It’s a fact of life that everyone feels overwhelmed at some point or another. In particular, busy moms with kids feel the weight of the world on their shoulders; not only are they always multitasking to get everything done, but they also bear the responsibility of taking care of their kids’ health and well-being while teaching them the basics of life. No small task!
Good news: we’ve got some tips for managing household chores and cooking so mom has more time to get everything done and end each day on a high note.
A little organization goes a long way where a laundry list of “To Do” items is concerned. When it comes to cooking, two things are key: an up-to-date grocery list and a spot where recipes are kept. For those of us who love our old-school, longhand lists, keeping a notepad handy in the kitchen, attached to the fridge or inside a purse is wise, making it easy to jot down items as they run out instead of trying to remember everything when it’s time to run to the store.
For tech-savvy moms who can’t live without their smartphones by their sides, there’s a bevy of list-making and scheduling apps out there, making it a snap to keep reminders in one place. For recipes, Pinterest is a fantastic tool that, for many, is as fun as it is functional. Make categories for “Recipe Ideas,” “Clean Eating,” “Foods to Try,” “Family Favorites” and so on, and tonight’s meal inspiration is just a click and a swipe away.
Slow Means Fast
There’s been a resurgence slow cooking lately. Remember that old Crock Pot our parents used to make stews and casseroles when we were young? Well, they’re back with a vengeance, and they make food preparation easy as pie for a busy mom. Generally calling for three or four simple ingredients – a protein, some liquid and a spice or two – slow cooking draws out flavor simply by bringing out the savory nature of most meats and sauces in the time it takes to simmer it to perfection. Tossing a handful of things into the cooker in the morning, setting it on low and letting the meal literally cook itself while you’re off taking care of business is an absolute time-saver, ironically enough. Since most slow-cooked meals don’t require much precision, you’re given leeway when dinnertime comes, giving you the freedom to serve it whenever you want. And did we mention slow-cooked food is ridiculously delicious?
Learning to Say No
When all else fails, balance and prioritization is key. If saying yes to that bake sale means you can’t get the kids’ laundry done this week, then the bake sale will probably be okay without your contribution. If over-committing yourself to social engagements, play dates and girls’ nights out means you’re left feeling absolutely exhausted, a polite and well-placed “no” can make life a lot easier, freeing you up to do what you need – and want – to do with your time. In the end, taking care of yourself is an important part of taking care of the kids; the healthier and happier you are, the more energy you’ll have to plow through each day with a smile on your face and a sense of true accomplishment.
OK busy moms – your turn. What’s your best tip for managing household chores and cooking so you have more time? Please share!