I have three kids, two of whom are twins. That right there is often enough to qualify me as a “Super Mom” in many people’s books. I don’t generally see myself as extra special, super-d-duper, or super smart (more kids just insure I have ‘Mommy Brain’) but I do happen to know a thing or two about parenting, and certainly about managing my time more efficiently with three young kiddos. So, today I’m sharing my top time saving tips I believe every first time mom should know!
5 Ways Smart Moms Save Time
1. Buy Baby Essentials Online.
Running to the store with kids in tow is never as easy or as straight-forward as it was B.C. (Before Children). That quick trip to the post office, the bank, the library, or the grocery store now involves packing diapers bags, buckling and unbuckling car seats, grabbing a shopping cart, cart sanitization, negotiating purchases, keeping little hands from breaking or destroying items, and avoiding any possible meltdowns. While major drama doesn’t happen every time I go out with my children, some things can be done easier, quicker, and cheaper from the comfort of my home by buying everyday essentials online and don’t involve midnight runs. No more getting kids or myself dressed to run to the store or spending the ever-increasing amount of money on gasoline for our car. (Although I have some great tips for how to save on gas!)
One thing you cannot run out of as a new mom is diapers and wipes. Seriously! That’s why it’s awesome that you can order diapers and wipes online from diapers.com. I personally am loving the new and improved Huggies Little Movers diapers (you can read more about them in my previous post HERE) for my 14 month old son. A trusty, leak-free diaper that’s comfortable for your babe and stress-free for new moms (i.e. less laundry) is so important!
Buying Huggies Little Movers online has never been easier or cheaper. I have used diapers.com and automatic diaper deliveries before, for my twins, and it really is so nice not to worry about running out of diapers or wipes and save on them in the process. Plus, it’s always easy to change sizes or speed up or postpone scheduled deliveries.
Diapers.com also carries other every day essentials for babies like formula, diaper pail refills, baby food, and baby care products. Plus, you can order all sorts of other everyday essentials for your home through their sister sites. Save your gas money, your time, and your sanity by buying diapers from diapers.com and still snag a great price on the products themselves.
I learned this lesson the hard way. Multiple times. From day one until forever (as far as I am concerned), ONLY buy washable crayons, markers, pencils, and paints. Seriously. If grandma and grandpa buy your young child some art supplies and they don’t say “washable” on the box, just throw them away or donate them to a school or someone with older kids. The point is – Get them out of your house! Because even if you put them away “for later” they will inevitably be found by your child (see my tip #5) or you’ll forget about their non-washable qualities and give them to your child and regret it.
Because, removing crayon from walls is a giant time suck no matter what method you use. I have spent hours of my life scrubbing and removing crayon markings from walls. Please learn from me. Get the washable kind and any markings will be off with a simple wet washcloth in a few minutes.
3. Put a Tablecloth Under Your Child’s High Chair
My dining room area in my apartment is carpeted. With twin toddlers this was a disaster waiting to happen. But, some wise friend of mine suggested putting a plastic tablecloth from the dollar store underneath my child’s eating area. What wise advice!
Now instead of having to either vacuum my floor every day (or multiple times a day), and constantly worrying about staining the carpet, I could easily pick up the dirty tablecloth, take it over to the trash can, shake off the loose bits of food into the garbage, wipe it down with a washcloth or wipe, and place it back under my kid’s high chair in a couple of minutes.
I generally had one tablecloth last for about a week, if I regularly cleaned it off, which my frugal self couldn’t help but do. This was also a big time saver if any company was coming over soon. And, I didn’t have to spend time cleaning my carpet with a carpet cleaner (or paying for someone to do it for me). Win, win!
You can disagree with me on this one, and that’s fine. But, honestly, pajamas are totally overrated. Not only are they somehow more expensive to buy than regular clothes, they also can create a battle of wills at bedtime when a child doesn’t want to get undressed and then redressed before bed. As long as my child is wearing relatively comfortable clothes (i.e. not jeans), I will let them wear it to bed if they so choose.
Not only does it save me a possible tantrum at bedtime (and who wants to deal with that at the end of the day?), but it also saves me from having to do more laundry, another time saver. Oh, and if the clothes are still relatively clean, they can totally just wear them the next day. Just make sure you don’t see the same people and no one will be the wiser. Same goes for moms too!
In fact, I know some people put their kids in their clean clothes for the next day at bedtime. This is particularly helpful when you have to get out the door quickly in the morning, especially with several children. Don’t just pick and lay out the clothes for the next day at bedtime, put your kids IN them the night before too!
The term “babyproofing” is silly because it is not the babies you need to worry about getting into everything, it’s the toddlers and preschoolers. Not even kidding. Babies are easy. It’s those climbing, walking, grabby little toddlers you need to worry most about. And generally it’s not so much about safety for them, as it is the safety of your items! Kids break stuff. Lots of stuff. And if they don’t chew, break, step, or otherwise maim your items, they can also just scatter it throughout the house.
So, my advice to new moms is to keep your stuff out of reach. Don’t put your phone where Junior can grab it and flush it down the toilet. Don’t leave your scriptures on the dining room table. Don’t leave important papers or mail lying around for them to draw on. Put your bookcases, computers, and storage in a locked room.
But those (cheap) door knob handles were a joke in my house, even when duct taped together. So, instead we put a tiny, inexpensive hook and eye in at the top of two of our bedroom doors and our daughter’s closets. It’s way up high and our kids can’t reach it… well, unless my now four year olds push their table next to the door or a giant stack of books (which have been chewed and ripped to bits) and stand on their tip toes.
The point is, when you don’t keep your board games, books, papers, CDs, DVDs, or whatever out of reach you could have to spend a lot of time cleaning up the subsequent mess. I once spent an hour putting all our board games back together properly. I also spent several hours cleaning up a disastrous spill of powdered graphite (who’s traces still remain firmly embedded in our carpet, pictured above). Also, if you keep important or valuable items out of reach, it will save you lots of time in mental sanity because you won’t have to constantly tell your child to not touch it, or play with it, or put it back 100 times. Moms, lock up your stuff!
These five time saving tips every first time mom should know are important not just because they save time, but because they allow you to enjoy the time you do have with your children. When you spend less time driving to the store to buy diapers and instead order diapers online, when you think ahead about possible disastrous situations and buy and use easy to remove products and lock up your stuff, and when you let go of clothing perfection for your kids, you are freer to relax and be a true Super Mom, the smart mom who sees her time as better spent developing amazing little people, taking care of herself and her husband as well as her home more efficiently. Smart moms save time. How do you save time?