There are some days when by 5 o’clock, the last thing that I have the energy to do is to prepare a homemade dinner for my family. Don’t get me wrong, I do most of the time, but those days when the kids are being impossible to deal with and I am just begging 8 o’clock to get there so I can put them to bed? Those are the days I’m talking about.
And while I feel guilty sometimes taking shortcuts to get a few minutes of time to myself or because I need a break, those short cuts are necessary.
Here are 5 sanity saving shortcuts that can make your day a little more bearable when you’re having one of those days!
Serve A Frozen Dinner (But Make It Taste Homemade)
Of course I would love to have the time and energy every day to buy fresh foods and then cook from scratch to create a fabulous gourmet-style meal. It just doesn’t happen! One thing I’ve learned to do is take short cuts: grab a frozen lasagna or other meal your family enjoys, and serve it with fresh chopped basil and grated Parmesan cheese. Make garlic bread and a salad for the sides, and you just saved time (and cleaning!) and your family is happy.
Don’t Keep Cleaning Up The Never Ending Mess
I don’t mean don’t ever clean up the mess, just don’t do it one hundred times a day! Kids have toys, and most of the time no matter what we do, those toys seem to end up everywhere – especially in the main living areas.
If you find yourself picking up several times a day, it leaves you frustrated…so why not just try to keep it as orderly as possible? Find some decorative baskets that you can have the kids put all the toys in at certain times during the day – they are cleaning up, not you! The storage should be accessible so that it’s easy for the children to use.
TV Is Okay…Sometimes
30 minutes of TV gives you time to fix dinner, and gives your kids some time to chill and relax after lots of activity throughout the day. It also can help children improve verbal and math skills, and “teach” them basic things like rhyming, colors, shapes, etc. Just make sure to avoid shows with violent content or shows that have no educational value. Instead, find educational programming like PBS or Nick Jr.
There’s not too many moms I know that love to do laundry…it’s a never ending process that takes a lot of time. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t shortcuts you can take to alleviate some of the “ugh” that comes with doing it!
Do you do laundry daily or weekly? Figure out what works best for your family and then stick to it. Fold clothes while you catch up on a favorite TV show. Move empty hangers from closets back to the laundry room so you can hang items before they wrinkle.
Make Time for Me Time
There are lots of ways to get a bit of time to yourself without having to leave home. Sneak in a half an hour of reading during the kids’ nap time. Skip vacuuming one day to find a bit of time to do something you enjoy. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure. Hide a treat that you love (Yes! I said it) and enjoy it once the kids’ are down for the night. Whatever you do, just make sure to spoil yourself every now and again…your nerves will thank you for it!