Being a mom is hard! I am always on the lookout for mom hacks that make my life easier. Here are my 17 best mom hacks that I use and practice myself and work for our family.
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#1 Turn off Notifications
It took me a long time to actually do this one! I was spending so much time picking up my phone when I heard a ding, buzz, or whistle. Then I’d get sucked into scrolling social media, checking my email, or perusing Pinterest.
The first week that I turned off all notifications (except text messages), I got SO MUCH done! I got the oven cleaned, the microwave cleaned, the hood over the stove cleaned, and a few other things I can’t even remember now.
The best part is that after I got used to not having my phone attached to me, I didn’t miss the constant “on” feeling. And no one got mad at me for not responding to a Facebook message within 2 minutes! Imagine that! Take it a step further and don’t carry your phone on your person. Leave it somewhere accessible but out of arms reach. It is life-changing.
#2 Sick kids
This is probably my favorite!
When my kids get ear infections they typically get put on a 10 day antibiotic. Sometimes I can lose track if I remembered a dose. I saw this hack on Pinterest years ago and have been using it since my oldest was about a year old.
I write out the days needed for the duration of the medicine and AM/Noon/PM (depending on dosing). Then draw my lines so I can put an “X” once I’ve given that dose. Such a huge help when medication has to go to daycare or if both parents are giving it, it is easier to keep track of.
#3: Get Good For You Makeup
I LOVE to talk makeup! I could go on about it for ages but I’ll just leave you with this. My favorite beauty products come from LimeLife. It is a professional makeup that is Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free and as natural as possible without sacrificing its performance. My favorites are the Perfect Color Powder and the Perfect Mascara among so many others. The best part is there is a 30-day money-back guarantee! If you don’t love it, you don’t have to keep it! You don’t see that from too many companies!
#4 Wash Your Face
The trick to feeling good about yourself is to actually take care of yourself (wow, really?!). Yes, really! I know showers are not always a reality every day (thank goodness for dry shampoo!) so make sure you wash your face every morning and night. This simple act will make you feel good about taking care of yourself and helps wash away the stress of the day.
#5 Set Your Morning up for Success
I don’t mean that you need to have every single thing lined up and ready but doing a couple of things before heading to bed can make your morning go so much smoother (especially if you have proclaimed you are not a morning person, like myself). I do just a couple of things before heading to bed like getting the coffee maker ready and checking my meal plan to see what meat I need to put in the fridge to thaw for supper the next night. If you don’t have a routine yet, check out my post on how to create a routine you’ll actually stick to.
#6 Go to Bed on Time
I struggle with this one the most, so I totally get it if you scoff at this tip, but hear me out. Sleep is GOOD for us! Our bodies need sleep to regenerate, flush out toxins, and help balance our moods. When I don’t get enough sleep I am crabby, irritable, more likely to yell at the kids, and have almost no patience.
However, when I actually go to bed on time (10:00-ish) I am able to wake up easier and with my morning routine, I am in a much better state to handle the day.
#7 Get a Good Coffee Cup
I know this one might seem a little strange, but trust me on this. I LOVE my coffee, even when I was breastfeeding I still needed my decaf coffee just to warm my crabby morning soul. BUT also being a mom means that I don’t always get to sit and drink my cup of coffee at one time. I am constantly reheating it. UNTIL I found this one! It is spill-proof (an absolute must) and actually keeps my coffee hot for a few hours!
#8 Get Yourself a Morning (or Evening) Routine
As I mentioned before, I am not a happy morning person. I have proclaimed for many years that I am not a morning person. At the beginning of March, I took a 5-day course that Megan Sumrell coached. It has changed my life. It dove into your personality traits, what you think you need to do, what you really need to do, and what you can do later, to make your morning serve YOU best. When you are taken care of, you are better able to take care of your family. There are situations (work, personality, etc.) that determine if you are better off taking time in the morning or evening to fill your bucket so you can then fill those around you. Check out my post here about my morning routine and go check out Megan. She is a master at time management, organization, and productivity.
#9 How to Stay Organized
Staying organized can be so hard! I would write things down or think I wrote them down, but forget about it or scrambling to find the piece of paper I wrote it on. Between my Google Calendar and this calendar, it has helped immensely.
The squares are big enough to write all of the tasks and appointments for a day, and it is really pretty to boot! I need something I enjoy looking it to keep me motivated to use it.
#10 Meal Planning
Look, I know meal planning is talked about a lot, and you have probably tried doing it more than once but for one reason or another, stopped. Maybe it was too time-consuming or things happened and you weren’t able to stick to it. I totally get it. I don’t know how many times I did a week or two of meal planning, spent hours looking up recipes on Pinterest, stick to it for a couple of days but find myself ordering pizza by Friday night. I hear you! I’ve also spent SO many nights scrambling to get something pulled together that will pass as supper.
I finally got fed up with myself and remembered something I had seen from The Prairie Californian. She made a month-long meal plan! At the time, I remember thinking there was no way I could plan a whole month but I downloaded any way. It sat in my Google Drive for quite a while before I decided to give it a try. This January I printed it out and started filling in meals. I kept it simple. I put down meals I knew my family liked, were easy, and I even planned left-over nights. I was so surprised how quickly I filled out a whole month and I was even more surprised when I was able to stick to it. There are still nights that I move things around or completely forget to take something out of the freezer, but knowing I have most nights planned has been such a HUGE help. Download The Prairie Californian Monthly Meal Plan here.
#11 Freezer Meals
Okay, this one is easy. When you make a certain kind of meal, like a casserole or crockpot meal, make double and freeze it. I do this almost every time I make Tater Tot Hotdish, Pasta Bake, and Cheeseburger Casserole to name a few. I take out double the meat, use one tinfoil 9×13 pan and one glass 9×13 pan. I make them both up, cook one and put one in the freezer with the instructions written on the top. This works out especially well if we are having a babysitter for the kids over supper time or I know I will have a busy day. I can pull it out in the morning to thaw, throw it in the oven in the evening and still have a good supper even if it has been a crazy day.
#12 Get an Instant Pot!
If you aren’t already on the Instant Pot bandwagon, you need to be! It is a total game-changer. You can do so many different and versatile meals with it. I personally love to make my roasts in it (always natural release your roasts to get tender meat). I throw everything in, frozen roast included, and hit start and come back to a delicious meal that is ready to go. You can use it as a slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker (yes, I’ve done all of these), and quite a bit more too. It can replace a lot of your kitchen gadgets with this one appliance. If you aren’t sure about an Instant Pot yet, see #13.
#13 Programmable Crockpot
If you aren’t sold on an Instant Pot, you need this programmable crockpot. I got this one as a wedding present and it is probably the best present we got! You can program it to cook for a certain amount of time, or a certain temperature, or set high, low, or warm and let it go until you turn it off. It even has a locking lid if you are taking it somewhere. I use my crockpot a lot, even though I have my Instant Pot. Just grab a crockpot liner (seriously, don’t skip this step) throw your food in, program it how you want, and go. This works great for busy days and days where I don’t want to heat the whole house up.
#14 Get a Cleaning Schedule
Okay, so this always has and always will be something I am working on. I love the feeling of having a clean house but I struggle with focusing long enough to complete tasks sometimes (hello, life with kids!). I finally came up with a schedule that is working for me. It isn’t perfect, I’m not perfect, but it is working for me most days. I clean some things every day and certain things on certain days, like on Monday I vacuum, Tuesday I dust, Friday I disinfect doorknobs and light switches. I even have things that I can do once a month like every 3rd Sunday I can spend some time organizing something that is out of control, like the junk drawer (everyone has one of those!). Click here to download my free cleaning printable PDF
#15 Robotic Vacuum
Yes, I have one and no, I don’t want to go without it! I currently have the Shark brand vacuum and I really like it. I have had an iRobot Roomba which lasted us almost 5 years and when it died I was looking for a good but less expensive option. We have 3 kids, 2 dogs, a cat in the house, and live on a farm. I needed something that can handle all of that. I have a regular Shark vacuum and I really like it so I decided to give their robotic vacuum a try. We’ve had it since November and it has held up well, especially with my toddler who likes to pretend it is a truck and push it all around the house. The only thing I wish this one had that my Roomba had are the two little spinny brushes on each side but even without that, it still does a great job.
#16 Create a Charging Station
Do you ever find yourself searching for your charging cable when your phone is just about to die? What if you had a central location for all of your charging cables so you never had to search for it again? Guess what, it is easy peasy! I set up a spot on the little counter next to my fridge and put in a receptacle that has several outlets and a couple of USB charging ports. It houses all of our phone cables and tablet cables. I know we don’t have older kids that can steal those cables yet but for right now, this system works and I have a feeling if my kids start stealing my cables there are going to be some serious consequences (ha!).
#17 Give Yourself Grace
My last, but most definitely not my least valuable mom hack is to give yourself grace. What we do as a mom is hard enough. Then we have to chime in on our own performance and we are usually our own worst critic. We beat ourselves up about big things (when Willa was 3 and went outside in January while I was showering) and little things (when Colvin tipped out of his highchair) and we tend to not forgive ourselves either. No one is perfect, no one can be perfect. We will have bad days and we will have absolutely amazing days, and we will have lots of days in between. You aren’t alone either. No matter how perfect some other mom’s life seems to be, she struggles too. We are all in this together and I am here to help and support you, and let you know my life is not perfect either.