8 Time Savers for Busy Moms + Instant Pot Mother's Day Giveaway

Monday, May 1, 2017

If you are like me, time is your greatest commodity. There is so much on our plate as Mothers. We try to fit everything in and be there for everyone, but often find ourselves being stretched thin and overwhelmed.

Most years my only request for Mother's Day is to not have to cook or clean, but you know I will be doing some form of cooking or cleaning, so things don't pile up.

For a while now I have really been wanting a day to clean in peace and quiet...without kids. I know that doesn't sound glamorous, but it's amazing how much more I can get done in one hour without kids, then I can all week with them.

 A few times my husband has asked me if I wanted to get out of the house, and though I like getting out, I would much rather catch up with things at home, while he takes them out! Thankfully he is a pro and often takes them out so I can get a break and get things done. It is the best gift! Really!
As my time is precious, I am trying harder to prioritize and make time for what really matters. Which means I need discernment to know what to say no and yes to.

So often I find myself saying no to my kids when they ask me to play or give them attention, because I have to clean, make dinner, do the laundry, or just do one more thing. I'm always saying, "In a minute, or not right now, or I'll do it with you later." I do have to do these things, but I am trying to find creative ways to incorporate them in what I am doing and cut corners on those things that can wait; my kids can't, they are growing too fast! And I'm tired of having mom guilt.

Does this sound familiar?

I am also trying to take time for myself. Just getting out in the morning to run or exercise for an hour gives me so much more energy and clarity of mind to face all that awaits me at home. And you know some girl time with other moms does a world of good! I am always so refreshed and encouraged when I get to hang out with my friends and hear, "I understand, I feel the same way, you are not alone!"

I wish I could sit down with all you amazing mamas and tell you how awesome you are and that you are not alone. I wish I could give you some time by yourself to get refreshed and renewed,(or clean) but since I can't, I have joined up with 24 other bloggers to give you the gift of time...in a way. An Instant Pot!! 4 to be exact!!! So there will be 4 winners!!!

I wish I could enter the giveaway because I still need to get on the Instant Pot bandwagon. It sounds like an amazing time saver! And as a homemaker and mother, I'm all about saving time!

If you are looking to make the most of the time you have, check out these time savers that I have found to help me and then go and enter the giveaway to have a chance to win one of these amazing Instant Pots!

Some of these time savers will take some more time at first, but I promise will save you time in the long run!

1. Sort laundry in piles for each person, instead of folding them

I don't know about your family, but folding clothes is mostly a waste of time for ours, because it ends up getting all messed up in the drawers as my kids rifle through their clothes. So I have started sorting their clothes in piles, and then they each go put them in their own drawers. It may sound messy but it's just realistic. ( and we never iron anyway)

2. Meal Plan 

It does take a lot of effort and time to meal plan but I have learned that it actually saves me way more time and effort by doing it. I am always so flustered when I don't know what we are having for dinner and spend way more money when I am making meals by the seat of my pants. I am not always on top of meal planning but when I am, it pays dividends for my sanity. Check out these great meal plans here, here and here! And HERE are some great Instant Pot recipes to go with your new Instant Pot from (wink... wink;)

3. Lesson Plan

If you homeschool, this is a must! Especially if you have multiple kids. Some days we can get away with it, but I always end up frazzled when my kids are asking me, "What are we going to do next?" Lesson planning also takes some time and effort but again saves me so much more work and frustration... that I just don't need! Here is how I lesson plan for 3 kids!

4. Clean up at the end of the day

Do you constantly pick up after your kids all day!?

 Hand raised!

I am guilty of getting upset at my kids and picking up after them all the time. I am really trying to take the time to reinforce and teach them to pick up after themselves before taking something else out. Even though they are becoming more independent and responsible, there is still so much of my cleaning that gets undone throughout the day. I have been really trying to wait to the end of the day and make it a group effort before bedtime to clean. Not only does it save me unneeded cleaning during the day, but it really helps to wake up to a somewhat clean  house in the morning; to then start all over again!

5. Teach your kids to cook and do chores

I know it depends on how old your children are and they will make a lot of mess in the process but when you wake up to your 11 year old making pancakes it will be well worth it! I understand that it can be really stressful having your kids help in the kitchen. Mine usually all fight over who can pour or mix first! But over time it will pay off!

You know we have all at one time or another cleaned up after our kids, because it took less time than them doing it, but later on we will regret not teaching them to help out and be responsible. Whenever my kids complain about chores I always remind them that they are the ones making most of the messes!

Sometimes I think chores are more important than learning how to diagram or do division. Gasp! Really! They are teaching them lessons that will last them their whole lives! And yes, training them to cook and clean takes a lot of time and frustration but it will save you a ton in the future!(Don't worry I am still teaching them to diagram and do division;)

6. Use the Slow Cooker and Instant Pot! 

Like I said, I don't have an Instant Pot yet, but I do use my crockpot all the time!

On those days that I know are going to be crazy, I try to put everything in the crockpot in the morning, so that we will have dinner ready by the end of the day! It is such a life saver! I can't imagine how much time the Instant Pot will save you since it cooks fast, instead of slow and can be used to saute, make yogurt, steam rice and more! Plus it is made of stainless steel and uses 70% less electricity than the oven! What!? Here are some great Instant Pot recipes that I'm dying to try when I get one. And here are my favorite Slow Cooker recipes!

7. Organize and Declutter

I can't tell you how many hours I have wasted looking for things because my house is in utter chaos and I have no idea where anything is. Of course with 6 kids, losing things is bound to happen but I am trying to make a place for everything and have everything in it's place. 

I have been on a mission these past couple of weeks to get my house back in order after having a baby and putting an addition on our house. It has taken some time but I feel like a part of my brain can function again, and it feels so good to know where everything is! Okay, well almost!

I have also taken load after load to the thrift store and thrown a ton of things away. It has been so good for me to detach myself and get rid of stuff I was holding onto, that we just don't need taking up space.

 Having less stuff = less time cleaning.

 Getting organized = less time looking for stuff = more time using stuff.

8. Invest in Disposable and Reusable products

One thing that has saved me a lot of time is buying personal water bottles for myself and my kids. If we don't use water bottles there ends up being a ton of cups all over the counter and nobody knows whose is whose. It's so frustrating and the dishwasher gets filled up with all of our cups at once.

Now everyone has their own water bottle that they know are theirs and are responsible for filling them up and taking them with us when we are out.( somehow I still end up filling them up)

A disposable product that I can't live without any more are paper plates. Not only do we eat breakfast lunch and dinner but someone is always hungry in between and is constantly taking out plates.

Having some paper plates handy for when we are in a rush or are just tired of doing dishes is worth a little extra money. And if you think of it you are really saving  money and water on all those dishes you would be doing!

I also buy aluminum pans in bulk when cooking meals. Not only are they great when taking someone a meal but also for making freezer meals and for when you just don't want to clean another pan.

I hope these tips and time savers were helpful and now without further ado...The Giveaway!

 To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  Now I know that is quite a few entries for you, but each of these bloggers generously chipped in their own money to bring you this giveaway, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries.  And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are at winning! a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway ends May 10th at 11:59pm EDT.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond to email to claim prize.  Please be sure to read the Terms & Conditions upon entering the giveaway.

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