Last Updated on December 15, 2020.
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You’ve probably noticed the mom in the drop-off line that seems to have everything figured out. Their kid never forgets a school project or lunch. They’re always dressed in cute, matching outfits with their hair perfectly styled. Or maybe it’s the mom who always has a spotless home when you arrive for playdates. You know who I’m talking about… the moms who have their shit together while you can barely manage to wear matching socks. What mom hacks are you missing?
The truth is, they just appear to have it all together. They have struggles too! And even though you know a messy house and forgetful nature are normal, we all desperately want to feel like we have our shit together, too.
So here are 5 mom hacks you can use to be a mom who has her shit together, too.
1. They Automate and Outsource Repetitive Tasks
If you can only take on one of these mom hacks, hear me on this one. You can only do so much in a day. You have to stop spending precious time and brain power on repetitive tasks, especially ones you hate. I’m talking about things like grocery shopping, grass mowing, and meal planning. Automate any task or chore you can, no matter how big or small. And the tasks that can’t be automated, outsource them. Here are some examples.
There’s almost no reason you should ever have to step foot into a grocery store again. You can pay for services like Instacart or Shipt to have groceries delivered, but there are also numerous free options for outsourcing your grocery shopping (usually with a minimum order value). You just have to drive to the store for pickup.
My favorite is Walmart’s free grocery pickup. I’ve yet to have a bad experience with their service. Shoppers find excellent fruit and meat. They offer free upgrades on occasion if they can’t find the item you purchased. And you can often get same-day pickup!
If you don’t have a Walmart that offers this service near you, there are many other retailers that offer similar services. I personally have used Kroger, Pick’n’Save, Target, and Hyvee. Check with your favorite grocery store!
OTHER SHOPPING (Toiletries, essentials, paper goods, etc)
Think about the everyday items you purchases on a recurring basis, like soaps, toilet paper, toothbrushes, paper towels, dog food, etc. Spend some time documenting these items, understanding how often they need to be repurchased, and finding the lowest price. Then automate these items. You can have regular shipments sent to your home through retailers like Amazon, Target, or Walmart. You will never think about them again! They will show up right when you need them, like magic!
Bonus Mom Trick: You will never over-spend on these items because you’ll never have to make an emergency shopping trip to pick them up!
HOME SERVICES (Yard maintenance, snow removal, house cleaning, etc)
Moms who have it all together know they can’t do it all. Find local services to cover one (or more) of these repetitive tasks. Support a neighborhood kid’s snow shoveling business, or ask friends for a reliable cleaning service to deep clean your bathrooms twice a month. You may be surprised at how inexpensive some of these home services are, and it will save your sanity in the long run.
You don’t have to outsource everything at once! Choose one chore (the one you hate the most), and see how much it would cost to have someone do it for you. Is it worth it? Remember, your time is worth something. If you feel like the price is fair, take that item off your plate immediately!
Mom hacks related to food and meal planning will probably be your biggest time savers. So this is an area you should really consider automating first.
Meal Planning is often overcomplicated by moms trying to prepare Pinterest worthy meals everyday. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every week or every month. Meal plan once, and then repeat. Make sure you plan enough weeks to have some variety. I like to plan for 6 weeks at a time. And then we just repeat that meal plan, over and over again. You can build in “leftover” days to eliminate food waste and “seasonal recipe” days so you aren’t trying to grill out in the dead of winter. You can create reusable weekly shopping lists so you can just grab the list and order groceries. No brainpower needed.
Bonus Mom Trick: Meal planning will save you a ton of money. If you need a little help, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning, and download our Free Tired Mama 4-week meal plan (including shopping lists, printable menus, and more!)
Don’t overlook the small chores you do daily! If you automate several of them, the time-savings can really add up. Utilize your dishwasher (bonus: it actually uses less water than filling up your sink). Invest in automatic dog-feeders or automated cat litter boxes. Ask for a robot vacuum for your birthday (my favorite is the Roomba by iRobot). Take a few days to pay close attention to all the little tasks you’re doing. Jot them down. Then do a little research to see if there’s a way to automate, or at least reduce the amount of time you spend these activities!
One caveat, however. If really enjoy any of these tasks, don’t outsource them! Doing things you enjoy will keep you motivated. So if you feel the 1-hour grass mowing task is therapeutic, by all means, keep it in your schedule!
2. They Prioritize and Say “No”
One of the biggest mom hacks is to know when to say “no”. But to really use this strategy, you must first understand your priorities. Ask Yourself: What’s really important to you and your family? What tasks and activities do you find fulfilling? What are the things that need to be done to achieve your goals?
Make a list. And keep it visible! A vision board can also be helpful. Any chore, responsibility, or activity that doesn’t align with your priorities should be nixed. No exceptions!
PRACTICE SAYING “NO”
A lot of people really struggle to say “no”. Moms are often people-pleasers, and we find it difficult to disappoint others. So try this tactic: Any time a request is made of you, respond with “I’ll have to get back to you”. Even if you’re sure the answer will be a resounding “YES!”.
It could sound like, “That sounds exciting! But I need to check my schedule, so I’ll get back to you tomorrow.” Or like “You know I love helping, but I’m sorry I can’t give you an answer now. I need to review my schedule.”
This strategy takes the pressure off you and allows you to respond to the request when you’re ready. It will also give you time to really consider if it’s something that’s aligned with your priorities!
3. They Take Self-Care Seriously
Mom-burnout is real. Decision fatigue is real. Moms who have their shit together know they can’t perform at the top of their game when they haven’t taken care of their own needs. These moms understand what recharges their batteries. They know how much sleep they need to get. They know what kind of fuel (food, caffeine) their body needs. And they build their needs into their schedule.
You and your family will benefit when your mind, body, and soul are recharged. So schedule ‘Me-Time’. Put it on the family calendar, make sure someone’s available to handle the kids, and spend some time on you.
4. They Use Simple Routines Daily
Have you ever stopped by another mom’s home unexpectedly and you find their home is perfectly tidy? Do you wonder “What kind of witchcraft is she into?“
I hope you’re not disappointed, but it’s not actually witchcraft. This mom probably uses simple, daily (maybe even multiple times per day) routines to keep her house in tip-top shape. Routines work, especially very simple routines. They become habits over time, and eventually, you do them without even thinking about it. When dishes get done on autopilot, it kind of does feel like magic.
ONE SIMPLE ROUTINE, HUGE IMPACT
Here’s a tangible example from my real life. I used to be overwhelmed with laundry. We’d have baskets of laundry everywhere, often unsure of which was clean and which was dirty. We’d forget we ran the washer, and clothes would sit wet for a whole day… and then need to be rewashed. And because our closets were empty, we’d buy more clothes (especially kids’ clothes). I’d have nightmares about drowning in laundry.
Then I started using a daily planner.
Previously I’d used weekly planners, so I was documenting weekly tasks. I had always put “Finish Laundry” (haha). It was never checked off the list.
Switching to a daily planner shifted my thinking. I was now documenting daily tasks, and it was totally reasonable to get 1 load of laundry done per day.
By accident, I fell into a very simple routine. First thing in the morning, I’d grab one of our hampers of dirty laundry and wash it (less than 3 minutes of work). Just after lunch, I switched that load of laundry to the dryer (less than 3 minutes of work). And then just before dinner I would fold and put away that one load of laundry (5 minutes of work). After a few days I was totally caught up, and it was super simple to maintain.
And, ultimately we realized we had way too many clothes. We had more than 30 pairs of size 3T pants. Not even kidding. No toddler needs 30 pairs of pants. So now we have far fewer clothes and I spend 10 minutes a day on laundry. And no more laundry nightmares.
CREATE ONE ROUTINE TODAY
Routines work best when they are implemented slowly. Let one routine become a habit before you add a second. So think about your biggest pain-point. Is it baskets of laundry, like mine? Or piles of dishes? Or a cluttered car?
Whatever it is, create a routine to tackle the problem daily. Try to keep the time commitment to less than 10 minutes per day, because you’re far more likely to stick to it! If I can tame my laundry chaos, you can too.
If you’re struggling, reach out to me! I’d love to help you brainstorm routines that will work for your family.
5. They Delegate
One of the most underrated mom hacks is delegation. You aren’t making all those messes by yourself! Your housemates should be contributing to the cleanup. Even the youngest kids can match socks and fold washcloths. Need ideas? Download the ultimate list of kid chores (by age) and my chore chart!
Chores by Age & My Chore Chart Printables!
Don’t forget to include kids and your partner in your simple daily routines. It’s not unreasonable to expect your teen to toss her dirty clothes in the washer before schools on Mondays.
Added bonus: kids benefit from contributing to family chores. They feel a strong sense of belonging, which is a foundational concept of Positive Parenting. They also build confidence by participating as a valued family member and learn life skills that will help them in the future.
Do you have any secrets mom hacks to master mom life? Share them in the comments below!