Disclosure: Thanks to Huggies for sponsoring today’s discussion. The giveaway is sponsored by myself.
I have two kids, ages 5 & 7, and now that they are a little bit older and past that toddler stage I find that it is SO much easier to get things done around the house since they are a little more independent! No more diapers (no offense Huggies, we love you!), no more potty training, and MUCH less safety worries! But we’re expecting baby #3 and about to start ALL over again with the chaotic schedule that comes with babies and toddlers!
As you can imagine being a blogger, a mom, a wife, and an extensive volunteer at my husband’s school my time comes at a premium and I have to do some serious prioritizing to get my work done! If I don’t nothing seems to get done and I get all out of sorts and overwhelmed! There are SO many ways I’ve learned to save time here and there as we’ve now been through the baby, toddler, preschool and into the elementary school age phase, but here are just 5 tips that have saved me a lot of time. Remember it’s not always about being super mom, sometimes it’s just smart parenting!
1. Online Shopping – I live in a small town (I mean a TINY town….think about 26 houses in my entire town!) so I am ALL about supporting local businesses, BUT because I live in such a tiny town (did I mention it was tiny?!) it’s impossible to find what I need many of the times! And I can’t afford to drive over an hour away every time I need something, so I turn to online shopping to fill in the gaps…..not to mention that I can find the best deals online! AND when you’ve got kids, especially little ones, sometimes the LAST thing you want to do is drag cranky kids to the store! Sometimes, money is time and that includes saving your sanity!
2. Take time for Yourself – This may sound counterproductive if you’re trying to get a lot of work done but if ALL you do is WORK WORK WORK (which is pretty much what moms do!) you will burn out! Find a hobby, go out with some other moms or teacher friends (I go out for coffee once a week with some teacher buddies), take a hot bath and lock the door, etc. It’s OK to take time for yourself! Try to go out by yourself – even if it’s just to window shop, once a month! I find I have a lot more energy and less stress when I take a little bit of down time once in a while which means I am a LOT more productive when I have work to do!
3. Prioritize DAILY – I promise you, you may try to be super mom but there will always be something that falls between the cracks and that’s OK! Every single morning when I wake up (or the night before!) I make a list of what needs to get done that day in order of most important to least. Sometimes that means I pre-make things the night before like outfits for the kids, school lunches, etc. Be completely realistic about the amount of work you can get done each day and don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t complete your list! By prioritizing my “to do list” every single day I am much more time efficient because I work on the most important things first. If I can knock out the big stuff early on I feel a lot better about completing my list and can sometimes even squeeze in some extras! Make sure to mark it off when you’re done – it makes you feel good to go back and see how much you accomplished!
4. ASK for HELP! It’s OK I promise! I used to try to juggle everything myself and now 7 years later I’m tired of trying to play super mom! I need help sometimes (ok, a LOT of times – just ask my husband)! Whether you ask your husband to do a load of dishes for you or trade babysitting or grocery shopping with a friend, delegating tasks out can save you a serious amount of time! (and sanity!) You’ll be a lot happier and get a lot more done! BUT that also means saying NO when you really don’t need to be doing anything extra!! (I always have trouble with saying no!) Learn to ask for help when you need it, swap help when someone else needs it, and say NO when you have too much on your plate.
5. Work when the kids are sleeping, play when they aren’t! This tip is really easiest and most productive when you have small children that require most of your attention. It’s good that your kids see you working and they need to learn to play independently, but I found that my MOST productive work is done when the kids weren’t around (sleeping or at school)! I think pretty much everyone will agree with me on that one! As your kids get older and more independent it’s easier to work while they are around, but don’t forget – your kids still come first! Make sure you are regularly checking in on them, stopping for time to play or read, and try to involve them in helping you whenever possible! Even if you have to “make up” tasks for them to do! I find when I streamline my activities as much as possible and only multitask when necessary I put more effort into that one task I’m trying to accomplish!