Every mom is a working mom. Period. Being a teacher affords me the opportunity to stay home with my children in the summer. I’m very grateful for this chance because I get about 12 weeks to appreciate the world of the SAHM (stay at home mom). It’s wonderful, exhausting, challenging, and rewarding. Going back to “work” in the fall does change the summer schedule we’ve become accustom to which is more flexible, but just as demanding. This year I’ve picked these 5 time-savers to help me reduce my transition anxiety as I dive back into the world of “working outside the home” mom. Some of these may sound like common sense, but they really work when you put them all together!
1. Pick out EVERYONE’S clothes the night before: Reducing the number of opportunities for setbacks in the morning is key. If you aren’t sure if your pants from last fall are going to fit right, have your “fashion show for one” the night before. As someone who often doesn’t have a pair of clean pants or digs clothes out of the basement at the last minute, I know this to be true. You will feel great getting up and seeing your clothes ready to go. Same with the kids. Little boy clothes are incredibly easy to match. But I had no idea there were so many shades of pink and how terribly they can clash until I had a daughter. Plenty of time to pick your pinks the night before.
2. Freezer meals: This is one that I am really focusing on this year. The dinner hour at my house is completely insane. I walk in the door with one or two kids, husband comes in, sometimes Grandma is here. It’s chaos. I realized that in that chaos, trying to cook a healthy, hot meal was pushing me over the edge. This week I have Monday-Thursday’s meals in the freezer. It is awesome. Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of posts in the future to share my favorites!
3. Shower at night: Pretty common sense, right? Not for me. I’ve always wanted my hair to look fresh first thing in the morning, but this is one of my most common setbacks. I ALWAYS underestimate how long it takes me to take a shower and get ready. And inevitably, one of my kids wakes up early while I’m showering and then I end up with frizzy hair and doing my makeup in my classroom. I’ve found a lot of cute updo tutorials that are quick and easy to help me combat my morning hair!
4. Smoothies: Smoothies have replaced coffee for me. And believe me that is a big deal. But getting a big burst of healthy in a glass I can transport from home, to daycare, to my classroom and consume at my own pace is a game changer. Here’s the basic recipe I’m using now. You can tweak it to match your tastes:
1 c. frozen or fresh fruit
1/2 c. frozen spinach1 1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk
6 oz. of yogurt
2 tbsp. of flaxseed
1 c. ice
Throw it in a blender or food processor and enjoy!
I’ve been enjoying tropical mixed fruit with a pineapple Greek yogurt which is quite tasty. You could also substitute kale or any other leafy green for spinach. And soy milk can replace almond. This recipe makes enough for 2 so you can share your healthiness with a spouse, friend, or pack it in your lunch for a double dose of yummy. I did try to freeze my smoothie leftovers once and it did not defrost well. One word of caution- while you can’t taste the spinach, it can find it’s way between your teeth so check a mirror before you open your mouth!
5. Pack lunches the night before: Good one Captain Obvious! But seriously, this activity seems to alter the time-space continuum because the 5 minutes it takes me to make a lunch the night before always turns out to take 10 minutes in the morning. This is one of the easiest things for me to put off when the kids have finally fallen asleep and there is a new episode of Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad calling my name, but I regret it every time.
I wasn’t able to wake up one morning and make all these changes in one day, but consistently trying to work them into my daily routine has made me a happier Momma!
I’m always on the search for more time-savers. PLEASE share ways you save time in the morning, at dinner, or really any time. I’d love to hear them!