All those in favour of including the word ‘superpowers’ in the dictionary with the definition of “mother” say “aye”! Honestly, mums juggle everything these days, from their work and household chores to nurturing their kids. And mums, no one’s saying you’re not doing a great job. On the contrary, you’re superheroes in our eyes. However, even superheroes need a breather and they can’t do everything by themselves (that’s why Batman has Robin, right?). If you feel like you simply can’t get enough sleep, you’re constantly too tired, and you can’t handle your crazy schedule anymore, here are a few tips that will save your time…and your sanity.
Everything that can be prepared in advance, should be prepared in advance
This is the golden rule of time-saving motherhood. Doing things at the last minute can make your whole day hectic, but if you organise everything the day before or earlier, you will not only save time, but you’ll also save yourself the anxiety that comes when you’re on a deadline. Choose school clothing the evening before, or even better prepare clothes for the entire week on a Sunday. This includes entire outfits, from t-shirts and pants, to accessories (scarves, hats). Breakfast and school lunch can be partially prepared in advance. For example, you can freeze fruits for smoothies, or mix up muffin dough in advance.
It’s the little things that often take up a huge chunk of your time
You spend two hours preparing lunch and another hour cleaning and tidying up the house, but what about the twenty minutes you’ve spent looking for your keys this morning? Add on the ten minutes you’ve been ironing your shirt and another ten you’ve been chopping the vegetables for lunch, and you can see just how easily you can lose an entire day by doing the little things. Some of these things can be avoided, for example, always placing your keys in the same visible place. Others can be done in advance for the entire week.
Use the almighty Internet
New technologies have brought a lot of good stuff to our everyday lives, and one of the best ones is online shopping. Buying school supplies for your kids? You’re just a few clicks away from backpacks, pencils and notebooks. Need groceries for this week? Buy your milk, veggies, olive oil, shampoo and everything you need online. Not only will you save the time you would otherwise have spent commuting and walking through the store aisles, but you will also save yourself the trouble of shopping with kids (we all know that isn’t a dream-come-true especially if you have a toddler) or leaving them with the nanny.
Keep your kids close while you work around the house
Babies can cry, toddlers can break and stain things, school kids are often up-to-no-good… All of this can often make mothers go crazy, because they always have to keep an eye on them. Babies can be easy, as long as you have a lifesaving baby carrier, which helps you multitask. This way, you are keeping your bundle of joy close and happy, while still having your hands free to do the dishes or cook lunch. For older kids, it is convenient to have an open floor plan so that you can always see them. Also, you can include them in your activities, by motivating them to help you with cooking or cleaning.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help
As we’ve already mentioned, even a superhero needs a sidekick. You should always have someone to turn to when you start feeling the pressure of juggling chores and responsibilities all of the time. That could be your partner, mother or a friend. Hiring a nanny to babysit your little ones from time to time doesn’t make you a bad mother. You can also arrange playdates and have an agreement with parents from your neighborhood to watch each other’s kids once or twice a week.
Take some time for yourself
Don’t use the free time you get when someone helps you exclusively for finishing up other errands. Use it for yourself – guilt-free. Fill your bathtub and soak in a nice bubbly bath for half an hour. Meet with your friends or coworkers to chat. Sit back, grab some popcorn and watch a movie or binge-watch a TV show. All of these things might sound like a waste of time when you have so many other things to do, but they are essential for your mental wellbeing and overall functioning.
These six tips are pretty simple, and although they may not seem game-changing, they can help you save a lot of time, while still being the mother you want to be, if you take them seriously.