I struggled trying to fill everyone’s needs as a new mom and entrepreneur. And by struggle, I mean that time I melted down and ugly cried because I didn’t have time to clean up, and someone asked me what I’d been doing all day. Real life.
Being a mom isn’t just about raising amazing littles, it’s also about the never ending to-do list, trying to squeeze in self-care, a career, partner, family, friends, social life, cleaning, the list goes on.
Oh postpartum hormones, how I love you. After my hormonal melt down, I started thinking about what was sucking up a ton of time, and how I could fix it.
5 Ways to Find Actual Free Time as a Mom
1. Batching Similar Activities Together: This is how to be productive as a mama. Dedicating specific blocks of time for similar tasks keeps you focused and less likely to be distracted.
Take action: running all errands in one trip, reading and responding to emails once or twice daily, checking social media for 10 minutes x amount of times a day, working on projects, cleaning, cooking, planning, phone calls, batch it together and free up time.
2. Bulk Cooking: Take grains, for example—one huge pot of plain brown rice cooked at the beginning of the week can be turned into porridge, a side, re-fried rice, even rice pudding for dessert, in almost no time. Making food ready to eat in your fridge equals more time for mama.
Take action: Double recipes for leftovers, and fill the freezer.
3. Saying No: Each time we say yes, we’re closing up time in our schedule and saying no to any other opportunity. Practice saying no to all the “shoulds” this week. Anything that isn’t totally necessary and that isn’t making us excited, has got to go.
Take action: Say yes to things that actually make us excited. Open up your schedule and create more time for what matters most, by saying no.
4. Clean With a Timer: I was at my good friend’s house and she was cleaning up wearing a kitchen timer. Now, moms do crazy things all the time, but when it went off and she immediately stopped what she was doing and went into another room. I had to know more.
Take action: She gives herself a set amount of time to clean the house, say one hour. In that time she breaks down each room into 10-15 minute blocks. Genius! Not only are we efficient, it makes cleaning faster, and more likely to get it done if we have and end time (read: light at the end of the tunnel).
5. Meal Planning and Prepping: Creating meals and lunches day and night is a huge time sucker. Getting organized at the beginning of the week helps us to batch all those activities together—planning, shopping, and prepping.
Taking one day a week to get everything organized means that throughout the week quick, delicious, healthy meals that come together in minutes are always available.
If prepping your meals for the week seems incredibly daunting, start with stocking up on healthy snacks, and prepping green smoothies.
Take action: Place one cup of greens and 1 1/2 cup of frozen fruit into freezer bags, and freeze. When it’s green smoothie time, empty your bag, add one cup of liquid and blend. Instant breakfast!
With all this extra time we’ve created, let’s nourish our authentic selves and do what makes us feel good. You deserve it, mama. Learn from my ugly cry-fest, don’t try to please everyone and make more time for what matters most.
We’d love to hear from you. Post a comment and tell us: what action step are you taking today to create more time so you can live your life as the energized, balanced, and healthy mom you deserve to be?
Author: Amanda Greenthumb
Image: Kate Williams/Unsplash
Editor: Emily Bartran