The content of this article was just about to be “Haha! Gotcha, I was just kidding! This is impossible!” but the truth is there are a ton of small things you can do along the way in your day to save time, energy, effort and sanity. So, alas, go forth into the day with these tips. May you have a (successful) shower without something exploding out of their diaper or dumping all their legos at your wet feet!
Shower When the Kids are Sleeping
Is this possible? I am not sure. But if you can shower at night or get up at the crack of dawn to wash your hair, it might be worth it for your sanity and soaping routine.
Pack What You Can the Night Before
Get your work bag together, their diaper bags packed up, prepare snacks and sandwiches once the wee ones are asleep. If you can get the day going with half of your “get out of the house” list done, the more likely you won’t wear your slippers to work by accident!
Prep the Morning
Prepare the morning food needs when possible (sippy cups of milk, ready made formula, scrambled eggs, cut up fruit, overnight oatmeal, etc.), layout the next day’s clothing during the bedtime routine, and put away distractions that will slow down the morning (in our family, that means my toddler’s stamp activity set goes missing prior to breakfast).
Overnight the Dishwasher
This goes for the dryer too. Anything that can work when you don’t is a great idea. Pack it all up for the night run so things are clean, dry and fresh for the morning.
Go All in on Spares
If it is possible to duplicate on critical items that help you move along faster come morning time, do it. This might be an extra set of pump gear already in your work bag, a phone charger that never leaves the car, sunglasses that live in your purse, two laundry bins so you don’t to hunt through everyone’s bedroom to find the (likely full) one. Spare keys, spare chargers, spare bottles – whatever you need to make it more efficient – get it done. I don’t mean overkill on this, but things that actually save you time and energy each and every morning. For me this is keys, sunglasses, my office badge and computer chargers.
Keep it in the Car
If you are in and out of the car with the kids daily, consider keeping some necessary gear in there for on-the-go. Baby blankets, toys/books, wipes, snacks, a spare set of clothing, an umbrella and sunscreen…. There are plenty of ways to keep this stuff organized (hello, Container Store) and having it hand without giving a second thought will save you time, energy, meltdowns and swear words.
Have the List
When our babes were tiny I had a list in the diaper bag that listed everything that needed to be in the diaper bag for a short or long outing. That way, if you husband, mothers, babysitter or friend were around when it was time to ‘get’ – they could help ensure everything was packed. This took the load off me without the mental drain of verbally listing it all off and just deciding to it myself. Have lists prepared if you can count on extra hands once in awhile. It will also help you remember critical items sometimes forgotten (like shoes!).
The 5-minute Bounce
I don’t know about everyone but I know that I can get a lot (a lot!) more done in 5-minutes without a little human pulling on my leg or hanging off my hip. For 5-minutes, be guilt free in having your baby or toddler in a safe and secure environment like their crib, swing or bouncy while you run around like a madwomen (or man) brushing your teeth, throwing on your clothing and slapping on make-up. Even if they are whining, I take those 5-minutes to be as productive as possible saving me twice or three times the amount of minutes I would waste handling them whilst doing these things. Have no guilt – they will be fine….for 5-minutes or less!
If you have a partner around, add ten minutes to your morning routine when each of you can take turns in charge of the children and the other can get dressed and together for the day. Ten minutes is nothing in the grand scheme of the day, wake-up earlier if necessary! Having ten minutes to yourself is going to set you up well for the hours ahead. Get your partner onboard and ensure they don’t bail on the new routine.