I recently shared what my typical working mom’s week looks like and how I absolutely do not do it all. Every day, Monday through Friday, I leave the house at 7:30 am and don’t pull back into my driveway until around 6 pm. Some people despise a commute but I relish in the fairly unstressful hour drive from work to home. It’s one hour to unwind before I walk through the door to hear the joyful declarations “MAMA!” which quickly turn from delight to the ear piercing, whiny little voices of my hungry toddlers. Our evenings are filled with dinner, little playtime, and baths leaving us without a great deal of time for anything else. Rather than spend our weekends running errands I’ve found ways to save time during the week on the not-so-fun chores.
Some people work to pay the bills, while others may work for adult interaction. The SAHM gig is not for everyone, including me. Would I love to work a little less and be around my kids more? Absolutely! But for our family, right now, we work to live, not live to work.
Even though I’m away from home for close to 11 hours a day, the house and family still need to function and survive. With some minor tweaks here and there I’ve learned to cut corners, saving precious time that is better spent having fun as a family.
- GROCERY PICKUP
This is a huge one. My kids are at an age where one doesn’t want to sit in the shopping cart and the other just wants everything in sight. Taking them on big grocery runs is less than appealing. Our local Walmart just started their grocery shopping online (FREE) service and I’m hooked! You do need to plan a little to utilize this as the pickup windows usually start a day out. Having the Grocery app on my phone is super convenient for me & my husband to add what we need and schedule to pickup on my way home from work. (Use this link to save $10 using the Walmart Grocery service.) Most grocery stores are starting this service along with delivery options so be sure to check them out.
- SHOWER AT NIGHT
I’ll admit I do need to get back to doing this. When I shower at night it saves so much time in the morning.
- DRY SHAMPOO
I do NOT wash my hair everyday. Dry shampoo is my best friend. This one is my favorite and doesn’t leave white residue on my dark hair. A few sprays in my oily spots and I can stretch my hair washings to 1-2 times per week.
- BULK SCHEDULE
The inevitable appointments will happen. For example, if the doctor and dentist are located near each other schedule appointments close together. This will save you time driving across town or potentially having to take off extra time from work. Likewise if you need the cable guy and exterminator to come out, schedule them together. They don’t need your full attention, just someone to be there with them.
- SLOW COOKER MEALS
Whether you work away from home or stay at home this one is clutch. Throw a few ingredients in the slow cooker before you leave for work, set the timer, and it’s ready to go when you walk through the door. Follow my Recipes board on Pinterest for some great inspiration.
- COOK EXTRA FOR LUNCHES
Easy, peasy lunches. Pack leftovers in individual containers before putting away and you can save time (and money) on your lunch break best used for other tasks.
- LEARN TO SAY “NO”
I swear as moms we feel like we need to do it all. I promise you we don’t and saying “no” will be so freeing to you. It helps you be a better mom too. When I feel like I have a lot on my plate and need to be in so many places at once I feel very anxious and it reflects on my kids. Just say no.
- RUN ERRANDS ON LUNCH BREAK
Remember how you brought leftovers to work for lunch? Well now you have time to run any errands you need to get done sans kids slowing you down. If I just need a couple quick grocery items this is when I do it. We have a couple refrigerators at work that I can store any small cold items in. Every minute counts after work. If I stop somewhere I run the chance of hitting a lot more traffic.
- PUT OFF THINGS UNTIL AFTER BEDTIME
If there’s something that can be done after the kids go to bed, save it! Pack lunches, lay out clothes, shower, etc. My kids miss me during the day so I strive to give them my attention during the short window we have at night.
- HIRE HELP
I recently hired an extremely affordable house cleaner to come in once a month for deep cleaning. Hello timesaver!!! She takes 3-4 hours cleaning which would consequently cost me an entire Saturday that I could be out at the beach or park with my toddlers.
- INVOLVE KIDS IN SOME HOUSEHOLD TASKS
There are still daily chores to do so by all means involve the kids and make it fun! Check out this list of age appropriate chores for toddlers.