Through laughter and tears, stories before bed, and stained trousers from playing in the grass, parenting is truly an unforgettable journey. You'll probably agree that it's the best and most rewarding experience of your life. However, that doesn't change the fact that motherhood comes with many responsibilities. You probably feel that there isn't enough time in the day to sort out everything that needs to be done (including shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.). But we're here to let you in on some secrets - there are techniques to reduce the chaos and make being a mom a little more manageable and much less stressful. With the help of a friendly maternal mental health specialist, we've gathered a list of top mom hacks to simplify your life.
Simplify your life with these 10 mom hacks
Being a mom means having to juggle millions of tasks during a single day. Sure, pros can make it easier, but that's only true for some situations. For instance, let's say you're moving to Miami. Surely, you'll at least consider hiring local movers. Or, if you're going through renovation, you might consider hiring deep-cleaning services after everything is done.
But when it comes to everyday tasks, you will most likely be left to handle them on your own. However, they don't have to be as tricky if you know mom hacks to simplify your life. Therefore, continue reading, and by the end of this article, you'll learn how to save time on your daily mom tasks.
#1 Plan outfits in advance
Being a mother means constantly being behind schedule. The days of leaving the house without checking to see if your three-year-old is wearing pants are long gone. Planning your child's attire for the week ahead of time will make mornings much smoother and less chaotic. When you have more time, try matching their bottoms and tops on the weekend.
#2 Keep a to-go bag of toys ready
Having a little to-go bag of toys ready by the door is a great way to save time and reduce chaos. Therefore, on the nights when you rush out the door to meet friends for supper, you will already have crayons, racecars, and toy dinosaurs packed and ready to go. You won't have to frantically look for entertainment for the kids any longer.
#3 Freeze meals
Planning your meals ahead of time is another excellent way to make your life easier and avoid parental burnout. You probably won't have time to cook enough food for an entire week's worth of meals, but you can always make extra and store it in the freezer. The more hectic your weeknights, the more valuable these freezer meals will be. Put it in the oven and serve. Voila - no chopping, marinating, or cooking is required.
#4 Shop for gifts in bulk
Rather than rushing about at the last minute, stock up on presents for the kids now and store them in the attic or closet until the holiday season or their birthdays. You can save time and avoid last-minute mall scrambles by buying gifts in bulk and keeping them in stock for when your children or those of their friends have birthdays or holiday gift exchanges.
#5 Waking up early is a must
Trust us. We know that getting up even earlier in the morning is the last thing you want to do after a restless night. However, getting up early before the kids is essential to have a productive day. Just be by yourself for 15 minutes. Relax with a good book and coffee out on the terrace. Spending time alone might help you relax and prepare for the day ahead.
#6 Have an emergency kit in your car
A diaper emergency kit or "oopsy kit" is another must-have item for parents, especially if you're on the road often. Everyone in the family should have a change of clothes, food, diapers, baby wipes, first aid supplies, and stain remover in this pack. If an accident happens, you won't have to turn around to get a fresh set of threads for everyone. That goes for your and your partner's clothes, too.
#7 Keep some of your kids toys in the living room
Toys tend to appear wherever young children congregate. That is especially true if you (like most people) don't have a dedicated playroom for them. Therefore, designate a place in your living room where your kids can play with their toys. Don't forget to invest in woven baskets and containers where your kids can safely put them once they're finished playing.
#8 Try ordering your groceries online
Another great way to save time, energy, and gas is to start ordering your groceries online. Alternatively, you can use a store pick-up - just jump online, fill up your virtual shopping cart, and when you arrive in the supermarket's parking lot, a staff member will assist you by loading your items into your vehicle. It will make your life that much simpler.
#9 Use a mesh bag to wash socks
Have you noticed that your children's socks mysteriously disappear after every wash? Every wash day feels like trying to find a single lost sock in a mountain of dirty laundry. So wash all socks together in a mesh garment bag to avoid another missing sock mystery. That way, they won't be scattered everywhere and can be quickly reassembled and stored away.
#10 Enjoy the moment
Lastly, no matter how stressful motherhood can be, it's still the most beautiful experience, and you should do your best to make the most of it. Find joy even in the smallest moments! Even if parenthood is busy and frantic and oh-so-stressful most of the time, those moments that make you realize how privileged you are to be a mom are the ones you want to cling to. Since this phase of life is fleeting, enjoy your children while you can and marvel at them.
Now that you know the mom hacks to simplify your life, try to put them into practice, and you'll quickly notice how much of your time and energy you saved. And remember - it's only natural to feel overwhelmed and tired sometimes. However, if this continues in the long run, don't hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional with extensive experience working with mothers. You deserve to feel your best, both mentally and physically.
Author’s bio: Michaela Anderson is a stay-at-home mom of five who will soon become a grandmother. When her youngest turned six, she decided to turn to her immense passion – writing, so she became a content writer. This way, Michaela combines her experience as a mom of five and shares the stresses and blessings of having a big family with her readers. She loves going on long walks with her two best friends in her spare time.