There never seems to be enough time in the day when you're a busy mom. It's chaos trying to get the kids out the door, whether it's to school or dance or practice, so I've adopted various ways to help in my busy everyday lifestyle. These are my life hacks for busy moms.
1. Use a pants hanger for your pickup line sign.
You know those signs they give you at the beginning of the school year that has your child's name or car rider number on it? If you use a pants hanger with the clips, you can clip the sign into it and hang it from your rearview mirror. I saw another mom doing it and realized how much easier it is to take it on and off in the carline.
2. Make a snack shelf in the pantry.
My kids wait until I'm sitting down to ask me for a snack or something to drink, so I moved all of their food and drinks to the lowest levels. They can quickly get to them now, so I don't have to go back and forth to the kitchen.
3. Meal planning and crock-pot meals.
Sign up for a meal planning service or make boards on Pinterest for easy meals. I have an eMeals subscription for crock-pot meals, and I try to make a meal a week in the crock-pot. Those nights that you have dance class, or soccer practice, Girl or Boy Scout meetings, and other activities like that, make sure to plan your crock-pot meals for those nights. It's better than hitting a drive-thru or peanut butter sandwiches. (Totally guilty of that one).
4. Set reminders on your phone.
My phone reminders and alarms are a little scary, but if I don't have an alert to go off to go outside when the bus gets here, they won't let her off, and they will take her back to school, and I have to pay the after school program fee. So I set lots of reminders because when you jump onto Pinterest to make dinner plans and three hours later, you are wondering where your kid is, you'll understand.
5. Set kid's clothes out for the week.
I use this method when we go on vacation, but I love the idea of doing it each week, and I plan to start doing this one more often. Get a soft hanging shelf system and put the days of the week on it. Play your child's outfit for the day in the slot, and they can easily grab it out each day. If you have girls like me, you know the stress of dealing with their trying on everything or wanting to wear a tank top dress in 5 feet of snow.
6. Disinfect and clean toys in the dishwasher.
After my kids get over being sick, I go through and try to disinfect all of their toys, but it takes forever, so I just started putting all the dishwasher-safe toys through the cycle to kill all the germs with hot water and soap. I wouldn't use the heated dry, though. Just wipe them down right after it ends so you don't melt anything.
7. Set a routine and stick with it.
That's a no brainer, right? But it's true; routines help tame the chaos. If you know you have dance at 5:30 on a school night every week, plan your crock-pot meal for that day of the week. Buy everything ahead of time. If you constantly feel like everything is getting away from you, start writing everything down. Can you cut something out?
8. Use the cloud like Dropbox or Google Drive for important documents.
You go to drop your youngest off at the daycare, and they want your updated immunization records, or the school nurse needs your insurance card, and everything in your purse has been dumped out. If you have essential documents scanned and in the cloud, you can easily show them or print them from your phone or tablet.
9. Use silicone muffin cups in your cup holders.
I use these in every cup holder in our household now. In our couch, car seats, and the driver's cup holders. Talk about genius! They collect all the trash and spilled drinks, and then I can take them out and wash them. I'm telling you, get some, like now!
10. Pack emergency water, snacks, and clothes in the car.
I don't carry around a diaper bag anymore; I just grab a diaper and a pack of wipes when I run out the door. So when my 7-year-old springs on me that she had an accident or my 2-year-old spilled juice down her shirt and refuses to keep it on, I have emergency clothes stashed in the car. They never leave the vehicle. After snowmageddon happened in Atlanta, I made sure to pack water, snacks, and first aid supplies as well in the bag. The snacks get used more than you would think also. Is it just me or kids always hungry? My kids love these Honey Maid Go Bites because of the filling. I like that they are filling!
When you regain even just a minute of time back, it's a relief. I hope these hacks help make your life a little more wholesome, and you can spend one extra minute snuggling instead of rushing around.