As a stay-at-home, work-from-home, home school mom I have the same pressures as any other mom. TIME pressures.
I wake up between 5-30 in the morning (in Summer at least – I can’t do that on cold, dark winter mornings) and school starts shortly after 7 and continues until about 11. Household tasks fit in before, after an in-between as we do all the household cleaning chores without help.
After school I will finish up whatever didn’t get done earlier, check my messages and make lunch. Then it’s full-steam ahead with work. I have to fit in as much work as I can in those short hours between 12-5h30 (between activities, neighbors stopping by, shopping trips, beach walks and excursions), when it’s time to start preparing dinner.
My hubby is part of the entire process. He’s a rock in the home and I’d be lost without him. He naturally puts in more hours in the office than I do. So whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, time is precious and it flies by. I feel blessed that I’m able to spend my time around my family, but it is not always easy to make the most of this time.
Top time-saving tips for moms
1. Organization: Eliminate clutter and keep things handy. Ensure everyone has his or her own keys / pens / lunchbox / water bottle and that it is in a set place when not in use.
2. Notes: Keep a notebook by the phone and a shopping list in the kitchen. Don’t leave notes to the last minute as you will forget things, which will cause you to waste time later on.
3. Planning: Set a day for each task and get the whole family involved with cleaning. Designate age-appropriate tasks to the kids. For instance, let your older son take out the rubbish on a set day and let your older daughter fold the laundry on a specific day. Make the kids responsible for keeping their own rooms clean.
4. Maximize your time: Help the kids with homework while you cook dinner. Do daily milk & bread shopping en route home from work and picking kids up from sports. Keep letters and bills with a file in the car on those days so you can sort through it while you wait.
The biggest time challenge mothers face
A recent survey asked mothers about the biggest challenges they face and the response was a unanimous ”TIME!”.
They all elaborated about how they don’t have time to cook nutritional meals. (That’s kind of scary when you think about it. Lack of nutrition can lead to life threatening conditions ) Some said that they know the dangers of fast-food, but they simply don’t have time to cook nutritional meals.
Here’s how to keep your family healthy while spending no more than 30 minutes in the kitchen
Plan your meals – I take meat out of the freezer in the morning and let it thaw in the fridge.
Save money and preparation time on the weekends – Buy vegetables and herbs in bulk and chop, freeze and sauce them. (See my Pinterest board for tips). You can also prepare freezer meals that can simply be frozen and popped in the oven every day.
Cooking fresh doesn’t have to take longer – Pasta takes 10 minutes and you can make a healthy sauce with a fresh tomato base and other healthy vegetables and fresh herbs in 15 minutes. Healthy cooking is smart – not hard. Fish and a salad can be done in 30 minutes. More quick meal tips on my Pinterest board above.
Healthy breakfast and lunch = better nutrition + time saved – Serve a healthy breakfast and pack some fresh fruit and a tub of yogurt or other healthy time-saving snacks for the whole family to snack on throughout the day. Have another protein shake and aloe concentrate at lunch to give your family all the nutrition they need to function at optimum levels. This means that you don’t have to create a power-packed dinner that answers to all their nutritional needs at dinner. A ready-made chicken salad (prepared on the weekend, with a slice of fresh wholewheat bread on the side) will do!
Following these tips keep me sane during busy weekdays with fast-approaching deadlines. When I am busy late, hubby and the kids can pop a freezer meal in the oven and lay the table, saving me more time and teaching them valuable lessons about both time management and responsibility. Most importantly, the show goes on even in my absence and dinner is on schedule at the same time every night, which promotes healthy metabolisms.
As a mom, you will probably shed that lingering baby weight and have energy available to deal with the biggest baby (Hubby) after the littles have gone to sleep at the end of a long day…
I know for a fact that there’s a lot more you can do to save time, so if you have a great tip to share, please let us know in comments below. Perhaps we’ll use that for a future post.
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