Life hacks make life so much easier. If you’ve read my other content, you know that I love me some life hacks.
As a Work From Home mom, I’m always on the go. I have so many things to get done on a daily basis so things can be quite chaotic and even overwhelming at times. I am, however, a strong believer that motherhood doesn’t mean you lose your identity in the process. I strongly believe that you teach your kids self-discovery by continuously working on yourself and your own personal goals alongside fulfilling your role as a mom.
Don’t get me wrong, I am completely in support of those moms who choose to go all in, heart and soul. I just believe that that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lose yourself in the process too. I believe losing yourself in your kids’ existence can create room for toxic parenting and we ain’t about that life sista!
Related read: How to be a better mom
With that said though, I know how important it is for busy moms to get the most out of each day. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a work-from-home mom or a working mom heading out every day, here are 5 life hacks for busy moms to help increase your productivity and hopefully make life just a little bit easier.
My first life hack is to batch cook meals
Girl, I can’t tell you how many times batch cooking has saved my ass. I work from 8 am to 5 pm most days and after a long day of work, the last thing I want to do is to start dinner. That’s when the “do ya’ll really have to eat today?” kicks in. This is usually followed by, “can’t we just do chicken nuggets for dinner?” or “let’s just go get fast food”. The latter often wins.
Now I am well aware that that’s not healthy. Relying on fast food is bad for both the kids and our pockets. That’s where this life hack comes in. When you know there’s food already prepared in the freezer, life is so much easier and you don’t end up spending on fast food that you’ll feel bad about afterward anyway.
Batch cooking doesn’t necessarily mean cooking multiple different meals all at once either. You can literally just make multiple days of the same meal whenever you are cooking. There are days when I like to do two or three different meals at once. And then there are those days when the same meal is multiplied by whatever number I can manage at the time.
If I have enough time and I don’t mind, I’ll still prepare a meal on a given day – even with precooked meals in the freezer. Then on those days when I am so tired I can’t even scratch my butt, I’ll just pull out my freezer stash. Trust me mama. Number 1 life hack for moms? Batch cooking. Thank me later. 😉
Life hack #2: meal plan
I’m sure you guessed this life hack was coming next. What’s batch cooking without meal planning right?
Of course you don’t HAVE TO meal plan in order to batch cook. You’ll always hear me say there’s no one-size-fits-all. So if life flows more smoothly for you when you just wing it, then honey wing it. But if you’re like me and you need order to navigate the chaos that is motherhood, planning ahead makes all the difference.
Here’s the thing, I have my job, I have my blog to maintain, I have my duties as a wife (to be) to fulfill. I have homework to check, I have a house to keep clean and the list goes on. There’s so much I need to stay on top of so the last thing I want to do every day is to be opening the freezer and wondering “hmm, what’s for dinner today?” Then repeat this every single day. Nope! Ain’t nobody got time for that!
I like to meal plan. When I know what’s on the menu ahead of time, it makes everything feel so much more organized. Grocery shopping is easier when I meal plan too. I know exactly what to pick up and I don’t end up with random grocery items in the house that don’t get used up.
I am still working on mastering meal planning so I like to write it all down. I have a folder with previous meal plans and if there is a week when I don’t have the time to meal plan, I just reach for an old plan. Boom! New week of meals planned for. Haha!
Next up, make To Do lists
Oh sweet sweet to do list. Oh how I love you. This is something I have started doing and it has made things a lot easier for me. You see, I don’t always remember everything I have to get done on any given day so when I write it down it’s sure to be done.
And believe me, I know lists aren’t for everyone. But the way I utilize to-do lists is a little different from what I see all these productivity gurus suggesting. Here’s what I do:
- I have an overall list of big tasks/goals I need to accomplish this year. That goes on my master to-do list for the year. I treat it like a yearly vision board. I add or remove things to this as the year goes by and things naturally change and/or get accomplished.
- At the start of each month, I look at the master list and evaluate my life and time to see what I can get done from that list this month. That gets added to the monthly to-do list.
- Then I make a list of the things that need to be done each week.
- Finally, each day, I make a list of the things I need to do today or tomorrow. If something doesn’t get done today, I move it to another day when it can actually get done.
This system – or life hack if you may – has drastically simplified things for me and because I’m not holding myself to some perfectionist standard. It’s fine if I don’t complete a specific list on a specific day. I just move it to a different day or spread out the tasks over multiple days. I try to prioritize as much as possible and this really helps me to get things done.
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My fourth life hack for moms definitely has to be using calendars
Okay, now naturally, you know the next life hack is to use a calendar or a planner. Because where are you going to write down all those To-Do lists right? You want to remain as organized as your personality and circumstances allow you to be. So this is where a planner comes in.
The planner I’m currently using is the Legend Planner by SVDSTORE. I bought it on Amazon and I have not regretted that purchase. I also use a magnet calendar that I place on the fridge in the kitchen. This is what I call my command center and it is where I put the dates everyone else in the house needs to be mindful of.
The one I use was also purchased on Amazon. It’s a magnetic chalkboard calendar from the Lush Leaf store. I bought it because it came with the chalk markers, an eraser, and a weekly planner magnetic sheet. I use the weekly planner sheet to display the weekly meal plan or jot down items that we run out of. Best of all they’re magnetic so everything sticks right up on the fridge. No need to worry about finding stuff when I need it.
I also have a small calendar that I keep close to my desk with my to-do lists as mentioned above. This is something I got for free at a supermarket near me. It was really cute so I took one and it turned out to be super handy.
Calendars make it so that everyone knows when what is taking place. This means everyone is on the same page and you don’t have to keep reminding everyone about everything. You just write it down where they can see it and forget about it. Now you can focus that brainpower on other things you need to get done.
My fifth and final life hack for moms is to be flexible
Listen, mama. I get it, we want to do the most all the time. We want things to go smoothly all the time. We want everything to just operate without a hitch all the time. And in an ideal world, planning ahead, batch cooking, meal planning, making to-do lists and all that stuff happens all the time and works 100% of the time.
But in reality, that’s not the case. You will inevitably have days where things don’t go as planned and throw your whole schedule off. Things will inevitably happen that you did not or could not have a plan for. I mean for crying out loud. Who could have predicted a year-long pandemic?
The idea is to remain flexible. Identify the things you can control. Identify those you can’t and have the courage to accept both. Plan for what you can think of. I personally like to plan for best-case scenarios as well as worst-case scenarios. If everything works out, great! And if it doesn’t, I have some sort of a backup plan to make it a little less stressful.
Life doesn’t always follow a rigid script, so being flexible allows you to better handle the curve balls life will throw at you.
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All in all, motherhood is full of ups and downs and we just have to take it one step at a time and learn and adapt as we go along. Motherhood can be challenging but for me, it has been one of the most fulfilling roles I’ve had the privilege of taking on in my entire lifetime.
Motherhood is not for everyone and I don’t believe in judging women who choose not to take on this role. But if you are a mom, planning to become a mom, or considering whether or not it is for you…breathe. Take it easy on yourself. Grow and learn as you go along. Find a support group if you can and just remember, you’ve got this! 💪🏽
Alright, I’m done yapping now. It’s your turn. I wanna hear from you. Let me know in the comments, which of these hacks you’ll try out. What hacks have you found useful? Share your experiences with us so we can all help each other out.
‘Til next time. Cheers! ✌🏽
Amazing and such a helpful article. I do all except for hack #2 meal plan (I just hate doing that). But yes when I do, it makes life so easy.
Yeah. Meal Planning can be a bit daunting and it takes some practice to get it down. But definitely makes life easier 🙂