Mums always need more than 24 hours in a day. To take care of baby/toddler – feed them, change them, feed them again, change them again, clean up the mess from the previous feeds, entertain them, discipline them, entertain them some more, sleep-train, potty-train, life-train. To breathe. To take an uninterrupted shower. To catch up on housework, blogging, facebook, life.
Mums always need more than 24 hours in a day. Irrespective of whether she's a SAHM or a working mum.
So I've put together a bunch of useful tips (I refer to them as my cheat-sheet) to help fellow mums navigate the exhausting satnav of motherhood, and make it just a tad easier. Go on, cheat a bit. Oh, and you're welcome!
In the kitchen
Whether we like it or not, we spend a LOT of time in the kitchen. Family meals, toddler snacks, pureed baby food. Here are a few tips that can help you whizz out of the kitchen quicker.
Use frozen veggies
Frozen veggies. In a word, a godsend. You can make an entire floor puzzle with your toddler in the time you take to rinse and chop all those veggies. So save yourself the extra time and effort and still make nutritious veggie-based meals.
And hey, here's a bit of interesting information: Frozen veggies are actually more nutritious than fresh ones (unless of course, you grow them yourself or know exactly when they've been picked). Makes sense, by the time the tomatoes arrive from Spain to your local supermarket, are then bought and stored in your fridge, and finally cooked – it could well, not be as fresh as you'd think! Frozen, on the other hand, are packed straight after being picked. Some food for thought to appease the guilt, huh.
Make microwave meals (yes, they can be healthy too)
Agree there's a lot of buzz about microwaves not being safe etc etc, but this is a cheat-sheet remember? When you're time-strapped but still want to put healthy food on the table, some frozen veggies and a microwave can be your best friends.
Click here for some quick, easy and healthy microwave meal ideas for toddlers
Don't try to be Supermom. Be Sensible Mom instead. Make larger quantities of foods (whether it's pureed food for the baby or a family meal) and freeze for a quick home-cooked go-to meal another evening.
Stock up on these kitchen-cupboard essentials…
and you can make a meal in less than 30 minutes.
– Chopped tomato tins
– Pre-fried onions
– Frozen veggies
– Eggs (to whip up a vegetable omelette)
– Pasta (stir in the chopped tomatoes, throw in some frozen veggies and sprinkle on some herbs)
– Bread (sandwiches, remember?)
Keep packets/ jars of pastes
You will always find a packet of ginger-garlic paste in my fridge. I love ginger and I love garlic and I love the flavour both lend to food. Especially Indian food. But it's not so fun peeling and pasting a ginger or garlic clove with a toddler asking for a zillion things at the same time. One spoonful of the magic quotient and I'm sorted!
Alternatively, ginger and garlic powder can also do the trick.
Looking after a baby/ toddler can often leave you with no time to properly look after yourself. Gone are the days of long showers, deciding which shoes match your outfit, blow-drying your hair and putting on make-up. Now, it's all about quick fixes to look presentable. These are my saviours:
Mums have a lot of bad hair days. Its expected, when you really can't remember when you last washed your hair! Or used conditioner. On days like these I reach out for my tried-and-tested dry shampoo. Leaves my hair looking washed and smelling fresh. (Sshhh, don't let the cat out of the bag!).
What does the telly have to do with self-care, you ask? EVERYTHING, I answer. Because when the television is on, your toddler is endlessly occupied, leaving you time to have a proper shower (and condition your hair); drink a hot cuppa; write a blog post or faff around on Facebook. And even catch some shut-eye whilst keeping the other eye on your kiddo. See – self-care!
Whether you like it or not, you HAVE to wake up when your toddler springs out of bed / pokes you in the eye / shouts 'It's morning Mummy' in your ear. It doesn't matter whether you slept at 8 pm or 2 am. Whether you woke up for night feeds or pee-soaked beds. You just have to get out of bed and get on with it – the breakfast with toast as it should be, the constant answering of inane questions and playing pretend games with superheroes. All this at 7 am. It's at times like these (and, well, pretty much through the day) that coffee cheats you into looking and feeling fresh.
Keep your nappy bag ready-to-go
Packing a nappy bag is a task in itself. Depending on whether you have a baby or a toddler, you have to pack in the correct amount of nappies, change of clothes, wetwipes, formula, snacks, toys and what-have-you. Everything must go in because you never know when you will need what. And believe me, there are days when you will need all of it! Save yourself the time (especially when in a hurry) and the misery of having forgotten something by keeping the nappy bag almost-ready. Nappies. Check. Wet-wipes. Check. Change of clothes. Check. Toys. Check. Non-perishable snacks such as crisps, biscuits and breadsticks. Check.
Keep meal-times less messy
Ok, I know that sounds impossible but that's why I said 'less messy' and not 'clean' (picture me day-dreaming of a clean mealtime…). Place a large plastic sheet under the highchair/toddler's little table so that all the crumbs and spills can just be swooshed away in one go. Wipe the sheet with a wet wipe and slip it back for the next meal.
Eat in the bath-tub
This might sound crazy but it makes life soooo much easier. Messy foods such as yogurt, ice-cream, gooey chocolate cake are best consumed naked in the bath tub. So you can wash baby/ toddler down immediately without worrying about cleaning the sofa/ floor/ clothes. It works!
NOTE: This is a cheat-sheet. I'm not ALWAYS so lazy. I promise. And I may not be THAT mum that's always impeccably dressed and makes meals from scratch and still has time to make cupcakes for toddler's nursery class. But I am a REAL mum, and real mums are allowed to refer to the cheat-sheet once in a while…
Follow Tales from Mamaville on bloglovin too!
I've linked this post with these fab linkies