Our Survival Squad member Emma is a busy mum with three children. She has put together her top timesaving tips for busy mums…..
With three young children, two of which are at school, and one who seems to be constantly teething, it often feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Having been a stay at home mum for the past 16 months, I recently started a freelance role, and the juggling act increased in difficulty. To prevent myself from having a breakdown daily, I have started doing certain things to help save myself some time throughout the day. They might not be groundbreaking, but I find they help to free up enough time to allow me to indulge in a hot bath and a good book every few days, so that’s gotta be worth something, right?
Laying out Clothes before Bed
I have gotten into the habit of laying out clothes for the children and myself before going to bed on weeknights, and I have found the morning routine so much less stressful by doing so. Beforehand, I would inevitably not be able to find my son’s ‘Monday’ pants, or a tie would go missing, and searching for them could end up making us late for school. Both my older children are at the stage now where they can dress themselves (even if my daughter sometimes isn’t so keen on doing so), and by having their uniforms ready to be put on, I can busy myself with other tasks and let them get on with it. I have also started laying out their coats, shoes and book bags by the front door, so nothing is forgotten and last minute delays are avoided.
5 Minute Makeup
Ok, so I know not every mum wears makeup daily, but a mixture of low self-esteem, actually liking makeup, and feeling the need to cover up my awful under eye shadows, has me reaching for my cosmetics before leaving the house. In order to speed things up, I keep my daytime makeup simple, and have got it down to a fine art. I can be ready in five minutes flat and still feel a bit more alive, and less likely to scare the neighbours. I also make sure I have everything close to hand, so that I can literally wake up and make up before getting on with the rest of my day.
Meal Prep is Key
I will admit, I only do around 30% of the cooking in our house as my husband is so much better at it than me and, as he gets home from work earlier now he is a teacher, he is able to take this job off my hands most of the time. Having said this, I do try and cook a few times a week. As my youngest is at that clingy stage where he wants to grab hold of my leg and not let go, I tend to stick to cooking meals in the slow cooker. I have been meal planning for quite some time now, so we always have everything we need in the house for the meals for the week, so I can just chuck all the ingredients in first thing in the morning, and serve it up once my husband gets in from work. So much less hassle!
Use Naptimes Wisely
I am in the fortunate position of having a toddler who stills naps during the day at the moment. Working from home, it is near impossible to get anything done when he is around, so I use the precious nap times to my advantage. In order to make the most of this time, I have a list of ‘must do’ tasks, followed by ‘would like to’, and I get through them in order of priority. Generally during a 1.5 hour nap I can get a fair amount of work done, leaving time to spend with Benjamin when he wakes back up.
With three kids, it can feel like I am constantly tidying up after them. With a million and one other tasks to be getting on with, I just don’t have the time to dedicate hours to keeping on top of it. Instead, I have been doing quick, speed cleaning sessions, so that the house doesn’t get ‘too’ bad. I will pick up everything that doesn’t belong downstairs and run it upstairs before giving the kitchen and bathroom a quick once over with a cleaning spray. After putting the toys, and clothes away upstairs I will hoover the house – as I do it quickly, I often work up a sweat, it’s like a mini workout – win, win!
I used to read to the children individually, but now there are three of them, this can really draw out bedtime. Instead, I have been reading to the children together, and now my eldest is more confident reading, he sometimes reads to his siblings. I absolutely love reading, and am so glad the children enjoy books as much as me.
Do you have any timesaving tips? I would love to hear them in the comments below!
If you would like to follow Emma and her busy life with three kids you can follow her personal blog here
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