Sometimes, I feel like I am my own traveling circus show for the amount of things we do throughout the day. Motherhood can seem like a constant run-around, tending to school pick-up, basketball practice drop-off, meal preparation, and homework evaluation. Special needs moms face a unique set of challenges on top of standard parenthood, always asking, “Am I doing enough?”
Whether or not your child has special needs, all moms deserve a break. Here are five tips and tricks as to how to make your day a bit easier.
- Cooking Made Easy
Ever heard of a sheet pan dinner? I am loving this new trend. They’re your knight in shining armor on hectic evenings, so get to know them well. These one-pan meals are quick, easy, require very little active cooking, and create only a small mess to clean. There are plenty of healthy recipes you can use to feed a family of two or seven; just get out your cooking sheet, chop up some meat, sprinkle some veggies, pop it in the oven and voila! Dinner is served without me slaving over the stove at the end of an exhausting day.
- Strategic Dish Washing
One of the more difficult tasks to keep up with while pressed for time is the dirty dishes. Breakfast is made, the kids are fed, but you’re running ten minutes late for school after an unfortunate morning mishap and out the door you go. Before you can even cook dinner, it feels like the dishes are overflowing in the sink. To stay on top of it, habitually empty your dishwasher every morning—it’ll be easier to fill as you go. Pro tip: to cut down on the amount of dishes that require washing, try to assign one cup to each person to use throughout day. Assign each child their favorite color and avoid unnecessarily washing water cups that could have been reused.
- Stop Stressing over Supervision
Once your child outgrows their toddler years and starts running around the house, you’ll always need to keep a watchful eye over them. Take advantage of every moment until then with containment solutions. The bassinet from Guava Family converts into an everywhere crib that you can take from room to room, allowing you to be near your little one while you tackle chores—without having to worry about what they might try to put in their mouth or which coffee table corner they might bonk their head on. Before you know it, they’ll be un-containable, so simplify your supervision while you can.
- Tackling the Toys
No matter how many times you tell Grandma to stop spoiling your little one, it seems like the toys just keep pouring in. Your kids love them, but they hate putting them away. Before your living room turns into a tornado wreckage, establish a quick cleanup as part of your routine. It’s easy to go days without touching the toys, but maintaining cleanliness—and your sanity—can be done with little effort and the right organization in place. Get a few storage bins to home all their baby dolls and RC cars, and assign your child some responsibility! Picking up their toys doesn’t have to be your job; when they’re ready to watch TV, go to the playground, or move onto the next activity, ask that their mess first be picked up as a trade off.
- Loads of Laundry
How is it even possible to misplace so many socks and wind up with handfuls of unmatched pairs? Probably because you let the laundry pile up—and we don’t blame you. To avoid your laundry turning into an insurmountable mountain, try to make it a habit to run one full load every day. Build a routine and grab everyone’s clothes after bath time and toss it in the wash, then throw them into the dryer before bed. Take five to ten minutes to fold and put away the load in the morning, and sure enough your household will be constantly equipped with clean clothes. Habitually doing one load a day will prevent any pile-up and will nip procrastination right in the bud.
You can’t be expected to do it all, and even as Super Mom, there will be days when you don’t want to put on the cape. Keeping these tips and tricks in mind can lighten your load, so keep them close at hand when you’re feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.