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You’re a busy mom, and already have a lot on your plate. In between driving your kids to therapy appointments, making meals, keeping the house clean, cultivating a strong marriage, trying to have somewhat of a social life (commenting on and/or liking Facebook or Instagram posts counts right?), while working at home or outside the home, you hardly have any time to breathe.
I’m right there with you.
Believing the lie that we can do it all, and do it well. Thinking life is a juggling act, and you’re able to balance #allthethings. Here’s the thing, mama.
It’s impossible to split yourself into fourths, or eight equal parts. You simply can’t. Our time is finite. When we give our time to something, we have less energy for something else.
“How you spend your time is how you spend your life.” -Annie Dillard
With that being said, here are some things I do every week that gives me back more time for the things, and people who matter most.
I only go to the store ONCE a week
It’s usually for meat and non-perishable items at either Fred Meyers or Winco. I buy fruits, vegetables, and perishable items from the following places:
- I do a weekly order from Imperfect Produce. This is hands down my favorite way to ensure that my family is getting quality fruits and vegetables, at a lower price, AND it’s delivered right to our door. While we’ve transitioned over to organic fruits and vegetables, they offer conventional items as well.
They’re not only limited to fruits and vegetables, but have a wide range of items based on store surpluses (think grocery outlet, but high quality and delivered to your doorsteps).
You’ll also get $10 off your first box, you can customize it however you like.
My girls get really excited to open up their box of weekly produce, and we’re also helping to reduce food waste. Win-win, amiright?!
- Smith Brothers farm. Our weekly order of eggs, milk, and gluten-free bread are from them. We’ve also been in situations where we’ve been in a pinched… think long winter, a house full of sick kids, and they were our saving grace during those months (pretty much from November-March. Thanks, flu season!).
It saves me from having to drive to the grocery store because we ran out of these basic necessities….only to come back with a basketful of other items I didn’t intend on buying (I’m looking at you clearance end caps and marked down items).
I keep our dinner menus simple.
We have these theme days:
Mondays: Spaghetti or chicken alfredo
Tuesdays: (in honor of Taco Tuesdays): nachos, tacos, quesadillas
Wednesdays: an Asian dish (pad thai, curry, stir-fry, fried rice, etc)
Thursdays: shout out to hot dogs, hamburgers, mac n’ cheese, etc
Fridays: are Family Night (we play board games and watch movies) so that’s our pizza day. Our meals for the weekend varies to add some variety to the mix.
I finally caved and bought a Roomba.
It’s hands down about as close to Rosie (the Jetson’s robotic maid) for cleaning floors as you can get. I run it once a day, usually right after dinner time. It not only saved me time from having to vacuum all the time– our son likes to drop crumbs everywhere (yours too?), but it’s also saved my back.
Both our son and youngest daughter suffers from allergies, so instead of having to strain our backs from moving their beds around to vacuum underneath it, we just send “Rosie” to take care of the mess.
Some people may call it lazy, but I’d rather not spend 20mins/day vacuuming my floors when I already have a million things to do, and I’m sure you do too!
One cannot have a Roomba without an Alexa of course.
This is hands down the best money spent. I use the reminder feature to remind me of everything. My memory appears to get worse with each child, and this has been a godsend for me.
I add items to the grocery list, set a reminder to start the dryer (otherwise the clothes will hang out with the washer for the remainder of the day), schedule that doctor’s appointment, or reminder to call someone back.
I’m able to make phone calls when my hands are occupied.
We like to use it to remind the kids when it’s time to put on shoes, socks, and head out the door.
It’s inexpensive and money well spent!
Amazon subscribe & save.
I know you’re probably wondering when this would show up on the list, et voila! Here are some of the items, I usually include in our subscribe & save order:
- Amazon Elements baby wipes for Sensitive Skin. It’s difficult for a child to grasp the concept of cleanliness, particularly in sensitive areas, so we’ve found that these wipes really do come in handy.
- I have two kiddos with eczema, so we always opt for Tides Free and Gentle Laundry Detergent.
- Tom’s Strawberry toothpaste (our kiddos are quite specific), because our daughter is very sensitive to the sensation that comes with mint toothpaste.
- Seventh Generation Unbleached toilet paper.
- Clean Well disinfecting wipes. I can easily wipe down the bathroom counters after using the restroom or easily reach for these wipes to do a quick clean while our son’s taking a shower (we don’t leave him alone as he’s been known to flood bathrooms lol). Having these wipes nearby helps us to keep the bathroom clean as we go, without having to worry about when’s the next time it needs to be done.
Yes, I could easily find similar items at our local Costco, but I dread doing to Costco with three kids in tow. Our son will oftentimes simply refuse to get out of the car, or worse… go in, only to have a meltdown five minutes in! So the whole shopping trip is a bust.
Occasionally, we may find ourselves with some “free time” on a weekend, and I’ll try to make a trip to a local Costco, otherwise, I’ll stick to having these items delivered to my door-steps. Amazon for the win!
I’m not a maid, and you aren’t either.
Your family has to function as a team, which means there are chores in the house that needs to be done, and there are plenty of hands able to do the work. Listen, mama. There is a difference between serving your family: acts of kindness, spending quality time with them, feeding/dressing them, daily maintenance of the home and being a maid.
Teach your children who are able to do so, to pick up after themselves. Even our differently abled ones can be taught to put their dishes away, and pick up after their toys.
You are not a maid.
You’re a mom, your job is to mother them, not be a slave to them.
If your children aren’t stepping up and helping around the house, don’t make yourself feel guilty or ashamed, there’s plenty of time to teach and show them how to.
A big part of parenting is teaching.
They may not get it right the first time, or the second time, or even the 10th time, but you know what? They’re learning and growing. Just like any new skill, our kiddos need plenty of practice before they get it perfectly right. Done is better than perfect.
Ask your spouse for help.
Marriage is a partnership.
Gone are the days where your husband comes home from work, and you’re wearing high heels with full-on makeup, vacuuming while carrying a baby on one hand, amen?
If your husband isn’t already doing specific chores, ask him for help.
In our house, my husband does all of ours & Jacob’s laundry (our girls do their own). He works twelve hour days, in addition to two-hour commutes, so I do the buck of the housework.
It’s impossible for me to work part-time, run this blog, coach other moms, and lead our therapy team without his help.
If you need help, you have to ask for it.
If you’re both strapped for time and can fit it into your budget at all, get a house cleaner. Even if it’s just once a month, maybe have someone else do the bulk of the deep cleaning so you can just focus on the daily pick-ups, spills, and wiping down off counters.
It may seem counterintuitive, but arguing over whose turn it is to clean the bathroom should not be your daily mantra.
There is no shame in asking for help.
Unsure of how this saves time and money?
Well, for starters it’ll save you from a lot of arguments over the condition of your home.
And remember, you’re a better mom, wife, and person when you’re not being stretched too thin.
You can’t give from an empty well, and you’re able to give the best of you to the people and the things that matter most.
If you’re hesitant about outsourcing some of these items, I highly encourage you to conduct a time audit.
Take a normal day (not an incredibly busy or low-key one), but a typical day, and log where your time is being spent… what you find may surprise you…. Like that extra trip to the grocery store to grab milk, but you end up buying more than just milk.
Because who really drives all the way to the grocery store and comes back with just one item, amiright?
Your time is valuable, friends!
Kick guilt to the curb, and automate and delegate wherever you can!
What are you going to automate or delegate in order to save yourself some time and money?