Whether you’re full-time momming or work out of the home, there’s something we can all use as new moms: balance. The best way to achieve it? It all comes down to time. Here are 10 great ways for you to get more time back in your day so you’ll achieve that illustrious, sought-after work-life balance we all dream about.
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1. Get into meal prep & make-ahead meals.
Planning and prepping is one of the best ways to save yourself some time in the long run. Plan out your meals for a week—including lunches if you can—and you’ll spend less time wondering what to make, trying to find the right ingredients or running to the grocery store for key ingredients. If you have school lunches to make for older siblings, pre-make foods that can be frozen and taken out of the freezer to pop into lunches the morning of. They’ll thaw out by the time lunch rolls around! Here are some great make-ahead meal ideas to get you started.
2. Have a packed diaper bag ready to go at all times.
Another great time-saver is packing up all your essentials—diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, snacks and whatever else you need regularly—and keeping it in a diaper bag, ready to go at a moment’s notice. This helps save time scrambling for everything when you have to get out the door fast.
3. Do a mom/childcare swap.
Find a fellow mama you trust and offer to take care of her child for a few hours once a week, and then swap with her. Your child will have a playdate friend once a week, and you’ll get a few hours to yourself that you can count on and plan for. What you do with that time (catch up on work or emails, get some “me time,” clean, etc.) is totally up to you!
4. Simplify your mornings.
Mornings can be one of the most hectic parts of the day. Try doing the bulk of your prep the night before—get school or daycare bags packed and ready to go (this is where the packed diaper bag also comes in handy!), have lunches made, and prep whatever you’ll need for your own appointments or activities.
5. Keep a family calendar.
With all the things going on in your life, you need to keep track of it each day (maybe even each hour!). If you’re a fan of seeing everything set out in front of you, get an old-school calendar or planner and write it all out. Or, keep a family calendar on your phone and share it with your partner. Either way, be sure to include every detail, appointment, activity, and plan.
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6. Start a family night tradition.
When you do have some time outside of work or after all the regular household and child duties, it’s time to have some fun! Set up a family tradition that you do weekly or monthly. Whether it’s movie night or game night or dining out at your favorite family restaurant, just make it all about you and your family and good old quality time.
7. Work out with your wee one.
A great way to feel more balance and calm in your life is to get in a workout. Do it with your little one instead of trying to find time to sneak out. Walking, jogging, stroller fitness classes and mom & me classes are all great ways to exercise while spending fun time with your little buddy.
8. Divide & conquer.
Splitting up the household and baby-care duties between you and your partner is another important way to give yourself more time and balance in your hectic life. Make a plan or schedule it out based on what you’re good at or interested in. If you loathe cooking but don’t mind laundry that much, offer to divide it up that way.
9. Turn off notifications at night.
There’s something about always being on that’s draining. When you’re home with your family, make it all about family. Turn off your notifications, or put your phone on silent and tuck it away for the evening. You’d be amazed at how much quality time you have when you’re not distracted by your phone.
10. Carve out time for yourself.
Another great way to feel balanced is to give yourself a little time to feel human again. Lose yourself in a book before bedtime, treat yourself to a spa day, make time for a hobby, or meet up with a friend for a coffee date. It can be as small or as elaborate and planned out as you need. The important thing is to take care of yourself.
— Heather Dixon
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