I talk a lot about being a busy mom. We’re rarely home to cook dinner, we spend four nights a week at the dance school, and my husband and I both work full time jobs (and we work “after hours” as well!)
So how do I keep it together? Lots of scheduling, communication, patience and, of course, my family and friends.
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But beyond all that, there are some items I use every day (or at least every week) that really do make my life easier. I’m going to share them with you today – and yes, there are affiliate links in here, so consider supporting my blog when you decide to make a purchase.
My busy mom must haves:
What is a morning without a coffee? Chaos, and a surefire way to develop a headache!
On weekdays I get to the kitchen before my girls (usually they’re up and getting dressed) and start making my coffee – this is my only every-day-self-care: making my coffee before anyone else needs me.
My current coffeepot is a dual purpose Hamilton Beach. I’ve had it for quite a while and it still works great. You can make a pot or a single cup, and it has a timer option.
I make a pot in the morning (4 cups) and then, if I’m feeling the need later, I’ll use the single side for a pick-me-up cup. (I take coffee pods from the hotels we stay at to use in this side since I can’t find them to buy in the grocery store. Or I use my regular grounds in the filter.)
Get yours here, or let me know how you get your daily caffeine fix!
(I have mixed feelings about Keurigs. I don’t like the wastefulness, or the price per cup. Though if I had one, my kids could make me a coffee!)
Is it weird to say I love my washing machine? We’ve had this front loader for quite a while now and I’ve grown very attached to it. Ours is a Kenmore – which was a Sears brand – but I understand they were made by Whirlpool.
What I love about it is the large drum, and the amazing spin it gives the clothes. It means less drying time – in the dryer or on the clothesline.
My favourite feature is the timer. I can load the washer in the evening and put on an 8 or 10 hour timer and it will wash the clothes early in the morning so I can get them in the dryer before I leave for work. I’ll also use it when I’m heading out to do errands. I’ll set it for an hour or two (depending on how long I’ll be out) and then nothing sits wet for a few hours, assuming I guessed right now long I was going to be!
Another odd thing I love having in my life – my clothesline! I know it doesn’t sound like an amazing time-saver, but sometimes it’s a sanity saver for me.
When the weather is nice, getting outside is a priority of mine. Some weeks I wouldn’t get out at all if I didn’t make the conscious choice to hang my clothes on the line.
I overbook my “day off” most weeks. Very soon I will be scheduling “hang the clothes on the line” time into my days at home. Getting a little fresh air and sunshine always boosts my mood and helps me regain focus.
I’m sure everyone now feels like they can’t live without their technology. As a busy mom, having everything at my fingertips all the time is usually a help. I also find it’s a huge distraction and time suck. So technology is a mixed bag for me.
There are a few pieces that I do love having.
- My phone – ASUS ZenPhone I have an older model (I’m not even sure which one it is) and it’s been great for me. It’s not too big, though I was distressed by it’s size when I got it new. I resist doing too much on my phone, but I do end up replying to emails and surfing social media. My requirement for a phone is that is has to be small enough to fit into my purses. This phone is as big as I want to go.
- My computer – Lenovo ThinkPad I have a 15″ laptop and I love it. I need a real keyboard and a big enough screen. Writing, for me, requires a proper computer set up, and a mouse!
- Smart TV and a streaming service – We have a Samsung (huge!) Smart TV. Really it’s too big for our space, but it was a gift/business purchase. (Long story…) However, paired with the Internet – my kids love YouTube – and a streaming service, the girls can operate it, and be entertained, while I’m trying to get stuff done. And yes, I know screen time is bad, but sometimes it can be good!
Edit: Hours after I wrote about how much love my laptop, it died – a case of drowning by wine. Stay tuned to my social media to see what new laptop I end up with.
As a writer-for-hire and virtual assistant who also holds a 9-5 I need somewhere to jot ideas. I don’t like creating virtual memos – I’m old fashioned and much prefer pen and paper.
My husband and kids got me a great organizer that zips closed and has lots of pockets so I can gather my small notes in one place to return to when I have time to write. I carry it with me to the dance studio on nights I have time to work there, and when I go on a writing assignment for Kingstonist (the media outlet I write for.)
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In this day of phones and everything else, I still rely on alarm clocks. Not only for myself, but for my daughters as well.
I’m still using the old alarm clock radio I got when I moved away from home (I think – I know it’s at least as old as my relationship with my husband!) It plugs into the wall and either wakes me with the annoying beep, beep, beep, or you can tune in your favourite radio station. Emma, my eldest has this type as well.
My younger daughter has a Minion alarm clock. It will use the radio, or scare you awake with Minion noises. (She hates the minion noises, but loves her alarm clock.)
How are alarm clocks helpful in my busy life? They mean I don’t always have to wake up my daughters by hand every morning. Although I usually do have to get Rose up – she just goes right back to sleep with the radio blaring. She takes after her father that way…
Shoes make the man. (Is that how that phrase goes?) In this case, shoes can help me have a good day, or a bad day.
One thing I never do is buy shoes online. I did it once, they all had to go back, and I’ve never done it since. You won’t find an affiliate link in this section because I only buy shoes hands-on.
I’m not a fancy shoe person. I can’t do high heels. I practically live in sneakers and sandals in the summer. And once I find a pair that I like I will wear them until they die.
That being said it takes me a LONG time to find good shoes. Even when I find a pair that are great in the store, they are often not great once I get them home and try to wear them all day. And I need good shoes because my job keeps me on my feet most of the day. Plus there’s a bit of a walk from the parking lot to my workplace, so I can’t wear shoes that rub at all.
If you have any great suggestions for wide shoes for standing all day, let me have ’em! Sometimes I can find boys running shoes that fit – because they’re wider than womens – but I almost never own “cute” shoes or something that actually looks good with a dress.
I’m not really a material person. I was going to add items like “my library card” because it gives me access to 1000s of books whenever I’d like them; or “dance parents” because having some grownup time while the kids are dancing is often one of the highlights of my week, but they’re not tangible things that may be of use to others.
What do you consider your busy mom must haves? (Dads – weigh in here too!) I’d love to hear what you use to keep you on track, or at least happily caffeinated, as you march through your busy weeks. Let me know in the comments.