All week on my Instagram stories I’ve been sharing tips for streamlining your home management, calendar and purse. Today I’m sharing a few ways to simplify motherhood including your day-to-day routines, especially if you are in the thick of motherhood. None of these ideas are groundbreaking. But sometimes the simplest things can make a big difference!
1. Wake up early
I know, I know. No one wants to read this one. But the habit of waking up before everyone else – and having time to yourself to work out, pray, tackle emails, whatever is important to you – can be life changing.
When I used to let my children wake me up I felt rushed, disheveled and like I couldn’t get a hold of the day. But when I get my day going at 5 am, I feel prepared, calm and happier (albeit a bit tired, but adjusting bedtime helps with this!).
As a work from home entrepreneur, this time before my girls wake up is essential in staying on top of my work life. I feel like I can get three hours of work accomplished in one hour because I’m focused without distraction.
But even the enjoyment of a morning cup of coffee and time to think straight before little feet come pattering down the steps is motivation enough to get out of bed!
2. Make Your Children Do More Chores
The new year is the perfect time to reevaluate how your children are contributing to household chores. They probably can do MUCH more than they are currently doing to can lighten your load.
Having my girls empty the dishwasher, open the curtains, make their beds, and tidy up their bathrooms every morning helps me tremendously.
If you have young children, start now with the habit of cleaning up toys after playtime, showing them how to make their bed, and for that matter, showing them how to tidy up in general. Children don’t know these things innately – they must be taught. And you can start young! (You can read more about how we do chores here.)
3. Have Children Rewear Clothes
Not everything needs to be thrown into the dirty clothes basket! This is something we’ve had to work on lately. Training my children that a dress they wore to Sunday School for two hours or a white sweater they wore to the movies is not necessarily dirty and can be hung back up. Result: it cuts down on the laundry pile! Same with towels if you’re okay reusing those. When you have a big family these little things add up to big time savers. (And teach children to do the laundry!)
4. Cut Back on the Complicated Dinners
Growing up we used to give my mom such a hard time because she wasn’t a gourmet cook like my grandmother. But now that I’m a mother she puts me to shame! My mom had a healthy, homemade dinner on the table almost every night. It wasn’t beef bourguignon. But it was still delicious and wholesome.
Her secret (not so much of a secret but helpful to me now that I am a mother): she made simple dinners that could easily be repeated. Grilled chicken, baked potatos, steamed artichokes. Pork tenderloin, a hearty salad, potatoes. Chicken and rice. Soup and salad. The point: NOT COMPLICATED.
I get so caught up in these intense recipes on food blogs, or trying to find a new recipe to try, instead of just choosing a protein and vegetables (or a vegetable plate in the summer!). My girls are happier with than some fancy dish they probably won’t eat anyway.
Last year I started meal planning three months in advance using a combination of recipes that were popular with my family and quick and healthy dinners like my mom made. This winter I am doing the same, repeating favorite recipes instead of trying new ones.
5. Grocery Delivery Service
Shed hours of your “to do” list with Instacart, Shipt or Amazon. Once you find a service you like, you can copy past orders which also saves a lot of time if you tend to order many of the same household and pantry items. This is a time is money kind of thing for me. I can cut two hours out of travel/grocery time by using a service – that’s worth a $10 delivery fee for someone like me who is working from home. Think about what other things like this you can outsource where there is a cost benefit.
6. Reduce activities and commitments.
I know I say this often, but the times I most stressed out and frazzled is when I have too much to do and not enough down time. (Same goes for my children.)
In this new year, think about what you can edit out of your schedule. Just because everyone else’s child is doing three activities doesn’t mean your child needs to. Be sensible about what’s best for and your children’s physical and mental well-being. You will see the benefits and sweetness of a slower pace!
Coat c/o Layette Dallas