7 ways to Create Efficiency in Motherhood

Every day I struggle with the million things that need to be done. I have 2 kids, age 3 & 1, and believe me, even the simplest things can be challenging with the two little ones running around. Most days I love the craziness. I love how busy they keep me. But every few days I get frustrated. I get sick of the laundry, cooking and cleaning that I need to manage in between caring for the kids. I mean, the morning time routine alone is challenging enough that by the time I’m done it, I feel like I need a nap. But through it all I have managed to learn a few tricks to ease the frustration and help me in my day to day life as a working mother.

Here are a few suggestions for you that keep me sane-

moms working

1. Use your dishwasher!
I sometimes feel very guilty about using my dishwasher. I figure it will only take me a few minutes to just wash the dishes by hand, and the dishwasher takes 4x longer, and it wastes so much water. But at the end of the day, I have one, so I use it. I don’t run it every day, it takes me about a day and a half to fill it up and then run it.

2. Wake up earlier than your kids.
If you give yourself an hour or a 90 min head start to your kids, you can get a lot done. I like to wake up earlier than the kids, shower, come down and sweep the house and do any other cleaning that I was too tired to do the night before. Sometimes I can even have a load of laundry washed before they wake up. The choices of what to do with that time is entirely up to you, but it’s a nice way to have some down time.

3. Bathe your kids together, or one right after the other.
Some parents bathe their kids at night. Some bathe them in the morning. I like mornings, probably because I NEED to take a shower every morning, otherwise I don’t feel like I’m fully awake. I used to fill the bathtub up and let the kids hang out in their. The bathroom door would be open and I would use the time to fold clothes (I would bring the laundry right in front of the bathroom) or iron clothes (again sitting on the ground right in front of the bathroom). Nowadays I have chosen another method and I much rather prefer this one. I basically have a bucket in the tub and a plastic jug and my son’s plastic stool. I fill up the bucket once and give him a loofah with his favorite bath soap on it. And that’s it! He has come to an age where he loves lathering himself up and rinsing off all by himself and believe me, it’s a load off my hands. Its quick, simple, and no worries of having him in the bathroom with a tub full of water. I usually bathe the little one right before or right after him, but it’s the same concept. Just a bucket of water and a little jug. He does miss filling up the tub but I explain that’s for days when we don’t have lots to do. I bring his clothes into the bathroom and dress him right when I pull him out of the tub. I can’t do the same with my daughter so I dress her in her room.

4. Floor vacs!
I have a little floor vacuum that I love to death. I zoom around the house with it and it can be used on the carpet too. It’s not a really heavy duty one but it will make the house look presentable in a quick way. Sometimes my son even asks to take over while I’m vacuuming. It’s a good way for him to learn household chores and it keeps him busy for a while.

5. Make lists.
I have 2 ongoing lists in my phone. One is for grocery, and one is my “Things to do”. Without these two lists I would be a lost cause. Since I have my phone with me most of the time it’s super easy to add to my list at any time.

5b. Grocery shopping.
This is a side note. Today my husband and I went shopping to Costco with the kids and he made a statement that boggles my mind. He said “why is it so hard going shopping with the kids?”, to which I replied “Hard??? You think it’s hard when it’s the two of us? I go shopping with the two of them all the time, it’s fine, you just need to be more patient”. Then I realised we went to Costco without a list. We browsed through all of the aisles and the kids became impatient. I hardly ever go shopping without a list because the thought of having to run out for a vital item such as laundry detergent is enough to give me a mild headache.

6. 2 in 1's
I don't especially enjoy using 2 in 1's, but they can shave off a few more mins of the morning routine. I find the days I am in a rush, I use my 2 in 1 and brush my teeth in the shower. Then I quickly dry off, throw on my clothes (I usually stay in my pyjamas until right before I have to leave the house. This way if my clothes get dirty I don't need to worry too much.

7. Teach your children to be independant.
My son is almost 4 and eats all of his meals by himself (for the most part). I have also taught him to bathe himself, and semi dress himself. He can put his socks and shoes on and can pour himself a glass of water when needed. I also keep food ready to eat for him for days when he would like to help himself. The strawberries and other fruit are washed and put in the fridge, the juice boxes are close by, and so are the cheese sticks. Allowing him to be independent is good for his self esteem as well as a load off my mind.

These are just a few ways that I save time and attempt to be efficient. But still, there are the days when I need a hand. Whether it be my sister or cousin coming over and helping me with house work, or whipping my husband into 'put the laundry away' mode. So remember, the laundry will never end, the house will never stay clean, and the kids will always need something. But do yourself a favor and take a break once in a while, because lets face it - us mommies are overworked and underpaid ;-).