…BECAUSE MOMMING AIN’T EASY!
No one ever said momming was easy. My mother quite accurately told me it wasn’t for wimps. Here are ten helpful mom hacks I try to use to make life (just) a little easier. As a bonus, they are all free or frugal to implement!
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I really needed to write this post apparently… Sometimes adulting is hard. Every once in a while you just want to sleep in or watch your favorite show or spend the afternoon reading a good book but you just can’t because… you’re an adult with responsibilities.
And yes, I started this post with a toddler on my lap. Talk about an adventurous Saturday morning! So, whether you’re a new mom, a seasoned mom, have 1 kid, 12 kids, or none and just don’t find adulting fun, this post just might help.
HELPFUL MOM HACK #1 -TAKE A SHOWER
You might be thinking yeah right, but this seriously helps. I may not get my legs shaved every day, but I can honestly say that hospitalizations during pregnancy aside I have never missed a shower because I had kids. I have taken showers at 5 AM and I have taken showers at 3 PM, but I haven’t missed one yet!
One of the running mom jokes in memes and comments I see on social media has to do with not showering. Granted I have lots of company most mornings (but if they’re not with me then just what are they doing?) and rarely make it through even a short shower without interruption, but I still do it. I need it. I don’t like having greasy hair and feeling yesterday’s deodorant and it feels better even if you take the shortest of showers. This is one I have simply refused to give up.
#2 – STAY HYDRATED
The world just seems like a happier, brighter place when I’m hydrated. I also feel a little more prepared to be a part of it. By hydrated I mean 12 ounces of coffee, a shot of Ningxia Red, and a few glasses of water. Every day. Additionally, I like to throw on some lip balm for good measure. You just feel better with a little something on your lips.
Yes, I know I don’t drink as much water as I should, and am making efforts to drink more. It certainly makes a difference in headaches; while I may still get a headache from lack of sleep it makes a big difference when dehydration is not thrown into the mix.
#3 – I TRIAGE MY TO-DO LIST
No one around me may see the effectiveness of this, but I do it for my sanity, not their satisfaction. If things get out of hand (which this week they have) due to kids being sick, whatever… my to-do list gets backed up fast.
I tend to cope with this by choosing to do the most neglected or urgent of tasks. If someone won’t have clean underwear tomorrow I’ll do a load of laundry. If I can’t find the countertop I’ll reload the dishwasher.
Once that one task is done I might feel satisfied. If I’m sick I might take a break. This might ease my distracted mind enough to update the budget, finish a blog post, or do some other task. More often than not it’ll spur me into a very productive mode. But, even if it doesn’t, I got what I absolutely needed to do done.
I may have only gotten the one load of laundry washed and dried in-between breaking up squabbles or getting a meal on the table. I may have started with the dishwasher, tackled the handwash dishes, cleaned the countertops, and vacuumed the whole house. It really just varies depending on the situation. But I got the most urgent thing done, so I call it a win.
HELPFUL MOM HACK #4 – I MAKE THE BED
It may happen at 7 am and it may happen at 4 pm, but most days I make my bed. The great thing about doing this is it instantly makes the rest of the bedroom look less chaotic. It also rarely stops with just making the bed. I’ll usually move on to tidy up the rest of the room and drag the hamper to the laundry room to start a load.
I was not in the habit of making my bed as a child unless I was made to. Now I feel like if I don’t make my bed everything feels more disorganized. Somehow tackling this one simple task makes me a little more focused.
#5 – REACH OUT TO OTHER MOMS
I’ve learned that when I feel stressed or discouraged it can be very helpful to speak with other moms. Sometimes just knowing you’re not the only one feeling that way makes things so much easier. Chances are it’s a common problem shared among moms. You’re probably doing better than you thought, and if not you can get some great advice.
I’ve recently made more of an effort on this to talk to other moms. And to check out Parent Twitter from time to time. The tweets are pretty funny and always relatable. I am also making more of an effort to connect with my friends on a (more) regular basis. It helps so much!
HELPFUL MOM HACK #6 – PRAY, PRAY, PRAY
This is really number one on my list of helpful mom hacks. I pray all day. I pray about everything. I don’t get enough sleep at night right now to want to get up earlier or stay up later. While I may not have a chance to read a devotion uninterrupted I can talk to God any time. So I do.
Some mornings I pray for patience so I’m kind to my kids. I may pray for strength when I’m especially discouraged or annoyed. Wisdom and guidance are usually at the top of the list. “Lord please help me guide her through this and teach her how to (insert whatever life skill necessary).”
HELPFUL HACK #7 – BETTER OIL UP BUTTERCUP
If I feel anxious I use A calming roller blend from my sweet oily sponsor. Some days I wear Stress Away over my heart. If a soothing bath is more your style it even comes in a bath bomb! I might diffuse it or Peace & Calming when I want the kids to wind down as well.
I sleep with lavender and cedarwood in the diffuser and/or massaged into my feet at night. My daughter sleeps all night with or without any help and my son doesn’t so lately I roll just lavender in a carrier oil behind their ears.
This is one of those helpful mom hacks that is more frugal when you keep it simple. Find the most effective oil or oil combination that works for you and stick with it. I don’t like to overcomplicate things when it comes to oils. Costs add up when you aren’t using them in ways they work best for you. This applies to more than just oils as well.
#8 – ENCOURAGE INDEPENDENT PLAY
No lie, I only get as much done as I do because my two-year-old will happily play independently. I can usually get one or two chores done with few interruptions. While I type this post he is cooking mega blok cakes, among other things. I can get through a full post in two or three sittings.
This isn’t really the case with my first grader, but she was my daycare child and expects constant entertainment. I get as much done as I can while she’s in school. On the weekends I sometimes get a little work done when daddy gets home from work and the kids are all over him for a bit.
#9 – TREAT YOURSELF, HOWEVER SMALL THE MANNER
I mentioned in Self Care for Mamas: Self Care on a Dime that taking the time to paint my nails (or fully removing old polish) can give me a boost. It doesn’t have to be something big or expensive to be considered self-care.
And I cannot stress this enough – please do not compare yourself to other moms. I have come to accept the fact that there will always be someone prettier, thinner, smarter (insert any insecurity here)-er than me…
And that’s okay. It does me no good mentally or emotionally to compare myself to others. The best thing I can do is just be myself. And be happy just trying to be the best version of me. This might even be one of the most important helpful mom hacks of them all.
#10 – ASK FOR HELP – AND GET THE KIDS TO PITCH IN TOO
This is one of the helpful mom hacks I need to use more often. I am a terrible delegator; just ask anyone who knew me when I was in management! I just try to forge ahead and try to do it all on my own. Slowly I’m realizing either it either won’t be done right now or I can ask for help.
I still have to remind myself I am not teaching my kids anything or preparing them for anything if I continue to do everything for them. Sometimes I catch myself (or my husband does) doing it after I’ve asked them to. Surely I am not the only one guilty of this.
So I try and resist the urge to take over. Instead, I should remind our daughter to take her dirty dishes to the sink and push in her seat. Then I endure the meltdowns when I tell her to put her clean laundry away. And she’s older I will endure the eye rolls and “why do I have to?”s when I teach her how to wash and dry her own clothes.
After all, even toddlers can help put their toys away. You just have to remember not to be too picky about the results! I’m still working on this one too. I can always reorganize and deep clean when I go through and declutter periodically.
HAVE ANY HELPFUL MOM HACKS OF YOUR OWN?
These are the little hacks I like to try to use to make momming just a little easier. I’m not great at all of them, but when I do they all help. Have any helpful hacks of your own? I’d love to hear them! Bonus points if they’re frugal!
Speaking of frugal – No-Spend February is just about wrapped up. Anyone still hanging in there with it? I have to admit this was quite a bit more challenging than I expected! And we’re pretty frugal to begin with. Be looking for a recap post coming up soon.
And don’t forget! A Life on a Dime is going to March into Minimalism next month! Be sure to subscribe as a frugal friend to get all the details on that when they go out. You will also be sure not to miss new posts and get your free meal plan in the newsletter every Meal Plan Monday! Until next time, stay frugal my friends! Take care of yourselves so you can take care of your families!