Anyone tired of quarantine life yet? If you think you are, please check in on your homeschooling mama friends… Things have not been easy for us – especially those of us who have to work from home. I like to think I’m someone with all my ducks in a row, but these trying times have proven otherwise. With a 7 and 4-year-old, my multi-tasking skills are put to the test daily. I’ve surely learned a thing or two these past three weeks and thought I’d share my best 10 time-saving mom hacks that’ll make life a little more bearable.
1. Buy groceries online
Going to the grocery store these days is no walk in the park, especially with little ones who touch every single thing. Save yourself the headache by shopping for groceries online. If you haven’t tried this, it’s pretty life-changing. All you need to do is pick out the items you need and the store will pull it together for you. You can either drop by curbside to pick it up or even have it delivered to your house. Currently, you can order groceries from chains like Whole Foods, AmazonFresh, Walmart, Target, and others (be sure to check your local grocery stores). You can also go through services like Instacart (although I think they’re about to strike).
Pro Tip: Make a weekly menu – it cuts down on the grocery trips!
2. Grocery shop by department
Inventory and delivery schedules are probably behind given the high demand from the coronavirus situation. So if you need something urgent, you’ll likely need to run out. To ensure you get in and out as swiftly as possible, organize your grocery list by department and shop accordingly. In the past, I’d find myself wandering leisurely through the aisles and getting distracted. But now’s not the time for that. Instead, I start in the fresh food section, move into the meats, then grains, and snacks for last because I’ll see exactly how much is in my shopping cart.
Pro Tip: Bring your own grocery bags. It’s not only better for the environment but at least you know where that bag has been – and you can wash/sanitize it when you get home!
3. Do as much pre-work as possible
I’ve never been much of a freeze as you cook person, but I also haven’t had to feed so many mouths 3 meals (plus snacks) per day. My solution to spend less time in the kitchen? Doing the pre-work… For instance, making extra portions and freezing them. This works especially well for soups and pasta sauces. It’s so convenient having meals already made throughout the week!
I also like to pre-cut or re-bag frozen meat into the right portions so that I can just thaw and cook as needed. If you’re a smoothie person, fruits and vegetables are easy to throw into reusable ziplock bags – that way you can take them out and blend instantly.
CAYG – clean as you go is one of the best mom hacks I’ve learned in the past month. Some of the ways I’ve done this are scrubbing the sink, toilet, and floors while the kids are in the bathtub. Before I hop in the shower myself, I’ll scrub it down since I’m already there. I also use play time as an opportunity to lure the kids into organizing their toys, then bring out the vacuum and clean it up. CAYG is especially important in the kitchen. Don’t dump everything into the sink and clean it out later – peel vegetables directly into the trash or a separate bag that you can throw out later.
5. Use mesh laundry bags
I use mesh laundry bags for everything. They’re not just great for keeping delicates protected, but you can keep smaller items together. For instance, my girls’ socks always go missing. Throwing them into a mesh bag during a wash means I’m bound to find that other pair!
6. Create “To-Do” lists for everyone
Routines are so important for kids especially now that distance learning is becoming a thing. It’s been helpful to have a conversation about how we’re going to organize our day the night before. On a big white board or piece of paper, write out everyone’s schedule and what they’re expected to do. While the schedule doesn’t work 100% of the time, it’s a good starting point to get them into a cadence.
7. Take advantage of online learning tools
I wish I could be right there by the girls teaching them every hour, but I’m pretty sure teaching isn’t my profession – and I’m not trying to win an award for it. While I try to support them at least 2 hours a day, the bulk of their learning is done online or through worksheets. In case you missed it, here are my favorite online learning resources.
8. Trick the kids into eating right
Trying to get the girls to eat their portion of nutritious foods daily can be quite the battle. However, I do have some mom hacks up my sleeves to help with that. Throw some spinach or kale into their favorite fruit smoothies, munch on veggie straws, make fresh fruit pops, or sneak veggies into spaghetti sauces.
9. Use multi-tasking beauty products
It’s hard to get ready with the kids around all the time now, but if you’re still trying to do so, get your hands on some amazing multi-tasking products. This $14 silicone-free moisturizer doubles up as a primer and it’s one of the best I’ve tried. The Ilia Multi-Stick is not only toxic-free, but looks amazing on the lips and cheeks. To really save time, get a hold of some complexion sticks and use them to conceal, contour, and even out skin tone.
10. Shop for pieces that are easy to mix and match
It’s so helpful to curate a strong wardrobe of staple pieces in lots of neutral colors. Although I don’t necessarily abide by this rule, I think a lot of moms can certainly benefit from it. Think white tanks, high-waisted jeans, kitten heels, white sneakers, and loose button down tops that you can quickly throw on but look put together. Also quick reminder that my Amazon collection is still launching but now postponed! You can still sign up here for updates!
I hope these mom hacks were helpful! Let me know if there any mom hacks you guys swear by!