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!

 

3 Ways For Busy Moms to Get Motivated to Workout

3 Ways For Busy Moms to Get Motivated to Workout

*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.

3 WAYS FOR BUSY MOMS TO GET MOTIVATED TO WORKOUT

As a mom, it’s not always easy to get motivated to workout. Between the exhaustion and the never-ended “to do” list, it can be hard to make working out a priority.

I had exercised 4-5 days a week (with very few exceptions) for around 15 years before I fell off the wagon COMPLETELY while I was working, raising 2 kids (aged 1 and 2)  while pregnant with my third.

Like, I maybe exercised 3 times the whole 9 months. And after my pregnancy, with 3 kids 3 and under just getting through the day was challenge enough. 

But of course, I wanted to exercise.

I knew how much I’d benefit from it.

However, knowing the benefits of exercise and even sincerely wanting to get into shape doesn’t always translate into shaking off the perpetual mom fatigue and throwing on the running shoes. Sometimes, we need more to actually get motivated to workout.

Before I knew it I had 4 kids 4 and under and an extra 50 lbs that needed to vacate my body’s real estate.

And unlike before, NOTHING was going to keep me from regular exercise. I was finally going to get into shape.

3 tips to get motivated to workout #workoutmotivation #momhacks #workout

BUT MORE THAN A BURNING DESIRE, I NEEDE A PLAN.

So I researched. And then I made a plan to keep me motivated. And…it worked! Since then, I’ve managed to get back to my weight before having kids, lose over 35 lbs (and >10% body fat), drop 3 pants’ sizes, and reshape my body.  

Motivation really comes down to creating and implementing a plan that gets you pumped and keeps you accountable.

No matter how busy you are (and girl, I know you are) or how much you don’t like exercise, you can create a motivating plan that will make regular exercise happen.

Here are the three (research-backed) guiding principles that helped me create a plan to get motivated to workout while being a working mom to 4 kids 4 and under.

1) CREATE A REWARD

Research shows that creating a reward either during or after your workout will help you get motivated to workout.

Importantly, the reward should not be food. I know, bummer, right? But having food as a reward does not create a healthy lifestyle.

Stick to something else, like a favorite activity like watching TV, reading a magazine, or scrolling through a social media feed. The key is picking rewards that work for YOU. 

DURING

For me, my reward during my workout is listening to podcasts or audiobooks. And getting alone time away from my kids.

(Heaven knows I love my kids to pieces, but mama needs a little break everyday!)   

Since I either run or go to the gym before my kids are up (or have them at the gym daycare), I usually get to workout without any pint-sized distractions. Which is heavenly on its own. But then I also get to listen to podcasts and audiobooks without my children complaining about how boring they are. So endrophins aside, those 2 things make working out truly glorious for me.

What could be your “during” reward?

Here are some other examples:

  • Only watch your favorite show at the gym
  • Only listen to certain music you enjoy while working out

AFTER

This reward can only be enjoyed once you’ve exercised. Perhaps you take a relaxing bath on days you’ve workout out or allow yourself to sit and drink coffee while reading People magazine.

What activity could be your “after” reward? 

Some examples: 

  • Watching a show you like
  • Scrolling Instagram (or another social media feed)

If you’re like me, when you think “reward” you think sugary treats. But food rewards are going make your efforts self-defeating.  

2) GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER

Most people benefit from having someone to keep them accountable in their exercise plans. An accountability partner can take many forms, but it generally means you’ve got someone who is both aware of your goals and is keeping you accountable.

For me, this means checking in with my husband about my daily workouts. Knowing my goals, he’s been encouraging and supportive. Always knowing that he’ll ask about my workouts keeps me accountable.

Some other examples of an accountability partner:

  • A workout buddy who you meet up with at acertain time and place
  • A personal trainer (paying someone tends to be really motivating to people)
  • Someone you text every time you workout (my sister texts me and finds it helpful)

What would your ideal accountability partner do?

3) FORGET TRENDS AND DO WHAT YOU LOVE

If you do not like a certain exercise, it’s going to be REALLY hard to get motivated to do it. On the other hand, an activity you enjoy doing has built-in motivation. You’ll naturally want to do it and look forward to it. 

The keys to finding an exercise you love:

  • Explore Everything You can
  • Be Honest With Yourself
  • Don’t worry about how good you are

Remember: there is no ONE holy grail form of exercise that you simply have to do. And just because your friend, the girl down the street, or  the celebrity you follow is way into [insert exercise trend] doesn’t mean that’s the one true path to physical fitness.

There are endless paths to physical fitness!

Like fashion, exercise trends come and go. But forget trends and find what you love.

And be honest with yourself.

If gyms full make you feel self conscious and awkward, it’s going to make it that much harder to go. So maybe you want to get some equipment for home or do workout videos (T25 is my favorite).

If you hate running, it’s going to near impossible to lace up and hit the road. But maybe power lifting is the obsession you never knew you had.

And by the way, you don’t have to be good at something to love it.

I went to my first Zumba class years ago with a good friend who simply loved Zumba. Just before the class began, she admitted she was terrible and she did not disappoint. It was like watching a baby giraffe do hip-hop.

But honestly, she was completely glorious. And I loved her more for it.

Throughout the class, she was in complete bliss–all while getting an amazing sweat. Afterwards, she was on cloud nine and I was in awe of her awesomeness.

Do what you love and forget everything else.

CREATE YOUR  PLAN

With a desire and a plan, you will be motivated to exercise. Building in rewards, getting an accountability partner, and finding an exercise you legitimately love are three ways that you can make regular exercise a reality. Even as a busy mom. Select a strategy (or several) that are right for you, create your plan, and truly get motivated to exercise.

You’ve got this, mama!

Get motivated to workout, even as a busy mom #workoutmotivation #momhacks #workout

 

4 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Evenings (and How to Fix it)

4 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Evenings (and How to Fix it)

*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.

4 WAYS YOU’RE SABOTAGING YOUR EVENINGS (AND HOW TO FIX IT)

We use up our willpower as the day marches on. Which is probably why my natural inclination after a long day of kid wrangling, laundry doing, mess cleaning, food making, and diaper changing is to sit on the couch and avoid any unnecessary movement.

All while I let the latest binge-worthy Netflix show wash over me like a gentle wave.

Once we’ve run through the bedtime shenanigans and 4 little heads are nestled in their pillows,  I am straight up pooped. Like end-of-a-marathon-fall-asleep-where-I’m-standing exhausted (aka MOTHERHOOD).

But instead of actually taking care of myself and listening to my needs, I’d just waste time.

(Not unlike my kids at bedtime.)

My natural response was to push the fatigue aside and feel all the glory of what it’s like to do absolutely nothing for several hours. I wanted to relish being awake and not have to be constantly meeting someone else’s needs.

However, an evening spent in mindless activity (I’m talkin’ to you Netflix) all but guarantees that the next day is going to be rough. It means crummy sleep, and a cranky morning once my kids are trying to pry my exhausted body out of bed to make them breakfast.

Before I even realized how my evenings were impacting my entire day, I realized that I needed to change my morning routines and wake up earlier. After reading this book, I transformed my mornings and started to accomplish loads more every day (read about how you can makeover your morning here).

But early mornings forced me to recognize that I was blowing my evenings BIG TIME.

Best Evening Routine For Moms #momhacks #momschedule #selfcare #routine

Best Evening Routine For Moms #momhacks #momschedule #selfcare #routine

Evening Routine For Moms #momhacks #momschedule #selfcareroutineEvening Routine For Moms #momhacks #momschedule #selfcareroutine

I needed to be way more intentional with my time.

Which led to me to searching for ideas on how I could transform my evenings. I wanted to create a routine that would bring peace, relaxation, and fulfillment.

In other words, I wanted to create the perfect evening routine for moms.

And resulted in me completely changing my evening routines by implementing more structure and prioritizing self care. In doing so, my sleep quality improved A TON, I was happier, accomplished more during the day, and was more relaxed.

And we all know that a happier, more rested and relaxed mama means a happier family and home.

You owe it to yourself and your family to create an evening mom routine that creates space for peace and wellness after a long day.

So here is how you’re sabotaging your evenings and how you can fix it:

1) YOU DON’T HAVE AN INTENTIONAL EVENING ROUTINE.

Chances are, you have an evening routine already. It’s just not the evening routine you want.

You probably do the same things most every night, but it’s by for of habit and NOT intentional choice.

And I get it. By the end of the day, we’re exhausted. Which is why late at night we are way more inclined to eat food we shouldn’t eat and waste time with things we shouldn’t do.

If we don’t have a specific plan for our evenings, then we are at the mercy of our habits.

THE FIX: DESIGN YOUR IDEAL ROUTINE

If I’ve got no plan for once my kids are in bed, it’s all but guaranteed I’m going to waste time and end up even more exhausted. But simply having a plan makes it way more likely that I’m going to make smart choices even though exhausted.

When you’re tired, it’s hard to make good choices. Creating a plan beforehand takes away needing to choose when you are exhausted. You can just follow through with the plan you already put in place.

So what do you want your ideal evening to look like? Do you envision yourself cozied up in an armchair reading a book? Or taking a fragrant bubble bath? Drinking relaxing tea as you decompress and talk about your day with your husband? Meditating? Working towards a personal goal? Completing a project?

Once you know what activities you want in your evenings, determine what things are getting in your way.

For me, it was screens. Whether TV, phone, or computer screens, at the end of a long day I just wanted to get lost in mindless consumption. While it was nice to zone out, it didn’t leave me feeling particularly relaxed or help me get to my goals.

I realized that taking a bath and reading before bed were far more effective at leaving me relaxed and fulfilled. They even help me sleep better. So I do both nearly every single night.

Start eliminating the time-wasters and including more of what actually relaxes you and makes you happy. Create your evening rules that you will stick to. My rules are generally no eating and no screens (unless there is a planned exception like a stay-at-home date once the kids are in bed).

2) YOU DON’T HAVE A BEDTIME.

We often think of bedtimes in relation to our kids. We give them bedtimes knowing that they need a certain amount of sleep each night or else they turn into little monsters.

Our bedtimes, on the other hand, tends to be very flexible.

But just like our kids, we REALLY need our sleep to function well, be healthy, and not turn into The Hulk when the day gets frustrating. Experts say that as adults, we need at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. I’ve discovered that I need 8-9 to function well.

When I don’t get my 8 hours of sleep, I’m not as happy, I’m more likely to overeat (and eat things that aren’t healthy), and I don’t get near as much done as when I’m fully rested. Frankly, I’m super inefficient when sleep-deprived.

THE FIX: SET YOUR BEDTIME & STICK TO IT

So how much sleep do you REALLY need to function well? Be honest with yourself. Hint: it’s more than 7. Researchers estimate that adults need at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Consistently not getting enough sleep has been shown to increase rates of disease and shorten life.

Surviving is one thing, but actually thriving is another. How much do you need to thrive?

Set your bedtime accordingly and make keeping it a priority. As a mom, it’s sooooo easy to put your needs last. But when you are well-rested everyone is going to win when there is a happier, more patient mama around.

For more on improving sleep, check out my post 10 Strategies For Moms to Dramatically Improve Sleep.

evening routine for moms

3) YOU’VE GOT TOO MANY SCREENS. 

While we scroll though our smartphones or binge watch TV all in the name of relaxing, it ironically leaves us less likely to get quality sleep. The light emanating from the screens actually makes it harder to fall asleep and to then sleep soundly.

It’s cruel, isn’t it?

Also, have you noticed that when you’re in front of a screen you enter a weird time warp? I’ll think “Oh I’ll just check out FB/Instagram/news for a few minutes” and while I’ll think 10 minutes has passed, a whole hour has flown by.

Screens mess up your sleep and suck up your time.

THE FIX: STOP SCREENS A FEW HOURS BEFORE BEDTIME 

You’ve already determined what bedtime is going to be best for you. Cut off your screen time in the 3 hours before your bedtime. This will help your body relax and prepare for a more restful sleep.

I know it’s tough. Oh heavens, I know exactly how hard it can be. We are literally surrounded by screens.

But cutting off screens in the evening has been the most important change I have made to my evenings. Suddenly, I had more time to do things that actually feed my soul that I can’t get to during the day (e.g. reading, goal setting, planning, thinking coherent thoughts).

If you only change one thing about your evenings, ditch the screens. That alone will transform your evenings…and your sleep.

4) YOU DON’T PRIORITIZE SELF-CARE.

Effective relaxation–the kind that makes your broken self feel whole again–all comes down to self-care practices. And just to clarify, doing nothing is not self care.

I may have tried to fool myself that sitting on the couch, not moving, was self care. But it wasn’t. Self care needs to be intentional. It doesn’t have to be complicated (in fact, I’d say it shouldn’t be), but it should be purposeful.

Self care is intentionally taking care of our minds, souls and bodies. And it is essential to not just creating the evening we want, but creating the life we want.

THE FIX: ADD SELF-CARE TO YOUR EVENING ROUTINE.

Any great evening routine for moms must include self care. Some examples of self care practices you can add to your evening routine:

  • stretch/yoga
  • take a bath
  • read a book for enjoyment
  • go for a walk/run around your neighborhood (and listen to music you love, an audio book, or podcast)
  • journal

For more self care evening routine ideas, check out my post Getting Started With Self Care.

CREATE YOUR PERFECT EVENING ROUTINE

As exhausted moms, at the end of the day we just want to relax and do the stuff we couldn’t do throughout the day. We want to drown out our fatigue into our phone screens or binge watch one of the zillions of must-watch series that get zapped on demand straight to out TVs.

With these evening routine ideas for moms your evening can be a catalyst to a happier, healthier, and more organized life. Your evenings determine your sleep quality, energy, self care practice, health and happiness.

Mama, you’ve got this!

 

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Why You Should Wake Up Before Your Kids

Why You Should Wake Up Before Your 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.

Why You Should Wake Up Before Your Kids

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been jarred awake by a high pitched voice demanding breakfast. And I’m the first to tell ya, it’s a terrible way to start the day. 

Before I started to wake up before my kids, my days started generally the same way:

  • I wake up to two little eyes staring back at me, knowing I’ve lost even before I’ve begun. 
  • While my kids are moaning at the side of my bed that they are absolutely starving, I’ve suddenly got to pee.
  • So my kids follow me into the bathroom, their moaning for food intensifying while I am trying to remember what day it is.
  • I then groggily assure them that I will fix them breakfast in just a second. But they become more whiny and upset, convinced I am trying to starve them. 
  • When we finally make it to the kitchen and I get the breakfast, I’m annoyed and already feeling 2 steps behind and my kids are crabby.

While I knew my mornings needed to change, waking up early just sounded like cruel and unusual punishment. I was the consummate night owl and dreaded mornings.

But I finally decided that things really needed to change. So I read this book, and actually started waking up well before my kids.

What happened was miraculous. Suddenly, everyone was so much happier in the mornings. Instead of feeling behind, I felt accomplished and was able to not only serve breakfast, but do breakfast dishes.

Most miraculous of all, we started to getting to school on time. Getting lunches and backpacks ready and 4 little bodies fed, pottied, and into car seats is no small feat!!!

That’s when this girl became a believer in the power of mornings. Especially in waking up before your kids. Almost instantly, I was accomplishing more everyday, happier, and healthier. Which translated into a happier, calmer, more organized home and family.

 

Waking up before your kids will change your life.

 

Starting Out Behind

Think about it for a minute: Once your kids are awake, they’re all about mama.

Whether for your ability to make breakfast, change diapers, or give righteous snuggles, you’re in high demand once those little heads pop off their pillows.

But when you first wake up, you’re not quite poised and ready for action. You’ve gotta take care of business (i.e. pee, brush your teeth, and actually start thinking coherent thoughts) before you can really start to function like human being.

But such business tends to turn hungry kids into supremely cranky kids. And cranky kids plus a tired mama usually equals a cranky mama. And that is no way to start your day!

However, simply setting your alarm for 30 (or even 15!!) minutes earlier has the power to completely transform your day (for tips to wake up earlier, check out my post here). You will be happier, more efficient, and get more done each day. Your personal morning time will center you and set you up for your whole day.

Bare Minimum: Wake up 15 minutes earlier.

Girl, I know waking up is tough sometimes (or all the time). Especially when you’re up with a baby or a sick kid. Or just up late spending time with your husband binge watching Netflix.

Then just shoot for 15 minutes before your kids wake up and see how you feel. Here’s what you should do:

  • Get dressed
  • Brush teeth
  • Set your intentions for the day (e.g. set daily priorities, plan, schedule, pray, journal etc.)

This will get you mentally and physically prepared to start your day before anyone needs something from you. And it will give you a bit of time to be by yourself (which frankly feels like a treat as a mom of 4 little ones).

Ready for a bit more? Try an hour earlier

Your Mama Power Hour

Waking up before your kids and starting your day by giving yourself a whoIe hour to yourself will truly change your life. I’ve found that how you start your day more often than not determines the quality of everything that follows (seriously, changing my mornings has literally changed my whole life).

Spending an hour taking care of yourself will set you up to be the mom you strive to be. And you will get more done everyday! If you can spend an hour before your kids are up taking care of yourself, you will be happier, healthier and more fulfilled. And your whole family will reap the benefits.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Make your bed: Start your day with an accomplishment.
  • Get dressed: Preferably, in workout clothes so you that much closer to getting your sweat on!
  • Exercise: And this 25 minute workout is the perfect. Getting your workout done first thing will give you a blast of endorphins, energy, and a serious sense of accomplishment. Don’t let it hang over your head all day!
  • Determine your daily priorities: This could be writing lists, planning, making a schedule, journaling, meditating..whatever gets you centered and focused for the day.
  • Read something uplifting: This could be parenting books, self-help books (I’m obsessed), scripture, etc. 
  • Spend time/effort on your personal goals:  Part of achieving your goals means making time for them. Spending even a little bit every morning will get you closer to achieving your goals than any sporadic and massive effort. 

And here’s a big giant DON’T for your mornings:

  • Stay away from your phone and any social media.

Nothing will zap your time away faster than “just checking” something. Think of this time a sacred time your YOU. Guard it ferociously. For me, this means no checking any news on my phone. 

Your Morning Transformation

Here’s what happens when you start your day in solitude and preparing yourself for your day:

  • You start the day with incredible momentum and can accomplish more
  • You’re happier and totally ready for the chaos once your kids are up
  • You start achieving your goals faster because you are actually making time every single day to get there.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that waking up before my kids has changed my whole life. It has played a big part in pushing me and helping me achieve my goals (including losing over 35 lbs after having 4 kids).

My mornings are a sacred alone time that I get during the day. That time prepares me to relish my days of chaos, snuggles, and challenges. And I get so much more done that I seriously feel like I have actually more hours in the day.

Get Started Tomorrow

So what are you waiting for!?! Set your alarm a little earlier, wake up before your kids, and transform your mornings. Before you have to throw on your super hero mom cape, taking time for yourself first thing in the morning will do wonders for your happiness and productivity.

Even if it’s just for 15 or 30 minutes, that short time in the morning will have a massive impact on the quality of your day. You will be more able to handle stress and challenges and you will be more likely to achieve your personal goals.

You deserve it, mama.

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3 Ways to Ditch Mom Overwhelm & Get Organized

3 Ways to Ditch Mom Overwhelm & Get Organized

*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.

3 WAYS TO DITCH MOM OVERWHELM & GET ORGANIZED 

You wanna get organized, but mom life can be seriously overwhelming. Like “how am I going to get through today” kind of overwhelming.

There are a million problems coming at you at once while you’re just trying to keep everyone alive.

And I should know. I had 4 kids in under 5 years. While working. (Yes, I’m crazy)

After 4 back-to-back pregnancies and 4 years of continuous change, I found myself with 4 little girls 4 and under. Our natural state was chaos.

I was just trying to get to the end of each day without a trip to the ER or having locked myself in the bathroom sobbing (and nursing a baby–always nursing a baby) with little fists pounding on the door.

Everything was just too much. The yelling was too much. The messes covering every surface of my house were too much. My exhausting and feelings of overwhelm and inadequacy–too much.

Every night was dragging myself to bed after an insanely chaotic and long day, only to be woken by hungry cries shortly after finally dozing off. There had to be a way out of this mom overwhelm and I was going to find it.

I started making small changes, one after the other. And like the morning sun slowly rising behind the mountaintops, my life became progressively lighter and brighter. I started to really take care of my health and get organized. I was happier and more patient.  And I yelled less.

Small changes over time create a massive impact. 

Ditching mom overwhelm and getting organized happens as you take the small steps towards a happier, healthier, more orderly life. Here are the steps you can take to say “goodbye” to overwhelm and “hello” to peace, health, & happiness.

3 ways for moms to ditch overwhelm & get organized #getorganized #overwhelmedmom #parenting

Ditch overwhelm & get organized #momhacks

1) STOP MAKING EXCUSES ABOUT YOUR HEALTH

We all do it at some point. We make excuses for why we aren’t getting enough sleeping, exercising, or eating right. I certainly did.

“I’m just too busy.”

“I have no extra time for that.”

“How can I sleep when I have kids?”

But the truth is that our personal health is the foundation of our lives. If our health is not a priority, we will NEVER have the life we want.

It’s that simple.

Motherhood puts a lot of stress on the body. First, we’re pregnant. Then the baby leaves the body (which majorly stresses the body). After which we spend years carrying kids around, nursing babies, waking several time a night. We’re constantly pushing, wiping, and lifting.

And occasionally running to stop a child with a death wish.

As moms, our bodies are the most important tools that we have. Regardless of the state of your body right now, your body is a miracle. It is a miracle for all it does for you and all it does for your family.

Treating your body kindly is the first thing you should do if you are experiencing mom overwhelm.

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. You can’t give your kids your best when you are running on empty and about to lose it.

Here’s what you can do to make your health a priority:

Get More Sleep

Your sleep is at the foundation of your health. The current research on sleep is terrifying for us sleep deprived moms: sleep deprivation leads to disease and a shortened life span. But I know what you’re thinking: I’ve got a baby so how on earth can I get enough sleep?

I feel ya. Like 100%. I felt like the “you can sleep when you’re dead” mentality was what was going to get me through motherhood. But all it did was make me tired and less effective. I have since started to make sleep a serious priority by doing the following:

  • going to sleep at the same time every night & waking at the same time every morning
  • getting at least 7 hours a night
  • going through a relaxing wind down ritual in the hour before bedtime (therefore increasing the quality of my sleep).

It’s taken planning, a lot of effort, and cutting some stuff out of my life but the results have been incredible. Here’s what I’ve experienced:

  • more energy so I accomplish more every day
  • generally happier
  • more patience (less yelling)
  • easier to achieve health goals (e.g. lose weight, exercise)

So getting enough sleep means that I accomplish more. If you are sleep-deprived and think you don’t have time for more sleep, you need to change your mindset. Because the truth is this:

To have more time you need more sleep. 

Check out these awesome strategies to get better sleep and conquer mom overwhelm.

Exercise

O glorious exercise! My favorite mood booster.

And did you know that regular exercise will actually give you more energy in your day? And help you sleep better? Not to mention, exercise is going to make your job as a mom easier. Easier to keep up with your kids, carry them around, push them in carts through gigantic box stores.

If regular exercise is a struggle for you, you are so not alone. It’s legitimately tough. But the benefits will change your life. Check out these 3 Ways For Busy Moms to Get Motivated to Workout. They’re awesome!

Nourish Your Body

So often we have this “less” mentality when it comes to eating. We need to eat less. Less junk food. Less sugar.

How’s that worked out for us?

It usually makes us think in restrictive terms which often leads to sabotaging ourselves or unhealthy mindsets. In my case, restriction leads to me alone in my car stuffing my face with donuts (and I don’t even like them).

Instead, I like to think in terms of “more”. Focus on eating more:

  • plant-based foods
  • homemade meals
  • salads
  • protein

If you are looking to improve your eating habits, I highly recommend the book Food: What the Heck Should I Eat. Written by nutrition expert Dr. Mark Hyman, it’s extremely helpful for navigating all the conflicting information we are getting about food (like eggs–are they good or bad?). He goes through all the research and will leave you feeling very knowledgable and ready to take control of your health.

getting in shape after 4 pregnancies mom overwhelm get organized

2) BREAK UP CLEANING & LAUNDRY TASKS

The author Anthony Trollope once said: A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules. 

Oh man, I love that quote. Why? Because it is 100% true. Especially when it comes to cleaning and maintaining a home.

Instead of the occasional massive and monumental burst of effort, try creating small daily cleaning rituals that will keep you organized, save time, and help you create a home you love.

Here are some easy ways to do just that.

Spend 15 Minutes on Laundry Everyday

A little laundry everyday will ensure that it never gets out of control. Think about it: in fifteen minutes, you can throw in a load of laundry and fold the laundry from your load the day before.

If you do this every day, you will stay up on laundry. I’ve had very skeptical friends try this and they have been amazed at just how easy and effective this is. You’ll save so much time.

This has absolutely changed my life. As a mother of 4, laundry plagued my life. Especially folding. Ugh. I would do one big push a week, gathering, sorting, washing. It was a massive undertaking. And I could never manage to get much folded. Which meant living out of the clean laundry baskets (a time-sucking habit).

But now, I fit my “laundry 15” into my regular morning routine of taking care of kids and cleaning up after breakfast. I spend far less time on it, yet it never gets out of control.

Follow the 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 clearing off the counter. If it takes less than a minute, 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.

Use the 10-Minute Cleanup

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.

get organized

3) PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE DAY EVERY MORNING

How you spend your morning often determines the whole trajectory of your day. A crazy and stressful morning usually bleeds into a crazy and stressful day.

On the other hand, a productive and energizing morning will set you up for the kind of day you want to have.

Here’s what you should do:

Wake up Before Your Kids

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

Even if it’s just enough time to get dressed, brush your teeth, and plan your day. Waking up before your kids puts you in control of your day from the beginning. Waking up to children demanding breakfast means starting your day 2 steps behind.

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. And trust me, I am no natural morning person. Check out these 9 fail-proof tips to wake-up early.

Make Your Bed

If you’re skeptical of this one, I get it. I used to think making my bed was the biggest waste of time. That is, until I actually gave it a shot. Now I’m a full believer in the power of making your bed everyday.

Making your bed right when you wake up gives you and immediate and visible “win” for the day. You get a little jolt of happiness/and or feeling of accomplishment. Starting your day with an easy win, sets you up to start knocking more tasks out of your way.

Set Your Intentions for the Day

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. For example:

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

The key is to decide, right off the bat, what are the few things that you want accomplish for the day. Then you don’t let the little challenges that inevitably come derail your day.

For example, if my goals 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. When my child slips and falls, I’ll snuggle her and ignore my messy house. When someone calls to chat, I’ll find a way keep it short and get back to making meals.

Shower & Get Dressed

Showering and getting dressed for the day will make you more productive and help you get organized. I’m not sure how, I just know it really works!

Mind you, “dressed for the day” does not mean you need to be ready for an Instagram lifestyle shot. It means you are clean, clothed (no pajamas), and have brushed your teeth. Figure out what kind of daily “uniform” is easy to throw on. but makes you feel “ready”.

By the way, this shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. Remember, dry shampoo is your best friend.

time saving tips for moms mom overwhelm get organized

SAY GOODBYE TO SURVIVAL MODE

While living in survival mode is part and parcel of being a mom sometimes, it should always be temporary.  By taking control of your health, breaking up cleaning tasks, and taking mornings for yourself you can ditch mom overwhelm., get organized, and create the life you love.

You’ve got this, mama!

10 Things Moms Can Do Everyday to Have More Joy

10 Things Moms Can Do Everyday to Have More Joy

*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.

10 Things Moms Can Do Everyday to Have More Joy

Being a mom can seem like endless drudgery of doing the same tasks over and over. After mopping and vacuuming, five minutes later a child leaves crumbly cracker trails in her wake. After hours on laundry–gathering, washing, folding–the dirty clothes seem to pile again immediately.

But as you know, being a mom also brings moments where your heart feels like it’s going to burst from joy and happiness. Moments where you are overwhelmed with love and gratitude for your children and your life.

Unfortunately, those moments may not be a frequent as we want them to be. But making simple changes can increase our daily happiness and overcome feelings of drudgery and overwhelm.

Here are 10 practical strategies that be practiced daily to increase those sublime moments of happiness–and generally just make us happier.

10 Things Moms Can Do For More Daily Joy

10 Things Moms Can Do Everyday For More Joy

1) Wake-up before your kids & do something for yourself.

Whether you exercise, read, meditate, pray, or write your to-do list, take time for yourself first thing. Filling your own cup first thing in the morning enables you to lift up and help those around you. 

If you, like myself, are NOT a morning person and need extra help to wake up in the  mornings, here are some awesome tips to help get you our of bed in the morning.

2) Make your bed every day.

It takes just a minute or two and will start your day off by creating order and feeling accomplished.

I used to think it was a pointless exercise, but I was wrong. Making your bed starts your day with a jolt of satisfaction and accomplishment. Slipping into a made bed at the end of the day simply feels better.

3) Exercise.

Just 20-30 minutes of exercise a day has amazing effects on mood, health, sleep quality, and energy level.

For ideas on ways to fit a workout into your day, check out 6 Ways For Busy Moms to Fit in a Quick Workout.

4) Use your phone at the right time for the right things.

Have you ever gotten on your phone and suddenly your kids start throwing epic fits. So you get frustrated and then everyone’s upset.

Why does that happen? When we are on our phones, we are no longer engaged with the world outside of out phone.  So you’re disengaged from your kids.

And then what do they do? They act out. Why? Because that’s how they know they can get you off your phone.

Your smartphone can help your life be more efficient. There are so many fantastic apps and features that can boost your productivity and help you stay organized. But it can also be a complete waste of time and energy. Here are some tips to be smart about your smartphone

5) Hug your husband for at least 20 seconds a day.

After a busy, often hectic day away from one another, it’s easy to feel disconnected at the end of the day.

Try a 20 second hug. It’s relaxing, can help build your realtionship, and is a mood booster. It releases oxytocin which creates feelings of trust and it also helps to relax your body. It may feel awkward at first, but embrace the awkward and reap the rewards.

6) Snuggle each child individually giving them 100% focus.

No matter how chaotic your day is, give at least a few minutes of snuggles and undivided attention to each child. Snuggling is going to build your relationship with your child and make everyone happier.

It’s amazing the peace it’ll bring to your home. Your kids will have fewer meltdowns and you will all be much happier. When I snuggle my children, I can literally feel the tension leaving their bodies. 

7) Choose your battles wisely.

With your spouse and your children, make sure you choose the right things to focus on. Whether battling over mismatched clothes, messy hair, toilet training, or a picky child, make sure you’re picking the right battles and letting the rest go.

Personally, I let my girls dress themselves. Sure, they are often clad in a mismatched array of patterns and colors. But they are happy and developing a sense of self and I don’t have to worry about it.

On school days, they rush into their classrooms with epic bed head, running past the girls with their perfectly coiffed braids and bows.

But hey, if they don’t care, neither do I.

8) Schedule downtime at the end of the day.

Stress is often a culprit in our bad moods and unhappiness. After the kids are down, treat yourself to a relaxing routine. Take a bath or read a book. Do something relaxing and rejuvenating that will prepare you for a good night’s sleep. 

(For more on creating a fantastic evening routine, click here.)

9) End your day reciting your “Top 10 of Today”

With your spouse or by yourself, go over the 10 best parts of your day. Can’t make it to 10? Shoot, even the top 1 or two will still be a mood booster. Focusing on the positives brings sunshine to even the cloudiest of days. 

10) Make your sleep a top priority.

This is much more important than a clean house. Your sleep is directly related to your mood, your energy, your health, and how you interact with others. Sleep deprivation can literally kill you.

Mom getting enough sleep = happy home.

Need help? Here are 10 amazing strategies that can help you get dramatically better sleep tonight.

It just takes a few minutes.

None of these strategies take more than a couple of minutes, but each of them will inject a burst of happiness into your day. And your happiness is the cornerstone of building a happy home.

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