Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mama: are you too busy?? "My TOP TEN tips for time saving in a busy Mama's household"

This will actually be a three part series entitles: "Mama, are you too busy??"

Part One: 

It is amazing to me how much we Mamas actually ATTEMPT to get done in one day?! This is including my own darn self...I sometimes look at my upcoming schedule and just cringe inside. Okay, I know...some things can definitely be thrown out of the schedule. Other tasks are non-negotiables and are definitely here to stay.... (like laundry, dishes, taking care of the kids, paying bills, etc.)

However, that being said, when I speak with OTHER busy Mamas my time log can pale in comparison....It seems I am not the only one that feels the time pressure, and the immense stress that can result. Some people seem to be aiming at receiving an Olympic medal in their life management!

 Balance may be all that is needed, and often I think we all need a wake-up call:  we each only have 24 hours every day, and 7 days per week in which to get all of our tasks completed.

So, how then can we save time???

Moms I meet along my journey often ask me how I am able to homeschool four children, run my own business (although it is only very part-time to be fair), and handle other responsibilities at church, home and give time to my extracurricular activities. I find myself having to schedule every thing on a big fridge size calendar, and often I find things having to be tweaked along my journey....but nonetheless here are my top ten areas filled with tips that have helped me, or other Mamas like you, save time & energy~

1) Cleaning: #1 Tip is Clean as You Go! Don't bother making one big day as your full house cleaning day (unless you enjoy that type of thing...I however, do not) but do a bit each morning. Every morning I organize and do the main things for our home (including sweeping, gather up dirty clothes, dishes, kitchen & living room clean up and organizing myself for the day; and occasionally also doing some larger bathroom clean-ups). In the evening before bed I also try to organize for the upcoming day. Every few days I take a bit longer to do other necessary cleaning chores, but I tend to do them around any other commitments we may have.

I also find cleaning goes much better as we work as a family, so whether the kids have been home for the day, or even when they were in school full-time, they each have a small list of household chores they are responsible for. Mainly, it consists of each one of them tidying their own areas of the house, and also a few extras that are doable for their age group.

I do have to scale back my expectations sometimes. I admit that this is not always easy to do. But if I ever feel like the 'house it out of control' in terms of messiness than I may just book a cleaning block to tackle it while the kids are out. It's about working with your own schedule, and family rhythms that I find brings peace in this area.

Lastly, seasonally I take some time to sort and give away as much as possible. You wouldn't believe how fast clutter can add up, or maybe you've experienced it for yourself!!! I always find that simply by: donating, throwing out, or even moving to storage, how much more easily a house can be tamed when there's LESS stuff in it!!!

*Here is another great blog entry (by a friend!) with a few tips entitled "Cleaning As You Go"

2) Cooking: Double and triple batch anything and everything! Buy in bulk and know your staples. Sometimes I find that simply by sticking to my tried and true staples (like my main grains: oats, brown rice, quinoa, our favourite bread loaves, cereals~hot/cold, also our staple snacks, favourite veggies/fruits, herbs etc.) in every grocery trip it helps to establish a routine (which always saves time & energy!). Then I can simply add in additions that are on sale (like certain meat cuts, or seasonal produce, etc.)

 In the winter I like to save time and money by making large pots of stews/soups and other easy to make casseroles. In the summer I prefer to use large salads with creative add-ins and sides of protein, as well as brown rice or quinoa for my whole grains. Often, I'll set aside one time slot to cook a large batch of my grains and then either freeze extra portions, or simply put the batches in the fridge for the next few days.

 I don't have a lot of time to fuss on detailed meals, but I do like using a variety of spices to change my basic main dishes. Spices allow me to make chicken say like 2-3 times a week, but have different cuisine tastes with each one. 

3) Time With Hubby: I am not trying to 'save time' away from my hubby, but we can certainly be creative in how we choose to spend time together.

 In actuality, I find that my hubby and I can spend time as a couple while we do other activities together. For example: sometimes my whole family will head over to Costco for some grocery shopping. We enjoy looking at the latest products they are carrying, and let's not forget the tasty samples! We talk about upcoming events, hold hands...maybe even flirt a bit...and just enjoy our family time while finishing the groceries. A bonus is that it is always beneficial for the kids to see a healthy married couple interacting together :)

Another fav; often we simply enjoy sitting for a tea and talking after the kids are all in bed. It's not that time consuming and affordable date night time for the season we're in. Movies are a nice treat as well. Sometimes, though we do make the splurge with some time & money and hit the town for an evening: always worth it for the health of our relationship.

I do try to stay in touch with my hubby throughout the day. Usually it's about issues that come up with the kids or household, and can quickly be addressed by sending him a quick email, or having a quick phone chat on his break. That way, I find I don't have a zillion things to talk about later on...when there really won't be tons of time.

We try to have a family day once per week, as much as possible. And on that evening we almost always have some extra wind down time together before we head off to sleep; maybe planning for the upcoming week, or even month. I have learned from experience though, don't bring up 'hot topics' during this time, or expect a long-winded argument when you're both prob not thinking straight!!

I think the biggest thing here is staying connected, and making time for each other. Even with a busy, hectic or stressful schedule.

 Some seasons of life may even call for a few days away if you feel like your groove together has been slipping OR you just want to make some extra time to re-connect in a special way :)

Well that's all for today...keep posted for PART TWO in this series, coming soon!


  1. Mamas are some of the busiest people on this planet, and the most talented with all they have to juggle. You've listed some great tips for managing it all.
    Thanks for sharing, it's always good to be reminded of these things.

    1. I agree with my whole heart :) We can be so busy, can't we?
      Thanks so much for sharing & stopping by!

  2. Great tips and I can certainly use them this week! Stopping by from Thurs blog hop. Hope you can visit sometime:

    1. Thanks so much for visiting ,& yes I am going to stop by right now :)

  3. Thanks for linking up Rachel! Great tips! :)
    Renée at NextGen Homeschool

  4. Love these! I agree with cleaning as you go and multiplying meals!!

    1. Doesn't it make life easier?? Thanks for visiting :)

  5. Rach...great tips to encourage us moms. Thank you for sharing at WJIM and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Blessings.

  6. I can recommend A A Milne's poem about The Old Sailor:-
    "There was an old sailor my grandfather knew
    Who had so many things that he wanted to do
    That whenever he thought it was time to begin
    He couldn't because of the state he was in..."
    Anybody who has worked themselves up into a frenzy of indecision as to where to start, should check out the whole poem...

    1. So true, isn't it? Thanks so much Stephen for stopping by!



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