Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Let's Make Life a Bit Easier. Right, moms?

They said I'd never sleep again. And I'm beginning to think they were right. 16 months into motherhood, I do take naps and can now sleep through the night but... it's not the same kind of sleep. It's always a very wakeful sleep. A listening sleep.

So when I get up in the morning, I'm still tired. And I don't need life to be any harder than it needs to be. Therefore, I work hard to get everything together and organized so my days are easier for this tired mama! Here's some of my best tips:

  1. Pre-pack diaper bags the day before. Do NOT try to get out the door in the morning without doing this - you'll find it a lot easier to pack a diaper bag in the quiet evening after the baby's asleep.
  2. Pack more than you think you'll need. Add an extra diaper. Another burp cloth. Two packages of snacks. Because sometimes that doctor's appointment goes longer than you imagined. Or you might see a mom who didn't pack her bag the night before and be able to offer a package of baby snacks to help out!
  3. Use margins. Just like in school - add margins around your life. Extra five minutes before and after scheduled events. Make that ten extra minutes. You never know when you'll need to change that diaper AGAIN. Or run out of gas. Or have to clean a stain out of your shirt. Break up an argument between kids. Give yourself time to deal with these little hurdles and life won't seem so stressful!
  4. Ask for help. Do NOT kid yourself. No mom goes it alone. Have people you can ask to help you. Someone who can watch the kids while you run an errand. Someone who will take the night shift so you and hubby can finally get a night to yourself. Do not be afraid to ask.
  5. Take five. Go a little "zen" here, as my chiropractor says. If you can't get that luxurious 2 hour nap, just find  way to take five minutes of breather time. Or even just 5 breaths that belong only to you. Then get back into it!
  6. Stock your car. Keep water, snacks, towels, etc in the car. Maybe even make a "car diaper bag" that always lives there just in case. This will make life easier if you have to truly leave in a rush. You can count on having at least a few supplies in your traveling bag!
  7. Make lists. Every night, list what you plan to do in order. That way when you wake up in the morning all foggy-headed and in need of coffee, you'll have a plan of action and won't be wandering around in a daze.
  8. Keep the laundry cycling 24/7. If you can. I put in a load the night before when I go to bed. Hubby throws it in the dryer on the way to work and starts another load. So a lot of the laundry gets done while I'm sleeping. Sometimes I feel like I'm hardly doing any at all!
  9. Freeze! Stock your freezer with fully prepared meals. There will be days that there is just no time to think, let alone make a meal. Sometimes I'll put Parmesan chicken, a bag of mixed veggies and a loaf of bread all bundled together in the freezer so I can literally pull out a full meal, heat and serve.
  10. Buy in bulk. I know it's costly up front. But think how much time you save not having to go to the store every week! I buy bulk bags of carrots, apples and other fruits/veggies, several cartons of milk and bulk meats. Sometimes I can go 2 weeks without needing to go to the store! Definitely makes life easier to eliminate a few trips!
I'm sure there's lots of ways to make life easy on yourself. Try some of my suggestions for a smoother day.

Want one more tip? If you're a coffee lover, here's how Starbucks is making your life easier: Starbucks for Android™ and the Starbucks Card Mobile App for BlackBerry®, iPhone® or iPod® Touch have five core features:
  • Pay with your phone: Enjoy the fastest, more convenient way to pay at nearly 9,000 Starbucks locations. Just download the app, enter your Starbucks Card number, scan and go.
  • Manage your card account: Access your Starbucks Card balance directly from your phone.
  • Reload your card balance: Use your smartphone to reload your Starbucks Card using any major credit card.
  • Check your My Starbucks Rewards status: Find out how close you are to earning your next free drink.
  • Find nearby Starbucks stores: Save time by finding a Starbucks store near you.
Now THAT makes life easier! :)

How do you make life easier for yourself? Share your tips!

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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