Being a mother is hard work, so here are some housekeeping tips for busy moms that could shave hours off your to-do list…
Even in two-parent households, the bulk of childcare, housekeeping, cleaning and meal prepping falls on mom. Between your career, trying to ensure your kids eat their greens, are well-mannered and grow up to love learning, you’re also trying to keep your home reasonably clean and tidy.
It’s the exhausting ‘mental load’ of motherhood and, even when you have the most helpful spouse, being a mom is hard work.
Simplify grocery shopping
Almost daily shop runs are common, particularly when it seems convenient enough to pop in for whatever was forgotten during the last shop. But all those trips take time and if your kids are in tow, it can be exhausting.
Instead, use a blackboard or a notepad to make a list of items as they run out, set a certain day of the week for shopping and only shop on that day. If you do forget something try to tough it out until next week or ask your spouse or partner to pick it up.
If each shop run takes about an hour, and you’re queuing at a till almost five times a week, cutting down to one shop a week will save you four hours a week – imagine what you could do with that time. And let’s not forget that the more times you shop, the more likely you are to buy little extras here and there, so fewer shopping trips means more money in your pocket too.
Another idea is to skip the weekly shop altogether, order online and have your groceries delivered to your door.
Create a weekly plan aimed at saving time
If you love cooking every night of the week, by all means, do. However, if putting a meal on the table feels like a stressful mad rush, try planning meals that you can cook once and eat for a few nights or freeze for the following week if you can’t handle the repetition.
For example, you could make grilled chicken and roast veg for dinner on Monday, serve the grilled chicken with salad on Tuesday and then break up the last of the chicken and throw it into an omelette to serve with the last of the roast veg on Wednesday. You can also save time by giving your spouse or partner a turn to make dinner a few nights a week.
Meal planning sounds boring, but it’s a great way to save time and money, by reducing electricity usage and food wastage.
Follow a quick daily cleaning routine
The Internet is full to bursting with cleaning routine ideas and videos. Some people like to tackle certain cleaning jobs on certain days while others prefer a quick evening speed cleaning routine.
Find what works for you and make sure that everyone in the family, to the best of their ability, plays a role in cleaning up. Get the kids to pack away their toys before supper and help with cleaning up after dinner.
More hands make light work so, whether you do a daily speed clean or weekly deep clean, make a family cleaning time a habit, play some music the kids like, set a timer and make it a game to see if you can all beat your last cleaning time. If you’re run off your feet while your spouse is putting his up, it’s time talk about modelling behaviour for the kids that everyone in the family pitches in to clean up.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working woman, trying to keep everyone in the family happy and healthy is hard work. Cut yourself some slack by getting your spouse or partner and kids to take more responsibility for keeping the home tidy. And keep trying new ways to simplify regular housekeeping tasks so you can carve out time to rekindle an old hobby or start a passion project that reminds you that there’s more to your life than a clean kitchen and folded laundry.