5 Simple Tips for a Quick & Tear-Free Bedtime Routine For Kids

5 Simple Tips for a Quick & Tear-Free Bedtime Routine For Kids

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

5 SIMPLE TIPS FOR A QUICK & TEAR-FREE BEDTIME ROUTINE FOR KIDS

I was exhausted and trying to wrangle 4 little bodies through a bedtime routine.

After 2 books, snuggles, and singing their favorite songs, I’d finally managed to put the baby and toddler down in their room. As I gently closed their door, I now turned my sights to my 4 and 5 year old, who were in the grips of a sudden burst of delirious energy. 

With no energy left, I dreaded having to put two more kids down for bed as my husband worked late.

The girls bounced merrily (and noisily) around their room, toys strewn across the floor. Meanwhile, I tried to muster the strength to get them to pick-up their room, brush their teeth, read books, sing songs, and tuck them into bed.

While there is very little that is “easy” about having 4 kids in 4 years, getting everyone to bed at night is certainly among one of the greatest parenting challenges in my day-to-day life.

The struggle is real.

And I’m guessing it’s real for you, too. Bedtime can feel like an elaborate and exhausting production that leaves us crumpled messes with only enough energy to sit in front of the TV.

However, these simple tips will make it easier to create a quick and easy bedtime routine for your kids.

5 Simple Tips for a Quick & Tear-Free Bedtime Routine For Kids #parenting #kidroutines #bedtime

5 Simple Tips for a Quick & Tear-Free Bedtime Routine For Kids #parenting #kidroutines #bedtime

5 Simple Tips for a Quick & Tear-Free Bedtime Routine For Kids #parenting #kidroutines #bedtime

1) PICK THE RIGHT BEDTIME

Making sure your kids are getting enough sleep will ensure that they are not TOO tired at bedtime (which makes the bedtime routine miserable and drawn out) and that they are well-rested and happy in the mornings.

Things to consider when picking a bedtime:

  • When do the kids normally wake up?
  • How much sleep do they need? (here’s an awesome guide to know how much sleep they need)

In our house, the kids are usually down around 7:00 pm and are up by 7:00am.

2) START TO WIND DOWN AN HOUR BEFORE BEDTIME

Starting a calming wind down routine before bedtime signals a shift to your children. It signals that it’s now time to stop normal daily activities and get the house and themselves ready for bed.

Some things you can do to wind down:

  • Clean up: This signals that it’s time to stop playing and start winding up for the day. Time for everything to be put away. 
  • Turn off/lower lights: This creates a calmer more relaxed atmosphere to get ready for bed. We turn off lights in the kitchen and family areas as we move to the bathroom/bedroom area in preparation for bed. It literally shuts down parts of our home. 
  • Bathtime: Baths are great ways for kids to start relaxing and preparing for bed. We’ve also found that if a child is grumpy, bath time usually turns that around and makes for a smoother bedtime routine. We love using Dr. Teals bath products to create a calming bath for our kids which can be found at stores like Wal-Mart and Target. 

3) USE TIMERS

If you find that bedtime gets dragged out and that it’s difficult to keep your kids (and yourself) on task, timers just may be the answer.

Timers provide distinct bookends on an activity and are effective in helping kids stay on task and focus. It can also be helpful when it comes to activities that can get drawn out with pleas such as “just 5 mire minutes” or “just one more book”.

When you may use timers:

  • Bathtime
  • Clean-up
  • Teeth brushing
  • Reading books

For us, using timers for nightly clean-up has been incredibly effective. It literally cut clean-up time in half and saves us from having to harp on our kids to clean. Honestly, it’s been miraculous.

Here’s what we do: We set our smartphone timer (usually for 5 minutes) and keep it visible so our girls have a visual countdown. This keeps them on task and helps them work exponentially faster as they pick up their bedroom floor.

5 Simple Tips for a Quick & Tear-Free Bedtime Routine For Kids #parenting #kidroutines #bedtime

4) KEEP THINGS CALM

When everyone is nearing exhaustion, bedtime can be a particularly dangerous time for tempers to spiral out of control.

As parents, we set the tone for our kids. It’s our job to keep things calm and happy. While it doesn’t feel like it, our kids do not control the mood of our home. We do.

How we respond to our children holds the key to a calm atmosphere. If we can create a calm bedtime atmosphere for our kids, this alone can create a much smoother bedtime routine.

Some strategies to keep things calm:

I’m of the belief that it’s pretty much impossible to snuggle your kids too much at bedtime (or anytime, really).

Kids are calm and content when they feel a connection with you. Lots of snuggles will help them wind down and happily drift off to sleep.

5) STAY CONSISTENT

Children crave consistency in their schedule. It gives them a sense of control and order knowing what will always come next.

It can be difficult for children when creating a new routine, and tantrums are often inevitable. But being consistent and calm signals to your child that you will not bend to tantrums. This will create more calm and order as everyone adjusts to the new routine. 

END THE BATTLES WITH A BEDTIME ROUTINE

While we have the occasional rough night, it’s usually due to neglecting one of the above tips. We’ve created a simple and consistent bedtime routine that gets our kids ready for bed without taking hours.

When it’s time to wind down, our kids know exactly what’s expected of them. We set timers to keep them on task and work to set and keep a calm atmosphere.

By staying consistent, we’ve created a quick and tear-free bedtime routine for kids. And if we can as frazzled parents of 4 little ones, you can too.

You’ve got this, mama!

MORE RESOURCES FOR CREATING ROUTINES FOR KIDS:

9 Simple Ideas For a Healthy Morning Routine For Moms

9 Simple Ideas For a Healthy Morning Routine For Moms

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

9 IDEAS FOR A HEALTHY MORNING ROUTINE FOR MOMS 

There is absolutely nothing natural about waking up early for me. I am about as far from a natural morning person as one can possibly be without being an actual vampire.

Waking up was never easy for me. Every morning growing up,  I’d be crying on the inside waking up for school.

As I got older, if I had to be a work at 7:00am, I would literally wake up minutes before I had to leave. I’d then rush around frantically trying to get ready, and scurry out the door still zipping and buttoning with my toothbrush hanging out of my mouth. I’d then slap on some mascara at stop lights while I tried to beat the clock.

But yet I always held out hope that magical one day I could become a morning person. And I thought it was possible. Until I became a sleep-deprived working mom of 4 kids 4 and under.

Some dreams have gotta die, I thought.

But after my 4th baby, I decided that it was time to try to wake up before my kids. In fact, due to my kids and my schedule, I realized that the only way I could workout was if I did it at 4:00am.

Yikes.

I knew I needed help, so I polled friends and read everything I could find to help me overcome this massive hurdle. I read books (like this one that changed my life).

And miraculously, I started waking up at 4:00am.

From the first day, it has been a complete game-changer. I am not just happier, but healthier and more patient. And amazingly, I feel like I have a few more hours to get things done everyday.

BENEFITS OF AN EARLY MORNING ROUTINE

As moms, we all know exactly what it’s like to be jolted from a dead sleep by a child at the side of your bed. It’s not pleasant.

(And sometimes, frankly, it can be downright terrifying.)

And the fact is that when you wake up to a child demanding something, you’ve already started your day two steps behind. You need to pee and are still trying to wake up while at the same time trying to attend to the needs of your kid who may be loudly expressing his feelings.

When you wake up to your kids, you’re more likely to have a crazy morning. And crazy mornings often bleed into exhausting days.

However, when we start the day on our terms we set ourselves up to have a happy, healthy, and productive day. By preparing ourselves for the day (BEFORE our children are fluttering their little eyelids) we take care of our needs before we spend the rest of the day attending to others.

9 Simple Tips For a Healthy Morning Routine For Moms #momroutine #morningroutine

9 Simple Tips For a Healthy Morning Routine For Moms #momroutine #morningroutine9 Simple Tips For a Healthy Morning Routine For Moms #momroutine #morningroutine

OUR MORNING ROUTINE CAN MAKE US BETTER MOMS

And since we’ve taken care of ourselves early morning routine, we’re better equipped to take care of our families. Even if you are not naturally a morning person you CAN become one. I’m living proof.

(For help waking up early check out my 9 Tips For Moms to Wake Up Early.)

As a mom, you don’t really get a lot of time to yourself during the day. Some days you just dream being alone while you pee.

So after a long day of running around, what do you want to do after the kids are finally in bed? You want to veg out completely. So you binge watch Netflix or Real Housewives and generally ejoy not having to cater to anyone’s demands.

And then you pay for it the next day.

Waking up before your kids and using the time at the start of the day as opposed to the end of the day will be a complete game changer. You owe it to yourself and to your family to start your day every morning taking care of yourself so that you can seriously rock your day.

WHAT SHOULD BE IN YOUR MORNING ROUTINE?

As humans, we have a finite amount of willpower. We literally use it up throughout the day. Research shows that willpower decreases as the day goes one.

So how can you make the most of the mornings?

Basically, you should be doing things that require the most willpower.

Many things with which we fill our time will get done one way or the other (e.g. cleaning, laundry etc.).  So in the mornings, we should be doing the things that can most easily get pushed aside.

For most moms, that is self care practices like exercising, meditating, and reading.

Doing things that renew you and make you feel wonderful set you up to have a fantastic day.

9 Simple Tips For a Healthy Morning Routine For Moms #momroutine #morningroutine

9 IDEAS FOR A HEALTHY MORNING ROUTINE FOR MOMS

1) MAKE YOUR BED

It only takes a few seconds, but it leaves you with an immediate sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. You start your day with an immediate win.

Plus, slipping into a made bed at the end of the day just feels better.

2) DRINK A GLASS OF WATER

Drinking water first thing in the morning jump starts our body systems. It also helps wake you up and give you energy.

3) EXERCISE

Research shows that people who exercise in the morning are far less likely to skip a workout than people who workout in the evenings. Why? Because if we leave it for later in the day, it’s way too easy to make excuses not to exercise.

Plus, it will help you have a better day. You get to check it off your list, boost your mood, and jump start your energy level first thing 

4) READ SOMETHING UPLIFTING

As moms, it easy to feel like we don’t have time to read anything other than bedtime stories, school newsletters, and recipe instructions.

But setting aside time for reading something uplifting (and adult) ensures that we can reap the tremendous benefits that comes from expanding our minds. You could read a parenting article, religious text, a self-help book or any great book that lifts you up and inspires you.

5) MEDITATE

Mediation is amazing. Once a skeptic, I’m now a believer.

And don’t worry: You don’t have to shave your head, wear a robe, or start believing the healing power of crystals.

Meditation is basically clearing your mind and focusing on your breath and perhaps your body sensations. This practice builds calms the mind, gives you more power over your thoughts and mindset, and generally improves life.

Through daily mediation, I’ve found it much easier to be patient when my kids make a horrendous mess or keep from swearing and yelling when I’m cut off on the freeway. And best of all, It’s much easier to calm my brain at the end of the day and go to sleep.

I like these free guided meditations from UCLA Health, if you want a place to get started. And the Headspace app is excellent, as well.

6) SET YOUR INTENTIONS FOR THE DAY

Setting your intentions at the start of the day is an important key to a productive, successful day. You should ask yourself:

What do you want to accomplish?

How do you want to feel today?

Exploring these questions is helpful to ensure that you are on your A-game in parenting and in life. Some examples of setting your intentions include:

  • Creating to-do lists
  • Identify top 3 daily priorities
  • Journaling
  • Discussing with your spouse/friend what you want to do (like an accountability partner
  • Prayer
  • Affirmations

7) GET SHOWERED & READY FOR THE DAY

For busy moms, this can be a real struggle. But there is a power that comes from taking a quick shower and putting on “real” clothes.

You don’t need to be ready for the Oscars, but just feeling clean and a little put together with some mascara, dry shampoo, and a fresh ponytail will do wonders for your productivity and happiness.

9 Simple Tips For a Healthy Morning Routine For Moms #momroutine #morningroutine

8) SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY

Whether with your spouse or your children, mornings are a great time to spend quality, relaxed time with your family.

Since you’ve already accomplished so much before your kids wake up, you can actually enjoy your kids once they are awake. There’s no need to rush around and focus on things yet to get done. You can truly savor your breakfast with your family and morning snuggles.

9) AVOID TECHNOLOGY

Nothing will waste your time more than “quickly” checking email or social media. It sucks you in and in the blink of an eye 30 minutes of precious time is gone with nothing to show for it. I try to not touch my phone until about the time I take my kids to school. My goal is to not look at my phone until 10:00am.

CREATE YOUR MORNING ROUTINE

How we spend our mornings has the power to completely shape our lives. Waking up before your children and taking care of yourself will transform your day and help you become the mom you dream of becoming.

Going through my morning routine before my kids are up has absolutely changed my life and helped me achieve my health and life goals.

Now it’s time for you to take the 9 tips from above and build your ideal morning.

You’ve got this, mama!

 

MORE RESOURCES TO CREATE A HEALTHY MORNING ROUTINE

5 Keys to a Stress-Free Morning Routine With Kids

5 Keys to a Stress-Free Morning Routine With Kids

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

5 KEYS TO A STRESS-FREE MORNING ROUTINE WITH KIDS

Yet again, I found myself racing against the clock shouting orders at my kids and frantically throwing backpacks in the car.

We were going to be late. For the zillionth time this school year.

As a working mom with 4 kids 5 and under, I felt like running late was inevitable. I attributed our perpetually frenetic mornings and chronic lateness to my busy life.

But as my frowning kindergartener jumped out of the van and reluctantly ran toward the school office to get yet another late pass, I felt like a complete failure. 

Not only was my oldest child late for school, but I was already 45 minutes late getting my preschooler to her class. Forty. Five. Minutes.

While I was never thrilled with our crazy mornings, today I was downright ashamed.

My inability to get my mornings together was seriously affecting my kids. 

Mornings tended to be a toxic mixture of stress and grumpiness as I would run around barking orders at my kids to try and get everyone clothed, fed, and backpacks ready for school.

The school year was wrapping up, but I vowed that the next year would be different. I was going to finally get my act together.

With a determination to change, I set out to find the solutions to our chaotic mornings and perpetual lateness.

And I’m happy to report that I did, in fact, get my act together in the mornings.

By implementing the following strategies into our daily routine, our mornings this school year have been completely different.

Where there was once chaos and stress, there’s calm and order.

5 Keys to a Stress-Free Morning With Kids #parenting #morningroutine


5 Keys to a Stress-Free Morning With Kids #parenting #morningroutine

Here are the 5 strategies that helped our family create a stress-free morning routine:

1) START THE NIGHT BEFORE

I’m of the firm belief that your morning really starts the night before. Having a great evening routine is going to make all the difference when your head pops off the pillow in the morning. Preparing the night before ensures that you can rest easy knowing that you are ready for the morning.

Here are a few things you should consider building into your evening routine:

Lay out clothes

On school days, my kids are not usually joyful and energetic risers. (Sadly, we’re not natural morning people.) Which can make picking out clothes a drawn out process. Their brains are just not ready for those kinds of decisions.

However, once I started having them pick out their clothes the night before, mornings become much smoother without having to make choices about what to wear. I had some extra mini drawers we put in their room and they love having their outfit ready in their own little drawer. 

But this strategy is not just for your kids. Laying out your clothes will also help you as you prepare for your day.

Since I workout nearly every morning, each night I lay out my workout clothes. Not only does this help me get going in the mornings, but putting on workout clothes makes it that much more likely that I will actually workout. 

Plan bedtime deliberately

If you or your kids are not getting enough sleep, mornings are going to rough no matter how you slice it. Kids generally need at least 10-12 hours of sleep (see sleep requirements for various ages). And you need at least 7-8. Stick to a bedtime that ensures enough sleep.

Committing to getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night has had such a positive difference on my life. I’m naturally happier and more energetic during the day. Which means I accomplish way more everyday.

Prepare backpacks

Get backpacks as prepared as possible for school the next day. If you drive to school, you could even stick them in your car!

Makes lunches

If you pack lunches for your kids, putting them together the night before can save a lot of time in the morning.

5 Keys to a Stress-Free Morning With Kids #parenting #morningroutine

2) WAKE UP BEFORE YOUR KIDS

Even if it’s just 15 minutes earlier, waking up before your kids will completely change the tenor of your mornings.

When you wake up to a hungry child demanding breakfast, you wake up 2 steps behind and risk being grumpy. You’re groggy and haven’t even hit the restroom, yet you feel the need to get food made and get your kids ready. But waking up before your kids and preparing yourself for the day will center you before your kids wake up and the day kicks into high gear.

Here’s the bare minimum of what you should do:

  • Get dressed
  • Drink a big glass of water (wakes your body up and boosts energy)
  • Make a list of what you need to get done that day

If you have time, these practices really set you up for a successful day:

Personally, my happiest and most productive days are when I wake up at least and hour before my kids. For more on creating an awesome mom morning routine, check out this post on how to makeover your morning before your kids are up.

3) MAKE BREAKFAST AHEAD OF TIME

You want your kids to have a solid breakfast, but there’s not always time to prepare a nice meal. By meal prepping breakfast foods, you can simply pop pumpkin pancakes or whole grain blueberry protein muffins in the microwave and get breakfast on the table in a couple of minutes.

Here are the 7 healthy make-ahead breakfast recipes that I rely on for easy mornings.

4) CREATE BUFFER TIME

With kids, there will always be unexpected disasters. Potty accidents, spilled milk, tantrums, vomit…all to be expected in mom life.
Problem is that we don’t always plan for the mini daily disasters when we calculate how much time we need to get ready.

As a general rule, we should always give ourselves way more time than we think we’ll need. Because we always need a bit more time.

Planning buffer time has been most effective in creating a happy home in the mornings, despite the inevitable accidents that arise.

Where before, any kind of delay would set me off since we were always running late, knowing I have extra time keeps me calm and happy. Which in turn helps my kids stay calm and happy.

5 Keys to a Stress-Free Morning With Kids #parenting #morningroutine

5) IDENTIFY PROBLEM ZONES

Pinpointing exactly where your family struggles in the morning goes a long way to creating a calm and happy morning routine with kids.

For example, I found that we had a hard time getting everyone loaded in the car to get to school on time. It seemed that no matter what I did, that last push to get everyone into the car felt like herding cats.

Despite creating buffer zones and waking up earlier, the struggle to get out the door remained the same.

And despite my best efforts, after 10 minutes of loading the little ones and trying to coax my school-aged kids in the car, I would inevitably lose it and start yelling.

Then I realized exactly what our issue was.

When I would announce that it was time to load the van, suddenly hair would need to be brushed, socks put on, and shoes need to be found.

Once I recognized that the problem was that my children struggled to get themselves 100% ready ahead of time, I instituted a new rule: To sit at the table for breakfast, you must be 100% ready (shoes on, hair fixed).

This changed everything.

I didn’t have to prod and remind my kids to get ready. I simply reminded the of the rule: we need to be 100% ready when we sit to eat breakfast.

CREATE YOUR STRESS-FREE MORNING ROUTINE WITH KIDS

Your morning in the foundation on which you build the rest of your day. It can be hard to move on from a rough morning where foul moods and disasters wreak havoc. However, a smooth morning will set you up for a happy and productive day.

By following the 5 key strategies to creating a stress-free morning routine with kids, you can build a routine that sets your family up to have an awesome day.

You’ve got this, mama!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO CREATE YOUR DAILY ROUTINES

11 Tips to Surviving and Thriving 4 Kids 5 and Under

11 Tips to Surviving and Thriving 4 Kids 5 and Under

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

11 TIPS TO SURVIVING & THRIVING WITH 4 KIDS 5 AND UNDER

It was just a few weeks after having my fourth baby that my back completely went out. Just existing was incredibly painful, let alone nursing a newborn and dealing with 3 other kids 4 and under.

As I sat on the couch, tears streaming from my face as my children ran rampant through the house and my baby tried to latch, I wondered if I had made a mistake.

Was I even capable of raising 4 small kids so close together?

Whether you have 1 kid or 6, being a mom is tough. The moment you become a mom, suddenly your entire existence revolves around caring for your child. How you sleep, eat, and live is suddenly completely at the mercy of this tiny little person.

And that’s just one kid.

So how do you manage multiple kids without losing your mind?

I’m here from the trenches to tell you that not only can you survive 4 kids 5 and under, you can actually thrive.

I know that look you’re giving me. It’s the look I get every time I go to Costco with my gaggle of energetic kids. While every day is not unicorns and rainbows (unfortunately), raising 4 kids 5 and under can actually be an absolute blast.

But it doesn’t just happen on it’s own. It takes discipline, planning, and prioritizing YOUR health.

11 Tips to Surviving and thriving 4 kids 5 and under #parenting #momhacks

11 Tips to Surviving and thriving 4 kids 5 and under #parenting #momhacks

1) MAKE YOUR HEALTH A PRIORITY. NO EXCUSES.

This is most important thing you can do, and yet it’s the first thing to go when overhwlem hits.

When you get on an airplane, the flight attendant always goes through that spiel where they remind you that in case of an emergency to put on your own mask before helping anyone else.

This absolutely applies to motherhood.

So many moms put their needs last, afraid to take care of themselves thinking it will take away from their kids. But it’s not a win-lose game where if you are focusing on yourself, your kids are missing out.

It’s actually the opposite: The better care you give yourself, the better equipped you are to take care of your family.

In other words, it’s win-win.

You can’t give your kids everything if you are running on empty. Take care of yourself mentally and physically and you can become even better.

2) GET ENOUGH SLEEP.

Okay, stop laughing. It actually is possible. But it’s not going to happen on it’s own. It’s gonna take some effort (here’s some strategies to get better sleep).

Have you ever been so exhausted after you put the kids to bed that you can’t do anything but sit and zone out? So you sit in front of the TV and binge-watch a show for 3 hours because you can’t muster the energy to actually go to bed.

Then, the kids wake you up the next day and you are totally crabby because you are exhausted?

Oh boy, been there and done that.

Or have you ever stayed up late to clean because it’s the only way you can keep you house from looking like an episode of Hoarders? That’s productive, right?

Let’s break this down: sleep is 100% linked to basically every part of your health (weight, energy, level, skin etc). It’s also directly correlated to the amount of patience you have.

Think about it: if you were bleeding profusely, you wouldn’t be like “Oh, let me just finish these dishes and then I’ll go get something to take care of this bleeding.” You would take care of the bleeding immediately.

If you are seriously sleep-deprived, sleep is the most important thing you can do.

3) WAKE UP BEFORE THE KIDS.

Waking up before your kids will supercharge your productivity and give you important “me time” when you are energized.

Call me crazy, but I wake up at 4:00am most mornings. Oh, and I am NOT a natural morning person. But once I started doing this, it changed my whole life.

I find that waking up early, exercising, and getting a few thing done before my kids are awake honestly makes me feel like there are more hours in the day. For tips to wake up early, check out these 9 fail-proof tips.

4) SET YOUR INTENTIONS IN THE MORNING.

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. This is especially true for moms. You’ve got a million things coming at you at once and little people to keep alive.

So how can you manage your home, family, AND prioritize your health? At the start of your day, you’ve got to determine what the most important things you can accomplish today. Where will your focus be?

This can take many forms:

  • to-do lists
  • visualization
  • journaling
  • talking it out with your spouse

The key is to decide, right off the bat, what is important in your day.

For example, if my goals for the day are to be an attentive mom and to get some meal prepping done, then a dirty house or an unexpected phone call wont throw me off. I’ll snuggle my hurt child and know that I’ll get to the house on another day. I’ll find a way to end the call and get back to making meals.

5) EXERCISE.

Exercising does wonders for mental and physical health. It boosts your mood and gives you more energy throughout the day. Even 20-30 min a few times a week can make a huge difference.

As a mom, your average day is like an olympic event, so working out is like conditioning to mentally and physically handle your long busy days. If you have trouble getting motivated, check out these 3 fail-proof tips to get motivated to workout.

6) PICK YOUR BATTLES WISELY.

Every day, you are faced with a million different challenges. But you decide which are worth even dealing with.

You can’t do it all, but you can do what is important and valuable to YOU.

For example, I do not battle over my kids clothes and hair. It does not affect my happiness one bit. Instead, the fact that they dress themselves from about age 2 and on makes my life considerably easier.

Do they look like they were dressed by a blind druggie? Sure! But they love having control and autonomy over how they look. And I skip any battle over brushing their hair or making sure they match.

(Note: We do “brush our hair for Jesus” so they look presentable at church.)

On the other hand, I am really concerned about creating healthy eating habits. Therefore, I put a lot more energy and effort into preparing healthy foods and encouraging them to like things that are good for their bodies.

Pick your priorities and let go of the rest.

7) SHOWER & GET DRESSED EVERYDAY.

Showering and getting dressed for the day will make you more productive and efficient.

Mind you, “dressed for the day” does not mean you need to be ready for the Oscars or Instagram. It means you are clean, clothed (in not pajamas), and have brushed your teeth.

This shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. Remember, dry shampoo is a busy mom’s best friend!

8) GIVE INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION AND SNUGGLES TO EACH CHILD DAILY.

Having 4 kids 5 and under means that this takes some thought. But this goes a LONG way to creat a happy home.

Lot’s of snuggles make happier kids. And crabby kids make for a crabby and frustrated mama.

Remember, most crabby kids don’t need a lecture: they need a good long hug. More snuggles usually translate into a happier day.

9) LIVE BY 1 MINUTE RULE

This is simple: If a task will take only 1 minute or less to complete, do it right away.

Whether it’s putting something away, responding to a text, throwing away junk mail, or making a doctor’s appointment, do it immediately.

This gives you 2 boosts: you get the satisfaction of getting something done plus it creates momentum to accomplish more tasks. And it keeps small tasks from building up and becoming overwhelming.

10) USE THE “10 MINUTE CLEAN” PHILOSOPHY.

When you have huge messes to clean and no time (i.e. every moment of your life), this strategy is perfect. Especially when you’ve just put the kids down for bed.

Muster whatever strength you have for just 10 minutes and do a whirlwind clean. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 10 minutes of focused effort.

It’s usually enough to get areas of your house in good enough shape to feel fine moving on to an essential task or going to bed (see #2).

11) DECLUTTER, DECLUTTER, DECLUTTER.

The more things you have, the more messes you have to clean up. So the more clutter you have, the more time it takes to manage it.

My favorte decluttering stratiegy: Marie Kondo’s The Magical Art of Tidying Up

This book literally changed my life. Not only did we get rid of 1/3 of our possessions and make hundreds of dollars selling stuff, but it made my home a million time easier to manage (and more pleasant to be in!).

FOUR KIDS 5 AND UNDER IS TOTALLY DOABLE

Having 4 kids 5 and under doesn’t have to mean living in survival mode. Making small changes to your routine, prioritizing your health, and focusing on what’s important will allow to to actually enjoy life.

You’ve got this, mama!

MORE RESOURCES FOR BUSY MOMS

6 Inspiring Podcasts For Moms

6 Inspiring Podcasts For Moms

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

6 INSPIRING PODCASTS FOR MOMS

Motherhood is all the things: exhausting, wonderful, maddening, joyful, overwhelming, impossible, glorious.

In the throes of our daily challenges, it can be easy to abandon our personal dreams as we struggle through survival mode.

But motherhood doesn’t have to mean the end of personal dreams. Your dreams and your big goals matter. And podcasts are an incredible free resource for getting pumped up to pursue the life of your dreams.

As an avid podcast listener, I can say that listening to the following podcasts has not only been inspiring, but life-changing. All are hosted by charismatic and accomplished hosts who are sure to inspire and uplift through sage advice and awesome interviews.

Here are my favorite inspiring podcasts for moms!

podcasts to inspire moms

1) DO IT SCARED

Hosted by Ruth Soukup, this podcast is all about overcoming your fears and going for the goals that terrify you.

Her motto “do it scared” has pushed me to do things where I would normally hesitate. Like just this weekend, I conquered my fear of my Instant Pot and fell madly in love (OMG, I have been missing out).

Ruth’s story is incredible: she went form a depressed and suicidal college drop-out to massively successful blogger, New York Times Best selling author, and owner of a multiple 7 figure company. Kinda impressive, right?

Not only is she amazing and full of inspiring and actionable advice, but she interviews truly incredible people. I highly recommend getting started with episode 1 and starting your journey towards the life you love.

2) DON’T KEEP YOUR DAY JOB

I knew I was a fan of this show 5 minutes into the first episode I listened to. Cathy Heller, singer songwriter & entrepreneur, is like a walking ray of sunshine. Her bubbly personality creates incredibly dynamic conversations with her guests.  She is so upbeat and encouraging and the people she interviews are incredibly inspiring.

3) HAPPIER

Gretchen Rubin is amazing. Her books are among some of my favorites (like Better Than Before and The Four Tendencies).

Supreme Court clerk turned writer obsessed with happiness, she and her delightful sister Elizabeth (a Hollywood write) discuss very practical tips for creating a happier life in this podcast.

Occasionally, these very charming sisters interview other people doing amazing things and it’s always a delight. This is just all-around awesome podcast for anyone wanting to live a better life.

6 inspiring podcasts for moms #podcasts #moms

4) SCHOOL OF GREATNESS

It was one of the episodes of School of Greatness that inspired me to finally start this blog, something I’d been merely thinking about for years. Not only is Lewis Howes himself inspiring, but he interviews incredible people who are doing a wide variety of amazing things.

5) THE CHALENE SHOW

Chalene Johnson does just about everything. She is a fitness expert, the creator of PiYo, an entrepreneur, and a podcaster among other things.

She is peppy, kind, and the perfect cheerleader to inspire your on your health journey. If was on her show that I first learned about intermittent fasting, a tool that I’ve used to lose 40 lbs and reclaim my health.

6) THE MARIE FORLEO PODCAST

Marie Forleo is pretty epic in her accomplishments (a trend among those on this list). Not only does Marie give so many quick and inspiring tidbits to live a happier, more productive life, but she interviews absolute rock stars who are accomplishing amazing things. I can’t imagine that it’s possible to listen to an episode of Marie Forleo and not feel inspired to do something great.

In the ups and downs of mom life, keep yourself inspired by these 6 inspiring podcasts for moms. Listening will lift you up and get you feeling ready to fulfill your potential.

So pick a podcast (or 6) and get listening today! And then tell me how it goes in the comments.

 

14 Brilliant Time Saving Tips for Moms

14 Brilliant Time Saving Tips for Moms

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

BRILLIANT TIME SAVING TIPS FOR MOMS

You’ve got 99 problems and having too much time on your hands is absolutely not one of them. From keeping your kids alive, maintaining a home, and working you’ve got your hands more than full.

In fact, you need to find more time in your day so you don’t go full-on crazy.

I feel ya. With 4 small kids, a busy house, and a job, I know exactly what it feels like to be drowning in responsibilities and wishing for more time every single day.  

Which is why I’ve made it practically my life’s mission to figure out how moms can save time and live with more peace and well being. So I’m here with the best time saving tips for moms with no time on their hands.

1) Make one dinner for everybody (even the picky eaters).

If you have picky eaters, you can feel like you need to make separate meals for the kids in order to make sure they each. However, research suggests that making separate meals only perpetuates picky eating and unhealthy habits. And it makes you run around like a chicken with your head cut off at every meal.  

But Mama, you don’t have to be a short order cook to get everyone to eat. Best thing for your kids and you is to make ONE healthy meal with a few food options.

After reading this book, I stopped making separate food for my picky eaters. Just one meal with variety. And guess what? Not only is my life easier, but my children have become less picky and much more healthy eaters. 

2) Stick to a couple stores.

I get wanting to take advantage of the best deals, but is the hassle of running around to a million stores really worth it?

I used to do this, hauling 4 kids 4 and under around town deal hunting. A lot of time and a lot of gas later (not too mention a fair bit of tears in the car), I decided to just stick to only ever going to 3 stores near my home. On any given week, I’ll only go to 1 or 2 of them.  

My advice? Pick 2-3 stores where you can meet about 95% of your shopping needs. For the rest, use Amazon and the occasional special store run.

3) Be careful with YOUR screen time.

We get concerned about our kid’s screen time, but what about our own. Between binge-watching Netflix or Hulu and scrolling through social media feeds, a lot of our day can get sucked away in the snap of a finger.

Don’t get me wrong. I 100% believe in having relaxing time everyday. And if that means scrolling instagram or watching a late night show with your husband, then so be it. Just make sure it’s intentional time and not a mindless endeavor. 

14 brilliant time saving tips for moms #timesavingtips #momhacks

4) Let go of the unimportant.

Okay, I’m probably going to get hate mail for this but I think that spending a lot of time on your kid’s hair is a complete waste of time (and I’m saying this as the mother of 4 little girls). I mean, if you get serious joy and satisfaction out of creating complex hairstyles on your kid’s heads, then knock yourself out.

But if you don’t. If you feel like you’re just trying to fulfil some outside expectation. Just stop.

This principle applies to anything you feel like you should be doing to meet outside expectations, but doesn’t actually get you anywhere. Maybe it’s needing spend an hour getting ready in order to let people see you. Or getting involved with projects with your kid’s school or at your church when you really don’t have the time. 

Decide what’s really important to you and let go of the rest.

5) Plan your meals ahead of time.

Do you ever get to dinnertime with no dinner planned and your brain simply refuses to think clearly for long enough to come up with something?

Mom brain at dinner time is the worst. But it can be easily avoided.

Simply jotting down your meals for the week is going to save you so much mental energy and time during the week (you can use these free printables).

First off, planning in advance means you can be sure to get all the ingredients you’ll need on your grocery lists, avoiding unnecessary trips to the store. Secondly, you won’t have to try and scramble to put something together for dinner when you’re exhausted and your kids are lying on the floor acting as though you haven’t fed them this week.

Tip: Have a routine weekly planning session over the weekend where you sit and plan your meals for the next week. I plan my entire week every Sunday afternoon including meals, workouts, appointments, grocery lists, and top priorities.

6) Stock your freezer with meal prep.

Engaging in any degree of meal prep during your week is going to save you time. Whether you make a big batch of muffins or waffles to freeze and pull out for breakfasts or you triple your batch of spaghetti and freeze the extra, you are saving oodles of time down the road.

Meal prep doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are 5 easy ways to fill your freezer with meals.

7) Keep running grocery lists.

You know those times when it suddenly pops into your brain that you are low on toilet paper or milk or body wash? Do ever then completely forget about it until after you’ve gone to the store? 

It happens to the best of us.

To avoid this, you need to have one central location that you keep your running shopping lists of everything you need. That way, when you run to the store you can see the list and know everything you need.

This could be using:

  • A list app on your phone
  • Your planner
  • A list on your fridge

Personally, I keep a running list for the 3 main stores I go to on our big family calendar. I’ve learned that if I don’t immediately run and put it on the list, I’ll probably forget and I’ll end up having to make a special trip to the store because we are down to 10 sheets of toilet paper.

Time Saving Tips for Moms

8) Use timers.

Setting timers is a wonderful way to keep both you and your kids accountable. Only want to browse Facebook for 10 minutes? Set a timer or it might end up being more like 45. 

Buried in laundry? Set a timer and do what you can in 15 minutes (and trust me, all you need is 15 minutes a day to stay up on laundry).

Want your kids to clean up? Put on some greats music and set a timer.

Timers can be a major time saver. We set a timer every evening with our girls. Before bed, they have to have the playroom and their bedrooms picked up. We set a timer for between 5-10 minutes, depending on the mess.

It used to take 40 minutes of us repeatedly nagging them to stop playing and clean before we started setting the timers on our phones. Now, if their messes aren’t clean before the timer goes off, they lose a bedtime story and song (our girls will do anything to make sure their get their story and song).

Now the messes vanish in minutes and our bedtime routine takes almost half the time. Timers for the win!

9) Make use of grocery pickup.

When I did grocery pickup for the first time (i.e. you order groceries online and then park at the store where somebody brings it all out to you) I swear the heavens opened and choirs of angels were singing.

Within minutes of arriving, everything on my lists was packed neatly into the back of my van. No dragging my kids up and down a store over the course of an hour with them begging to buy toys or candy. No tantrums mid-store where kindly passersby comment that my hands “sure are full” while my children cry and I fantasize about eating an entire box of Milkduds alone in my room.

Instead, with grocery pickup, shopping with kids is quick and easy.

I use Walmart’s free grocery pickup and it has been a game changer. You order the day before and schedule pickup (i always schedule the mornings because that’s when it’s the least busy in my area). You drive over, someone comes out and puts everything in your car, and you are on your way. I highly recommend it.

See if Walmart pickup is in your area. Follow this link and get $10 off your first purchase. You’re gonna love the convenience.   

10) Let your kids dress themselves.

This is one of those win-win scenarios. your learn independence and are thrilled to have control over their clothes and you don’t have to spend any time dressing them. Concerned about what people think? Review tip #4.

I adopted this more out of necessity than choice. Before I knew it, I was a mom of 4 girls 4 and under teaching college history classes part time. I couldn’t have dressed me kids if I’d wanted to. But once my girls hit 2, they’ve all shown a big interest in dressing themselves. So I’ve let them. They get to develop their own sense of style, learn responsibility, and also exert some control in their lives. All while I don’t have to do anything

11) Keep consistent routines.

When something becomes routine, it means it’s something that you automatically do and don’t have to think about it. If you don’t have a set routine to workout each week, then every day it’s a time-wasting battle to decided whether you will or won’t. Without set routines, you end up stumbling through your day and wasting time.

Routines are the key to a smooth and organized mom life. Everything you want to accomplish daily and weekly should be built into a routine to make sure it gets done whether it’s grocery shopping, self care, cleaning, laundry, reading, or working out.

12) Declutter. 

The fewer things you have, the less time you spend cleaning and organizing your home. While there are many methods to do this, I highly recommend Mari Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Before the birth of my fourth kid, I felt like I was drowning in stuff. How on earth was I going to fit another human in our house when it felt like we were about to spill out the windows and doors? Then a friend recommended this book. I devoured it within a couple days and immediately started implementing her strategies.

The result? We were able to clear out at least ⅓ of our belongings, make over $600 through Craigslist and a garage sale, and our home felt spacious and uncluttered. I spent far less time cleaning, while my house consistently looked and felt better.

Declutter your house. Donate your junk. And spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your life.

time saving tips for moms

13) Start your day with a plan.

Failure to plan wastes on average about 2 hours of time a day. That means if you just spend 15 minutes of your morning planning out your day, you’ll end up saving an hour and 45 minutes.

Things to consider when planning your day:

  • Your top priorities for the day. What are the most important thing you need to accomplish.
  • Meal plan
  • Scheduled appointments
  • Scheduled down time

I promise you, scheduling your day (and week) will save you so much time. Need more help? Download these free planning printables.

14) Use Amazon Prime.

You can get just about anything on Amazon. And usually within just a day or two. For the 5% of the stuff I can’t get at the 3 stores I typically visit, I go to Amazon for the rest. I can simply order online, and a day or two later it’s at my doorstep without having to drag kids around town and into a store where they will inevitably need to go pee as I’m waiting in a long checkout line.

Additionally, with their subscribe and save, a lot of household items are not only cheaper than many stores, but will come to you on a schedule so you don’t have to think about it. I love it!

SMALL STEPS LEAD TO BIG CHANGES

Even just implementing a few of these time saving tips for moms is going to make your life easier and give you more space for peace and well being. Saving time in your day will reduce overwhelm and give you time to practice self care and connect with your spouse and kids. Cut the wasted time out of your day so that you can enjoy the things in life that really matter.

You’ve got this, mama!