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15 Productivity Hacks For Stay-At-Home Moms

15 Productivity Hacks For Stay-At-Home Moms

Being a stay-at-home mom is far from easy. More often than not, unless you have a very good idea of how to make the most of your time, it can be quite chaotic and incredibly stressful. The thing to remember is that you need to stay motivated in order to be more productive, and being more productive will leave you some more free time to do the things that make you happy, which in turn helps you get through all the chores efficiently. So, let’s look at a number of great ways to boost your productivity, and make you a happier mom in the process.

1. Get up earlier

If you want to have a productive day, you need to get up a bit earlier. This way, you will certainly have more time for yourself. Use this time to take a shower, relax and prepare for the hard working day. Moreover, it happened to all of us, because we want to sleep more, immediately when we get up we start doing chores. This is really stressful and will only exhaust you. When you get up earlier, you will have time to drink coffee alone in a quiet environment, while your children are still asleep, and can then see everyone off to school with a lot less stress and drama. Try it out and you will soon realize that you are in a better mood and that all house chores seem a lot easier.

2. Get ready for the day – put some make up on

Stay-at-home moms have very demanding tasks, and opposite to common belief, they are always busy. As you are trying to manage all your obligations, you somehow never have time to do your hair and put on some makeup. So on the way to the supermarket or a shopping mall you are always nervous because your look is sloppy and you don’t have time to fix it. However, there is always a solution and all you need are waterproof mascara, hydrating foundation and some quality lipstick.

Purchase a quality foundation that will at the same time hydrate your skin and keep it healthy. By using quality products you will make sure that the makeup doesn’t negatively affect your skin and you will be able to have it till the evening.  Apply the makeup in the morning and it will certainly make you feel better. It will boost your confidence, and you will always be ready to go.

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3. Learn a 5 minute manicure

Make up will boost your confidence but don’t forget your hands. Since you have very little time and you need your nails to look good, you can learn a 5 minute manicure and have beautiful nails in no time. Soak your hands in the warm water, massage them with a scrub and remove dead skin cells. After that file your nails and apply top coat. This will give your nails a shiny look but also the protection they need.

4. Start your own blog

It is important to understand that you are not alone. You can share your experience with other moms all over the world and you can do that by creating your very own mom blog. You can write articles on important topics and you can ask or give advice to other stay-at-home moms. Moreover, if your blog becomes popular you can also earn some money.

5. Do exercises in the morning

Physical activity is very important, because as a stay-at-home mother, most of your time you spend standing and walking. Going to the classes can take a lot of your time, because you waste your time in the car and that time you can certainly use for something else such as going on a massage. When you get up do some exercises to stretch your muscles and prepare your body for the busy day full of house chores. If you are into yoga, take a few classes to learn how to properly perform a certain position, and then continue working out alone at your home. This will save you a lot of time, help prepare for the day and won’t make you tired.

6. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help

Once a month, it happens to all mothers that they have to do laundry, prepare meals, vacuum, iron clothes, wash dishes, do homework with children, take them to the playground – and all that in one day! When this happens, stay calm and hire a nanny or a maid. Whatever option you choose, they will help you go through the day. Being a mom is a full time job, so why not outsource one part of your tasks?

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7. Hunt for discounts

Saving money is often very difficult and not lot of people know how to achieve it. One of the best ways is buying on discounts. You will be amazed how much money you can actually save, if you just try this. It won’t give you millions but it will help you to save just enough.

8. Teach your kids to do chores

If your kids are old enough to learn how to do house chores, then do that – it is better to do some smaller chores like dusting, than spend that hour in front of their computer. They need to see what you do all day and realize that it is not easy as it seems. If you want to teach them to be responsible, you can put some new rules – everyone cleans their room. This can be applied only if your kids are old enough to dust and vacuum. On the other hand, if they are not, you can teach them to put away their toys on their own.

9. Find small opportunities to relax

Hard work can make you feel stressed and under pressure. This is why is very important to have a time just for yourself. In those small holes in your schedule, e.g. after making lunch, but before the kids get back from school, take a 15-30 minutes to relax your body and your mind with a nice hot bath and enjoy every moment. You certainly deserved it.

10. Join group classes

If you have a baby or a toddler, then the best way for your baby and you to socialize is to sign up for some classes. This way your baby will learn how to play with other children and you will be able to have semi-adult conversations with other moms. You will certainly learn a lot from other mom’s experiences and be prepared for every situation.

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11. Set a nap time or quiet time

Toddlers usually neglect your rules regarding the nap time and they tend to sleep whenever they want. In order for you to be able to rest, you need to teach them to sleep at certain time.

12. Teach your kids about independent play

You don’t need to play with your children all the time. If they learn independent play they will soon become more creative and you will have more time for your everyday activities.

13. Allow for a bit of chaos

Every mom’s nightmare is definitely the chaos in kid’s bedroom. You tidy up the room regularly but in no time the room is a complete mess once again. There are great cleaning hacks that can make the process easier, but don’t worry too much about this. Yes, they need to learn about responsibility and one way to teach them is to explain them that they need to take care of their stuff. In that way, you will have more time for yourself. Embrace the chaos and concentrate on other things.

14. Make a schedule

If you are having some difficulties organizing your day, try making a solid schedule. It will help you to finish all the chores and work on time, and it will be a lot easier for you to find more free time. Better organization will bring more productivity.

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15. Give your chores a soundtrack

Let your favorite song to become soundtrack of your chores. It doesn’t have to be just one but it will stimulate you and give you more positive energy. Everything seems to be much easier with a favorite song.

Being a mom is difficult job, make no mistake, but with a little bit of planing, a few tweaks to your schedule and some good habits, you can manage to get things done, and still have enough space to relax and work on yourself.

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Katarina Milovanovic

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Published on September 21, 2018

11 Smart Pieces of Advice to Help You Thrive as a Single Mother

11 Smart Pieces of Advice to Help You Thrive as a Single Mother

Becoming a mother is one of the most difficult challenges a woman can take on in her life. Whether this happens the “natural” way, with the help of science, or through adoption, being in charge of nurturing another human being is a herculean task to take on.

Typically, when we think about parenthood, we imagine two parents sharing the responsibility and having each other to lean on. However, according to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 4 children under the age of 18 are being raised by a single mother.[1] This is a significant portion of the population that often gets overlooked.

If you are one of these mothers raising your children on your own, you are undoubtedly aware of the additional challenges that motherhood has placed upon you, including the constant struggle to find sufficient time, energy, money, and support.

For single mothers who find themselves bogged down by their daily responsibilities and struggle to stay afloat, don’t be fooled by the belief that you have to do all. It is possible to thrive and live as a single mother if you take advantage of all available resources and adjust your priorities based on your situation.

1. Find your community and ask for help

As the sole caretaker of your kids, going through the successes and struggles of parenthood can feel isolating and lonely. You have probably developed a strong sense of independence because you’ve had to go at it alone.

Being self-reliant is necessary in many situations that you have to face, but do not fool yourself into thinking that you don’t need support from others. If you have family nearby, strengthen your relationship with them by visiting and talking more often. Find time to catch up with old friends or co-workers, and don’t assume they don’t want to hang out if they are not parents themselves.

Would you prefer finding mom friends[2] who have more in common with you? Use resources like apps, Facebook groups, and community events to meet local moms in your area.

After you have established a support group that you can depend on, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is NOT a sign of weakness or incompetency to admit you can’t do it all, and others are probably more willing to lend a hand than you think.

If you feel uncomfortable burdening others, suggest trading favors such as taking turns babysitting. Because after all, helping is each other is what community is all about.

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2. Make peace with the past

Before you can move forward, you must make peace with your past and not let it define you or rule your life. Whether your journey to single motherhood was through divorce, death, or never having a relationship the father, it is crucial that you leave behind the feelings of abandonment or betrayal you may be struggling with.

You cannot change the past and the hurt you had to endure, but you can use the strength that you gained from overcoming those obstacles to work towards making the best life for yourself and your child. Learn from the past but live in the present and look towards the future.

3. Make plans and set goals

The daily repetition of trying to balance work and home life can make you feel like you are on operating on autopilot. However, it is imperative to set goals for yourself and to keep working towards self-improvement.

In your personal life, you can set a fitness goal (train for a 5k), a reading goal (read 20 books in a year), or a travel goal (take a trip to Europe). At your job, you can set career goals such as gain leadership experience, get a promotion, or earn a degree or certificate.

Spend time creating a realistic plan to on how you can go about achieving these goals. Not only will working towards these goals make you a more well-rounded and successful person, they will bring more purpose and fulfillment to your life.

4. Look for role models

A great way to jump start your plans for the future is to find a role model or mentor who is further along in their life or career experience. This person can be a great resource when you need guidance on what types of goals to set for yourself and how to achieve them.

It’s also important to have people to turn to for encouragement during difficult seasons of life. Someone who has been through it before can provide the most genuine reassurance that tough times will get better and that staying positive is best approach.

5. Rethink your priorities

Single parents have twice as many responsibilities to take care of, so priorities and expectations must be adjusted accordingly.

Know that you are not superwoman and striving for a perfectly clean home, no dirty laundry, and home-cooked meals for your kids every day is not a reasonable expectation. It’s okay to take shortcuts sometimes, like serving your kids cereal for dinner or waiting until the next day to wash the dishes.

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Don’t compare yourself to anyone else and let go of the guilt that you feel for being the only parent that your kids can count on. Give yourself a break and don’t sweat the small stuff.

6. Make time for me time

Even though it can be difficult to find, making time for yourself is critical to maintaining your sanity and well-being. Without a built-in partner to take over, finding time to be away from the kids must be done intentionally and planned in advance.

If you are sharing custody, use the time away from your kids not only doing productive things but also making sure you are taking care of yourself. Sleep, exercise, and balanced diet are not things that can get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Also make time for fun activities, such as hobbies and creative outlets.

Even though being a mother is the most important job you have, don’t let it be the only thing that defines you. Time for yourself is more difficult to find if you are the sole caretaker of your kids.

Use the resources that you have to devote time to self-care, and you and your kids will thank you for it in the long run.

7. Stay organized

With so many things to juggle, great organizational skills are an absolute must in order to keep everything moving smoothly. Use apps such as Mint for your finances, Mealime for meal planning, and Cozi as a family organizer for everything from appointments and shopping lists to after school activities.

Maintain constant contact if you are sharing custody so that it is clearly communicated who will be responsible for what when it comes to your kids. Follow consistent routines in the morning and nighttime so that your kids also know what to expect on a daily basis.

8. Be flexible (Don’t be a control freak)

Although it is important to be prepared and stay organized, things don’t always go according to plan.

When kids get sick and have to stay home or babysitters cancel at the last minute, allow for flexibility by having a contingency plan for childcare and with your employer.

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For example, make a list of people you can call when you need last minute childcare, or talk to your boss in advance about working from home when emergencies come up.

Most of all, don’t let unexpected changes stress you out and ruin your day.

9. Learn to say no (Don’t feel guilty)

Single mothers have limitations in time, energy and resources that families with two parents wouldn’t be able to understand. Because of these circumstances, it’s important you let go of feelings of guilt and stop trying to do everything and be everywhere.

You don’t have to say yes to every single birthday party your child is invited to. Your kids don’t have to be involved in sports and extracurricular activities every night of the week.

Limit the things you do to only the ones that are the most enjoyable and meaningful for you and your family. Doing more things does not make you a better mother; simply a more tired one.

10. Live within your means

When you have to raise your family on a single income, budgeting and spending within your means becomes more important than ever.

If you have outstanding debt that is accruing interest, make it a priority to pay those off as soon as possible. Outlining a budget is the best way to visualize how much money is being spent every month on various things and what is left over.

Find ways to save money on the necessities by looking for sales at the grocery store, buying some things secondhand, planning out meals.

After the necessary bills are paid, determine how much can be spent on luxury items such as eating out, vacations, and going to the movies.

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Don’t let finances be a source of anxiety for you and your family. Keep your bank account in good shape while teaching your kids how to spend money responsibly at the same time.

11. Spend quality time with your kids

The time you spend with your kids is so precious and much more limited as a single mother. Make the time that you spend with your kids count.

Rather than sitting in front of the TV, take them on fun and budget-friendly outings to the park, the playground, or a museum. Use meal times as the perfect excuse to ask them about what they are learning in school and the friends they spend time with.

When your kids ask you to play with them, look at it as a privilege and an opportunity to bond with them, rather than a distraction or waste of time. Be present when you are with them, with no work or multitasking on your mind. Your relationship with your kids will absolutely reap the benefits.

Final thoughts

Being a single mother is not an easy job. That’s why it’s important to use all the resources available to you in order to make this job a little bit easier.

Using technology, an organization system and a supportive community are just a few examples of things you should utilize to your benefit. It’s also important to shift your mindset and be more practical when it comes to things like priorities and finances.

Most of all, don’t forget about your own self care. Only when you take care of yourself can you best take care of the people you love.

Single mothers are some of the most hard-working people out there, and you deserve to have a happy and fulfilling life.

Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

Reference

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