No one will argue with the fact that being a parent is HARD. As a parent, it can often feel like there simply aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that needs to be done. We have been there and we know firsthand how absolutely overwhelming it can be! We put together a few simple hacks and strategies, you can use to help streamline your daily routine and make the most of your time as a busy parent. As we know, it will only be a matter of time before our kids are gone, there are no more practices and we are wishing we could do it all again.
Keep To-Do Lists
One of the best ways to stay organized and save time is to plan ahead. Set aside a few minutes each day to prepare for the coming day. The simple act of making a to-do list for the day can keep you on task, organized, and feeling more in control. Personally, I like to get up 15 minutes early every day, sip my coffee in bed and make my to-do list for the day on my phone. It is a great way to start the day off on the right foot and keep me focused on the day ahead.
Scrolling social media can be a big time suck in our day that's already so limited in time. The to-do list is a great thing to turn to when you find yourself scrolling social media. It can put you back on task and is a good reminder there are other things you should be doing with your time.
Mealtime can be one of the most time-consuming tasks for busy parents, but there are a few hacks that can help make it easier. Try preparing meals in advance, such as on the weekends, and freezing them for later in the week. Meals like chili, lasagna, soup and casserole freeze really well and it’s not too much harder to make two batches instead of one. Make two batches, one to eat that week and one to freeze for a different week when you know you will be extra busy. Knowing you have days worth of meals in your freezer is a great feeling.
Take advantage of pre-made meals on days you are extra busy. Costco and Sam's Club have some amazing meals in their deli section that are made with fresh ingredients and aren’t too much more expensive than if you bought all the ingredients to make them yourselves. See below for some of our favorite easy premade meals. You can click the pictures for more details.
This Chicken Pot Pie is available usually at both Sam’s Club and Costco. It is huge and can serve a large family or a family of four with a lot of leftovers. It is priced per pound but usually comes to about $20.
This Chicken Taco Tray is another favorite that is also available at both Sam’s Club and Costco. A Tray comes to about $15 and can serve up to 4 people. The meat is flavored perfectly and there is no need to add anything else.
This Stir Fry dish is from Costco and is an excellent quick and easy option. It also runs about $20 and feeds a family of four.
There are many other quick and easy meals you can pick up from the deli section of these stores, but these three are our favorites. The best part is, you can use Instacart to deliver them if you don’t have time to stop by the store to pick them up.
Technology can be a valuable tool for busy parents, whether that means setting reminders on your phone or hiring services for things you don’t have time to do yourself. Here are a few of our favorite resources:
Instacart - Get your groceries delivered without having to step foot in the store. You may spend a little more on delivery charges and tips, but it is usually offset by all the extra impulse buying you would do if you were in the store.
MyClassroomParty - Order an entire classroom party for your kid’s class without having to plan a thing. All games and activities come directly, totally planned out, with everything you need to throw the party. You will look like you spent hours on Pinterest when it really just took you minutes to order. This is the perfect way to get involved in your student's class even when you think you don’t have enough time.
Rover - If you have sick kids, or just are going to be out all day at kid's events, you don’t have to worry about your pets. You can hire someone to come to your house to walk them so they get some energy out. This is perfect for those days you can’t possibly do it all.
TaskRabbit - This app is like Uber for household jobs. You can find people to come and help with tasks such as furniture assembly, home repairs, writing & editing, and yard cleanup.
There are far too many helpful and timing-saving options when it comes to the internet to list here, we just listed some of our favorites. If you are looking for a certain task that is taking up your time and energy, it is worth checking out the internet to see what options are available to outsource it.
Finally, don't forget to take care of yourself! I know there just doesn’t seem to be enough time, trust me! But it is important and possible. Even if it’s just a few minutes to yourself, add it to your to-do list. Work on cutting out wasted time, like scrolling the internet, and put that time toward actual useful self-care. As a busy parent, it can be easy to put your own needs last, but taking time for self-care is essential for your physical and mental health. Whether that means going for a walk, reading a book, or practicing meditation, carve out time each day to do something that makes you feel happy and refreshed.
In conclusion, being a busy parent is hard and overwhelming at times. There never seems to be enough time in the day. By using these simple tips above and being more deliberate with your time, there are ways to make it more manageable and even carve out some time for yourself, even if it is just a little. Of course, it’s not easy to always be focused on your to-do list, but this stage doesn’t last forever. It won’t be long before there is no one to take to school and no more practices to watch. Keep your head up.