Make Mom Life Easier

Busy Mom? 5 Ways to Make Life Easier

Welcome back to The Better Mom Tuesdays! Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or working mom, life gets hectic! And since you’re probably short on time, I’ll spare you the intro and get straight to the point. Here are five things I’ve been practicing to make my life easier. Hopefully, these tips will work for you, too!

1.    Design a uniform.

One of My "Mom Uniforms"
One of my “mom uniforms.” I can do pretty much anything in black trousers and a solid blouse. It looks put together and pretty much camouflages the unpredictable mishaps of motherhood.

Yes! It sounds strange, I know. But I pretty much wear the same style every day in a different color. Here’s the deal; once I find something that’s flattering, stylish, and comfortable, I don’t stray too far from that style. At this point in my life, I don’t have time to hop on trends, so I stick to classic pieces that can work for most occasions. An example of my mom uniform is pictured above. I’ve played with many looks, but I keep going back to the high-waist trousers, solid blouse, and (sometimes) a cardigan. You can also catch me in high-waist jeans, a solid camisole, and my favorite button-down flannel.

My secret is adding accessories! Eye-catching shoes, scarves, handbags and jackets can really dress up my uniform and create different looks. But, honestly, most days I don’t bother to accessorize. I can tell you that shopping is easier and less expensive. A few classic, well-made pieces that will last a few years is a much better investment than a bunch of trendy items that will be a thing of the past next Fall.  Even better? I know exactly what I’m wearing on those days I’m crunched for time.

2.    Eat the same thing.

Sounds boring, I know. But trust me on this one. Having set meals for each day of the week can save you a headache. Not only will you know exactly what your shopping list will look like each week, but you can also predict how much you’re going to spend.  On shopping days I can literally just cruise into the grocery store with the same list, throw what I need into the cart, and stay in budget because I know how much everything is going to cost (unless there’s a sale!).

So yea, I may not want to eat spaghetti every Monday or chicken and broccoli every Wednesday, but on those days when my head is in a fog, I’m grateful for the routine. Even better? Cooking in bulk so that the meal stretches two or three days. Every few months I challenge myself and try new recipes (when I have extra time!). If my family likes the new recipe, it goes into rotation with the others.

3.    Pull your hair up.

Updos on Natural Hair
Updos like this sleek, low bun on my natural hair make mom-life less complicated. It takes less than ten minutes to do and will stay in place even during the most challenging mom moments.

Wearing my hair loose takes way too much time in the morning. I’m constantly fussing with it to make it behave. That’s why I’m the self-proclaimed mother of updos. Top knots, military buns, sleek ponytails, classic pinups—they all take less than ten minutes of my time in the morning. Even better? They look chic and sophisticated and can be dressed up or down.

4.    Put your kids to work.

My boys have reached an age where they can be of some real use around the house. Lucky for them, they have an outstanding dad who shares in household responsibilities to model after. My eight-year-old loves to help vacuum, sweep, wash dishes, and wipe down the tables. My four-year-old loves to put the wet clothes into the dryer, help load the dishwasher (safe items only), and clean up his toys when he’s done (okay, so he doesn’t like cleaning up his toys).

I placed this tip on the list for those of you who have young ones and have not thought about delegating chores. Every little bit counts. You’d be surprised by how much having your kids clear the kitchen table, bring in the groceries, and load the dishwasher can shave time off your cleaning schedule. Make it a family thing!

5.    Plan the night before.

Home Management Binder
My Home Management Binder helps me keep my home (and thoughts) in order. It contains my daily to-do list, meal plans, events calendar, and schedules, among other things.

Spending just ten minutes each night to write down my goals makes a huge impact on my productivity, gives me peace of mind, and helps me rest better. I like to write my goals down in my home management binder. This includes things I’d like to accomplish the next day, month, and year. Give it a try!

To make your mornings run even more efficiently, take time the night before to prepare everything you’ll need to make getting ready a breeze. Clothes. Shoes. Accessories. Coupons. Backpacks. Lunches. You name it! Don’t forget to also lay out clothes and accessories for your children. Older children can be encouraged to do this on their own. There’s nothing like waking up and already having things together.


As a disclaimer, I am not perfect. I’m still learning to stick to some of these habits. Likewise, it’s important to remember that we are all different, so what I find easy may seem challenging for the next person, and vice versa. The important thing is that you find what works best for you. And when you’ve found your groove, share the wealth with others—it may help someone else!

So what are your mom shortcuts? Let us know in the comments below! Stay tuned for more posts on “The Better Mom Tuesdays” series! Every Tuesday this month I’ll be sharing mom tips! 
 

Toddler Diet

8 Tips to Get Your Toddler to Eat Veggies

Let’s face it. The best way to get your toddler to eat his vegetables is to introduce them during infancy. Some parents do this and still have trouble getting their kid to eat the green stuff. Other parents have given in to more pleasant foods at the first sign of disapproval. Whatever category you fall into, it doesn’t matter. The truth is that even with the best diet, some toddlers enter the protesting phase once they realize they have an opinion. While this phase often results in barely touched plates and frustrated parents, take heart—this too shall pass. Here are some tips that may help your toddler adopt a more balanced diet.

1. Be an example.

You can’t expect your child to eat healthy foods when you don’t even eat them yourself. Although this should go without saying, you’d be surprised how many parents actually think this is possible. Children are sponges! Their first lesson on a healthy (or unhealthy) diet will come from you. So load up your plate with the green stuff and be an example!

2. Give them variety.

Sometimes we get in a rut and offer our children the same foods day in and day out. If you find that is you, be sure to add new and exciting veggies to your shopping list. Remember that your child may have a different palate than you, so don’t be afraid to buy those vegetables that you don’t care for—your child may love them! My toddler was the only one in the house who liked raw carrots. Look below at the vegetable chart for ideas from Cooksmarts.

Cook-Smarts-Veggie-Prep.jpg

3. Respect their taste buds.

I get it. You’re frustrated and you have your child’s best interest in mind, but please don’t force (or threaten) them to eat their veggies. Just like there are some vegetables that you like and some you can do without; your child also has likes and dislikes. Take into consideration that it may not be stubbornness, but your child may actually prefer the taste or texture of another veggie.

4. Retrain their palate.

Has a weekend at grandma’s got your child refusing to eat anything void of sugar? No problem. You can retrain your child’s palate by either not offering any foods containing sugar (including fruits) or offering a very tiny amount until they are back on track. Vegetables are less tasty after eating something very sweet. So be sure that your little one doesn’t have any fruit, candy, or juice right before lunch or dinner time.

5. Offer them as snacks.

It may seem weird to some of you, but calling a vegetable a snack may encourage your child to eat more of it. Instead of fruit or crackers for snack time, offer your little one some baby carrots and cucumbers (or whatever they like!). When this is practiced on the regular basis, it may not only get your child to eat more vegetables, but also teach them that a snack doesn’t always have to be sweet or come in a package.

6. Eat together.

Many families these days eat their meals on the sofa or in front of a screen. But your toddler will benefit greatly from seeing the entire family (especially their older siblings) partake in, and enjoy, eating their vegetables—which, in turn, will encourage him/her to follow the example.

7. Explain the “why.”

Some kids just want to know why they should eat something green instead of snacking on cookies all day. Take the time to explain to your child about the good foods that will help them grow to be healthier, stronger, and smarter. Explain to them about the bad foods that should be avoided or eaten in moderation. The downside to this is that they may become the food police when you are hanging out with Netflix and a bowl of ice-cream!

8. Be patient.

Yes, it’s easier said than done, but making eating a stressful time for your toddler is not good for either parties involved. Relax! Chances are it’s just a phase. And remember, if you are truly concerned about your child’s change in eating habits, schedule a visit with your pediatrician to rule out any serious conditions.


 

As a disclaimer, your pediatrician’s advice is the best advice. I am not an expert, but I do have two boys who now love eating their favorite veggies! Let us know in the comments below your tips and tricks to surviving the “veggie protesting” phase.