groceries the next morning. You must be an Amazon Prime member, and there is a $14.99 monthly fee; however, if you can swing it, it is well worth it. My husband is currently deployed, so this is a huge time saver for me. I now shop based on my weekly meal plan.
5. Plan Meals
Take a little bit of time on the weekend, and create a weekly meal plan. I have started planning my meals, and ordering all my ingredients from Amazon Fresh. I usually order on a Friday or Saturday morning to ensure I have all my ingredients by Monday. It has reduced my stress during the work week. If you have a particular day of the week that is especially busy, plan your meals so that there are leftovers that night.
6. Plan Weekly Wardrobe
This is a good time saver if you have a little girl (or )boy who is picky about her clothes. Starting at age two, my daughter would argue with me about what to wear every morning. It was frustrating, and a time killer! I started to pick her outfits on the weekend for the entire week. She had the freedom to pick her own clothes each day, which made her empowered, and saved me time. She is six, and we still follow this routine today. If you are really hardcore, you should plan your daily outfits as well. This never works for me, because I dress based on how I feel that day.
7. Establish Nightly & Morning Routines
Set-up as much as you can the night before. I set the table for breakfast the night before. I put out any non-perishable ingredients I need so that they are easily accessible. I always make sure the kitchen is clean at night, because it makes for a better morning.
Make clear the morning routine with your kids and family, and stick to it. My kids know they must get dressed, brush their teeth, let the dogs out, feed the dogs and cat, and start to get their breakfast (on days when breakfast is simple) in that order. We rarely deviate from this plan. We have come to have rather efficient mornings with time to talk, and be together. Recently, I was even able to start dinner at breakfast time.
A more organized life is also a more relaxed one. With a little weekend preparation, automation, and convenient delivery options, your work week can be a little less stressful.