I must start off by pointing out that all mothers are busy working mums whether or not they leave the house to go to work or they are stay-at-home mums. However, mums who go out to work face different challenges so hopefully these simple hacks for busy working mums will be helpful.
I’m sure that you are probably already doing many of these hacks. But I think it’s always fun to do a refresh and maybe find some new and more efficient ways to get stuff done.
So let’s jump right in and look at some simple hacks for busy working mums
1. Order Your Groceries Online
Up until recently, I had gotten into the bad habit of going to the supermarket almost every afternoon after being at work all day. I always went to just “pick up a few things”. Well, the truth is that it was never just a few things!
Then one day someone told me about Click and Collect and it changed my life! I am not exaggerating!! Now I order my groceries online and choose a convenient time slot for pick up. Then I usually swing by the supermarket at around 4 pm after work and get the groceries on the way home.
This is a FREE service! My groceries are picked for me, then beautifully bagged all ready for me to collect in-store. I find that I don’t impulse buy anymore. Plus it’s also so much easier for me to meal plan and stick to a shopping list. I save time, energy, and money.
So make use of services like this to help you. Of course, there is also home delivery and some stores offer direct to boot service, where your groceries get placed directly into your car. Sadly our local supermarket doesn’t offer that yet but I’ll be sure to use that if they ever do.
2. Freeze Meals
I like to try and cook extra so I have enough to freeze another meal. So if for example, I am making lasagna, I will go ahead and make two and freeze one. Doing this makes life so much easier, especially on busy nights where you might have to rush out for after-school activities with the kids.
I like to save those meals for when I know I am going to be home late because I have to attend an after-work staff meeting. I just pull out my meal the night before and let it defrost safely in the fridge during the day. Then when I get home I can just pop it in the oven.
3. Have A Good Morning Routine
Getting out of bed early in the morning is such a huge challenge for me. I am not a happy, bouncy, ready-to-go morning person at all. But in order to stay on top of all the chores, I have made it a habit to get up at least an hour before everyone else. Groan!!
4. Pack Lunches The Night Before
I know that after surviving the usual afternoon and evening rush the last thing you want to do is muck around with more food prep after dinner. But it is so well worth it because it will make life so much easier in the morning. Everyone can just grab their pre-made lunches out of the fridge before they leave for school or work.
Preparing lunches the night before also means that you can delegate this as an evening chore where family members can pitch in and get this done quick smart.
5. Use A Slow Cooker
My slow cooker was my best friend especially when my kids were younger. I would throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning then turn it on. When we got home dinner was done! Slow cooker meals are perfect for busy weeknights.
6. Do Laundry The Night Before
To keep the laundry pile from getting out of control, do a load of washing before you go to bed. Then it’s ready to hang out in the morning.
Some washing machines have a timer, which is such a fantastic feature. By setting the washing machine to start an hour before you wake up, the laundry will then be ready for you or another helpful family member to hang out or put in the dryer first thing.
Then when you come home try and make it a habit to fold and put everything away so it’s all over and done with. Breaking down the laundry into an everyday chore means that you won’t have a mountain of it to deal with come the weekend.
7. Prepare The Clothes You Are Going To Wear In Advance
This applies to your own clothes and everyone else’s clothes in the family. If you lay clothes out right down to socks and shoes the night before. You won’t be desperately trying to find clothing items in the mornings.
If you prepare clothes the night before it will be so much easier to remember for example, whether or not your child needs to wear a sports uniform the next day. There’s nothing worse than remembering in the morning and then trying to find all the bits and pieces in a mad panic. (Been there, done that. It’s not fun)
8. Stick To A Weekday Cleaning Schedule
This is my most helpful hack. I despise having to do the bulk of the cleaning on the weekends. So I make sure to do some cleaning every single working day. I try and get the majority of it done Monday to Friday. Then my big reward is having the weekends off. Realistically there is always something that needs doing even on weekends. But cleaning will not be one of them if you smash it all out during the week.
9. Meal Plan
Meal planning is by far the best way to deal with the eternal “What’s for dinner tonight?” question. Consider making it a habit to set aside some time during the week to plan your meals. This way you won’t ever find yourself feeling frazzled and staring into the fridge desperate for inspiration.
Once you have planned your meals, you can go ahead and do an online grocery order. This not only saves time but also money because you will only be buying what you need.
Display the meal plan somewhere in the kitchen. That way everyone in the family will be able to clearly see what has been planned for dinner.
10. Be Kind To Yourself
Remember that we are all doing the best we can and we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves when things go pear-shaped. We can never be perfect and sometimes a good cry in the shower is necessary. Try and look after yourself too by eating well, going to bed early, and staying hydrated.
Plan something to look forward to occasionally. Maybe a date night with your husband/partner. Go shopping with a bestie or get away for a few hours by yourself doing something you enjoy. And whatever you don’t invite guilt to come along with you and ruin the fun.