Our dining room table is covered with partially put together Halloween costumes, we have just pulled out winter coats in preparation for snow tomorrow, the kitchen counters are filled with treats to bring for this week’s class parties. I keep telling myself “as soon as this week is over, things are going to get back to normal around here!” But the truth is, this is our normal. It is always chaos in our house. We are well into the busiest time of year, which means time to pull out every trick in the book in order to keep it together, so I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite mom hacks & time saving tips to make the day to day just a little bit less stressful.
1. Making a weekly calendar + set alarms for everything. The first and most important alarm is the one that gets you up for the day before your kiddos, squeezing in just one sip of coffee before somebody is climbing on you or asking for something is always a win. My day gets away from me so fast, I set alarms to help me block time, remind me to prep for dinner, switch laundry, pick up the kids from school, etc. so I can stay as focused as possible while I am working. Brandon and I also use a shared Google calendar so we both know what is happening and we can stay organized. Except for when things get put on the calendar in the wrong time zone, then we forget to go to parent teacher conferences.
2. Let someone else do your grocery shopping. We started using SHIPT grocery delivery service around the time we moved into our house & it is hands down my favorite time saving hack EVER. You order groceries through the app from whatever local stores that the service offers (I do both Hy-Vee and Target) & your groceries are delivered by a SHIPT shopper in around two hours! We meal plan on Saturdays, and then I have all of our groceries ordered and delivered that afternoon. It gives me back at least two hours on the weekends, and I typically place a random order once or twice throughout the week as well if I forgot a few things. The best part, it is only $49 for the entire YEAR for unlimited grocery orders.
3. Meal prep & planning. We try to meal prep as much as possible for the week ahead every Sunday, cutting fruit & veggies for the girls lunches and making anything like rotisserie chicken or breakfast burritos that we eat during the week. Something that we have also found so helpful is just planning our meals around our weeknight activities, saving the meals that take the longest to cook for nights we are all home and quick meals (or plan to go out to eat) on nights we are out running errands for the kids activities. I used to just plan the week’s worth of meals but now actually figuring them out for each day ahead of time saves a ton of time & makes the weeknights flow so much easier. We are sad to say goodbye to grilling season but ready to bust out that slow cooker for all the cozy, cold weather nights!
4. Set out clothes the night before. Mornings are always a challenge, and even though we feel like our evenings are crazy, the kids are truly so much more cooperative about their clothes when we are getting ready for bed. They all put everything on the bench in the hallway so in the morning there is no question about their outfits, and we will have already settled the debate about why they can’t wear pajamas, gymnastics leotards or swimsuits to school.
5. Establish a wellness routine & get kids in bed early. Nothing sets you back or stresses you out quite like getting sick, or having a sick kid. The most important thing we can do during Fall & Winter seasons is to have a good wellness routine for our families & make sure everyone gets a good nights sleep. We are diligent about hand sanitizer, use essential oils for wellness & good sleep habits, take elderberry & vitamin d supplements, and try to get the kids in bed no later than 8:00 pm on school nights. Also, if any of the kids start to feel run down, I never hesitate to keep them home from school so they can refuel. Once someone is sick in the family, it tends to make it’s rounds, so getting ahead of it is key.
Do you find any of these things helpful? Would love to hear your best mom hacks, share them below for others to read if you have a moment! XO302
Yes!! I really need to get better about my diffuser in the mornings to set the calming/wake up tone! What are some breakfast ideas you do? My kids never want to eat before school and I never want a mess…
We have started planning meals around schedules as well, we also always do our homework as soon as we come in the house and put it back in the backpack along with any other item they need the next day (horseback riding boots, books for media, chrome book, reading books, permission slips). Pre-packing as much of the lunches and snacks as we can and we limit each child to one extracurricular activity per season with the exception of one that all have at the same time. And we also have one DOWN day on the weekend, if we have something on Saturday Sunday is our down day if we have something on Sunday we tend to say no to Sat activities.
Ashley C says
What is in your coffee?
It looks delicious!
Maggie Doane says
Great tips! Do you mind sharing what elderberry supplements you use?!
My Mom hack is that I clean the bathroom while my kids are in the bathtub. I have to be in there anyway..might as well be productive! 🙂
Carrie Koopmans says
I make lunches when I am prepping dinner or while dinner is cooking.
This list is great! I think the “shipt” grocery service would even make a great gift for a new mom or a friend or family member who is short on time. It’s like giving someone 80 hours of their life back.
As a mother (now grandmother) and teacher may I suggest a few school related mom hacks:
Have set location for all school necessities- backpacks, planners, gym clothes, books, and homework.
Empty backpacks every day. This sounds basic but I cannot count the times notes and school communications never reach the eyes of parents, not to mention left over food, wet clothes and “lost” homework.
A bulletin board works well for keeping permission slips, notices, and calendars front and center.
Have Homework Station set up with any materials that might be needed such as pencils, crayons. rulers, glue, paper, etc.
Throw an extra pair of gloves or mittens in backpacks during the wet snow months. I would say socks too, but that might be overkill.
Check with teachers if you are thinning out furniture that might be utilized as comfy reading seating. We are always on the lookout for ways to make reading more inviting.
Keep birthday treats easy to manage. We do not always have access to knives to cut cake and ice cream scoops. The less messy the less chance of unwelcomed class visitors (mice, ants).
Jessica Garvin says
love all of this!!!! thanks for sharing Judy!!
We do all of these things including putting my own clothes out the night before.
Also getting the coffee ready the night before makes me feel like a super human. I love just pressing the start button first thing then running off to take a shower before my two boys wake up!
Preparation is absolutely key to a smooth morning!
Hey Jessica, will you share your favourite meal prep plans?? Would love to see your weekly recipes!! Thanks so much 🙂
Yes to all of this! Shipt and meal planning have been a life saver. We do as much as possible the night before to make our mornings run more smoothly. Even deciding on breakfast ahead of time and getting ingredients out before we go to bed. My kids are a *tad* grumpy in the morning and struggle with making decisions that early.
Katie O'Brien says
Great tips, but, honestly, most of us are working moms who manage this while working ALL DAY. Cheers to you for spending the most amount of time you’re able with your children, but what most of us wouldn’t do to have all day to run errands, prep dinner, clean, relax… Many of us have TWO full-time jobs – working AND parenting…
Jessica Garvin says
i’m not sure how any of these wouldn’t also apply to moms who work out of the home? also where exactly did i say that I spend my day “relaxing?” i also work a full time job, it just so happens to be from home, but i also have deadlines, obligations, meetings and work travel – but a lot of my audience here are stay at home moms, which i consider a full time job as well. so i applaud you for “managing this while working” but so does everyone else.
I love these! Thanks for sharing. What type of elderberry supplements do you use for you as well as your kiddos?
Chantel Koker says
Hi! What vitamin d supplements do you give to the girls? I have three as well and am worried our immunity is lessened from so much social distancing. We only see the same 2 families. I need a good wellness routine for them. We use thieves rollers, but am thinking about probiotics, zinc, vit d. What are you thoughts?