As a Mom, you’re almost automatically always busy. It must have come with the job when you first sign up, but it’s like you never really read the small print. Whether you’re feeding, changing, dressing or entertaining your children, or cleaning the home, doing the laundry or trying to hold down a successful career, you’re always ‘on’. And when you’re always ‘on’ you have no margins for error.
When you’re a busy Mom, you need all of the help you can get – from yourself, as well as others. It means that to need to plan ahead, prepare for anything and generally act like SuperWoman just to get through the day. But it isn’t all so bad. When you are fully prepared and properly equipped, it can seem like no trouble at all.
To make that all happen, every Mom should have her own tool kit. We’re not talking hammers and nails here (although they can help too if you fancy yourself a handywoman around the house), more like the tools you need to make life work.
Quick Access Calendar
Whether you have a newborn baby or seven kids and counting, it’s likely that you’ll have a lot of dates, appointments, and events to keep track of. Even as a childless woman, we can have a complicated calendar. But the more people you add into your life, the more complicated it gets.
Most of us will have some sort of calendar that we use to keep track of the important things in life. From Birthdays to weddings, meetings and checkups, they’re all written down. Sometimes they’re even hanging up on the wall in the traditional manner. But, that’s not always the most efficient way to keep track.
Instead, the number one item to have in your tool kit is an online calendar. Or a spreadsheet version that you’ve made that’s shared in the cloud and accessible from all of your devices. That way, you can update your calendar, adding and deleted items as you go, covering off every family member, from wherever you are. No dates should ever be missed off again.
When you have lots of littlies running around, someone is always hungry. Sometimes, it’s even you. You have those days where you get so wrapped up in being a Mom and getting things done, that you forget to eat. And of course, you still don’t have the time to prepare yourself something. So, instead, plan ahead.
Block out some time, once a week, or once every few weeks, in your quick access calendar. Allow yourself a slot to prepare some healthy snacks (find some great ideas here – realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/quick-easy/healthy-snack-ideas). You can make them in bulk so that they’re ready to eat for anyone who’s hungry. Store them, keep them in the fridge or pop them away in the freezer. It could even be an activity that you get your children involved with too. Then, not only do you have ready to eat food available whenever you need it, you know that you’ve got healthy food for your kids to eat too.
From time to time, we all have beauty dilemmas. Just because you’re now a Mom, that doesn’t change. Say you run out of shampoo when you have a mountain of kids to clean? Or you’ve forgotten to pick up a new tube of toothpaste and you only just realise at 6am. It’s not an ideal situation, is it? So, what you want to do instead is have a beauty box that you can rely on. It’s an essential part of any Mom’s (or woman’s) tool box.
Select a storage box that you can use for beauty and hygiene products. When you have coupons or stores have a promotion running on the items you buy, stock up. Or even buy the items in bulk if you have the chance. Fill up your beauty box with shampoo and condition, soap and toothpaste, even shaving foam, razors, tampons, face wash and anything else that you’d hate to run out of when you need it the most. That way, you’re always covered. Then, when you’re running low, just top it all up.
Next up, you’re going to want to think about creating a contacts calendar. There’s nothing worse than desperately needed to call someone or make an appointment, and have to dig out a number, not knowing where you stored it. But, if you create a contacts style calendar, you can keep them all in place. Find your doctors contact number and add that, look up a local dentist using dentist.24hourly.com and record that too. Even add numbers for family members and friends, just to make them easier to find. You’ll never spend hours trying to contact anyone again.
You could even link it up to your quick access calendar. You can get some really great apps that are available for you smartphone. Or, you could create another table in your calendar to add the contacts into. That way, you’ve even more prepared with everything in one place.
And, like every other Mom in the world, it always helps to have some plan when it comes to mealtimes. If you leave it to the last minute, you can be out of ingredients or get a bunch of different requests thrown at you, followed by a bunch of little people refusing to eat what they’ve been given. But it doesn’t have to happen often.
You can create a meal planner Rolodex, full of recipes that you can rotate on a regular basis. Choose meals that require similar ingredients and keep your pantry stocked. Then, you simply flip the card to the next day and get your meal prep on during the early afternoon. Finding meal ideas online is great, but it takes time. By keeping them in one place, cooking becomes quick and easy.
One of the biggest dilemmas a Mom can face on a regular basis is getting the children ready for school. For some reason, it can take a whole bunch of time to get done. Just as one kid loses their homework assignment, another remembers that soccer practice was moved up this week and is now tomorrow. So now, not only do you have to call other Mom’s to find out what the homework assignment was, you have to get a soccer uniform washed and dried and into a sports bag.
This element of the Mom’s tool kit is genius, but it take a little work to get right. First, you have to find the furniture and then you can make a system that runs like clockwork. Create a school storage system that allows you to keep uniforms, backpacks, lunches, extracurricular kit and homework all in one place for each child (these ideas are great – theorganisedhousewife.com.au/back-to-school/back-to-school-tips-back-to-school/25-school-bag-storage-ideas/). It stays there until they take it back to school so you’ll never be hunting for a lost sock again!
Bumper First Aid Pack
It’s highly likely that you already have a first aid kit at home. But, it’s also likely that it’s a standard store one. It may come with bandaids and bandages, but you might want to add a little more to make sure all of your bases are covered. And remember, this is to cover your and your husband, and not just the kids.
Either create a new box or add to the one you have. Keep any medication that your or your children need to take inside, along with painkillers, antiseptic creams, vitamins and even rehydration sachets in case anyone is really sick. You’ll be grateful that you thought ahead when a bug suddenly strikes and you’re more than prepared.