I’ve been a working mother for 14 years. I am by no means an expert! I have learned some valuable life-hacks over the years that make life a little less chaotic.
Here are six life-hacks I set for myself to make my weekdays sail smoother.
Plan a menu for the month ahead
Even before I was a mom, I always made a weekly outline of what we would eat each weeknight. However, a fellow working mother friend of mine recommended planning a month out. This was sanity-saving! Because I am a teacher and school started in August, I decided to try it. At the beginning of August, I found recipes on Pinterest and in cookbooks. It was exhilarating knowing I did not have to think about what to make for dinner after teaching teenagers all day. I took the time to sit down with a calendar and plotted out a skeletal menu for the month. This life-hack made my entire life seemed to make sense. I leave Friday through Sunday unplanned because we like to eat out or grill on those days. There is nothing worse than coming home after a long day of work and creating a great meal for the family with the little brainpower left. Nights are much calmer. Here is one of my favorite healthy meal sites. It is magical to have at least one aspect of my crazy life planned out a bit.
Organize your week on Sunday
I’ve heard the saying, “A Sunday well spent is a week content.” That couldn’t be truer for my family! If my Sundays are harried and chaotic, I rarely feel ready for the week on Monday. If I make it a point to settle my house, fill up my car, make as many lunches ahead of time, and pack backpacks and set them by the door, my family seems to reap the benefits. Monday mornings are rough, but having all of my backpacks in a row the night before helps us get out the door a little easier. Great life-hack if you ask me.
Do one load of laundry each weeknight
Some domestic heroes leave all of their cleaning and laundry for the weekend. I have been this person, but this means I work all week and clean all weekend. Ahh! No thank you! I found that if I do at least one load of laundry a night, then it takes away the sting of the housework piling up all week. This leaves me free to play with my kids and enjoy my weekend. I also have my kids help with this task. They will be good homeowners one day if it kills me.
Clean out weekend backpacks on Friday night
This life-hack appears simple. Although I’ve been that mom rolling into the school parking lot on Monday —cleaning out my kids’ bags on the walk to the building from my car. Whoops! I try to get the backpack checking done before I settle down for my weekend. This way, if I have a note that they need any supplies for the next week, I can grab those items during the weekend. I wouldn’t leave all of the work for Sunday night, or worse yet, Monday morning!
Ask for help from your mom tribe
I used to be a person who tried to do it all for my three kids by myself. I’ve recently learned that asking for help from other parents and grandparents is okay. My three kids are very busy with athletics, activities, and social events. I cannot be everywhere at once. Luckily, the moms of my kids’ friends are as amazing as their kids. They have helped with after activity transportation, sleepovers, and carpooling to social events. My parents and my husbands’ parents have been more than happy to hang out with their grandkids if we’ve needed them to help cover. It used to be hard for me to ask, but I know I take my turn in the carpool lane, and I’m more than happy to do it.
Give yourself some grace
All mamas work hard, and working moms are no different. There is no reason to waste your energy on guilt for not being everywhere at all times. Your children know you love them. You are showing them how to balance quite a bit. They can see how hard you work and they can feel how much you love them. If you can manage it, carve out me time in the tapestry of school events, domestic chores, and meal planning. You’re worth it!
If you’re looking for other creative life-hacks, here is a post of more from OMB writer, Jenny.
What do you do to make your life run smoothly?