Do you ever wonder how a busy mum organises her day? With all of the every day demands on our time, I am constantly amazed how we manage to pull off all that we do. It’s now time to take a look at your day, categorise it and re-organise it efficiently. Then you will have more time for the special people in your life and most importantly, you!
What we all want to achieve is for us to become a little less frazzled. Finding ways for a busy mum to organise her day so that all those activities and accomplishments are completed without stress and leaving enough time for ourselves. Which is really the holy grail, don’t you agree?
Firstly, decide what kind of mum you are. Do you fit into any of the below ‘boxes’ or is it a mixture of a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Yes, the categories are fairly stereotyped but they are only there to help you pick out a few areas that sound like you so you can begin to create your own list. We all need organising tips for busy mums.
What kind of busy mum are you?
Cooks from scratch, involves herself with play and teaches children to cook. Goes to all school events; is a member of the PTA, knows all her child’s friends parents and has more Tupperware than Mary Berry. Also allows limited screen time on educational apps only.
Full time working mum
Permanently tired and guilty, feels like nothing is achieved well. Only has time to go to school for sports day and the Christmas play. Can ‘play’ for ten minutes before her mind drifts off to housework or her day ahead. Her child may have too much screen time whilst she is heating up food /ironing/scheduling work calls.
Not to be confused with stay at home mum. This mum does not want her child to eat anything that is not organic. She will take snacks to all parties as he/she doesn’t eat sugar and gets all children’s clothes from thrift shops. She only allows limited screen time, but not on any games with guns, violence etc
Part-time working mum
Is expected to do a full-time job in her part-time hours and for a part-time wage. She manages two home-cooked meals a week, always feels tired and a little bored at play-dates. Loves other mums coming over so she has an excuse to get the wine out but never feel her job matters in comparison to her partners. She often frets over whether she can/will go back to full time work. Manages screen time well, helps out a lot with homework but can spend a lot of time on YouTube trying to understand the curriculum
Do any of these areas resonate with you? Most mums don’t fit into a nice neat box but can rather pick characteristics out from each category. If you had to choose, what would your list look like? Mine would be frazzled, full-time working mum. Perpetually guilty. Too much screen time, tries but often fails to teach son to cook. But there are also ticks I give myself – I cook from scratch and help with homework. I interact with activities and also know all his friends.
In the first few years of parenthood, everything we have to fit into our day gets done at breakneck speed. Under a haze of tiredness. Whilst this screams to me ‘awesome mum’, it also tells me that we are stressed, tired and always close to burn out. Who wants to live like that? Certainly not me.
Re-organise your priorities
In the last year or two, since my son has become more independent, I’ve re-examined how I do things. How I live my life and also how I interact with him. This has led me to re-organizing my priorities, examine my to-do lists and come up with workable solutions.
Look at the ‘family priority’ list below and see if your list would follow the same sort of order. It seems very common for the mother to be at the bottom of her own list of priorities which is not the way it should be for a healthy family dynamic. She needs help to find ways for a busy mum to organise her day.
Does your priority list follow this pattern?
- Carpool and clubs
- You – last
Western society definitely advocates that the best mum is one who puts her children first. Cooking organic food for them and taking them to endless clubs after school. Almost loosing her own identity in the struggle to create one for her child.
This is not a healthy attitude. Often the glue that holds the family together, this busy mum does need ways to organise her day. But she also needs a healthy mental attitude towards her own importance and be able to prioritise herself.
Family members go to her to check their routine. Plans are made with her agreement or organized by her. Other family members are just as important in terms of love and value but as well as bringing these, the mum brings routine, organization and stability.
Ways for a busy mum to organise her day
Now you have created your own list to see which type of mother you are, lets look at some realistic ways for a busy mum to organise her day and improve our priority ranking!
Trying to organise your families lives is tough. However, seeing it all laid out by day/week/month can give peace of mind and clarity.
Colour code each person in the household in your busy mum organiser. And using a highlighter in that colour, make a note of each persons ‘colour’ at the top. Then when you are looking to see what your partner is doing next Thursday, you just need to check for that colour on that day. Easy to use and easy to check.
Organise your kitchen daily
By this, I don’t mean a spring clean. Rather, make sure all dishes are washed and put away and sides wiped down by the end of each day. Who wants to wake up on a busy week day to a messy kitchen? I know when I come down to a clean, mess free kitchen I feel far calmer and more inspired to face my day.
House cleaning tips for busy mums
Chores are not just for the mother. No matter how much of a superwoman you may be. If you take it all on yourself you will burn out. Both your children and partner should be taking on their fair share. Sit down with them and decide between you what is an equal distribution. Then see what a difference this will make to your life.
Organise your week
Can you think of other ways for a busy mum to organise her day? Now that you have your family calendar and chore split, you should be able to see the wood for the trees. (English phrase). This is the time to calmly organise your week. Sit down by yourself with a drink and take time to think of your regular activities. Whether you are a stay at home mum or a paid working mum you both have very important jobs that are multi-faceted. This fact alone means that your week is normally hectic and packed with many different areas.
It is a good idea at the beginning of every month, then every week to sit down by yourself and put in all of your appointments, meetings, projects and ideas. These do not all need to go in the family calendar but I would suggest that appointments and meetings do. As your family members also need to see when you are not available.
Sit down with the family a day before you go shopping and plan meals for the week. An idea is to give the children one day in the week where they can choose whatever they want. This gives them a feeling of control and being listened to. And they will probably enjoy helping you cook it. Also, plan in a date night dinner for you and your partner. For a time when the children are in bed. Full of food the children will not eat, that you both enjoy. As well as making your food bill cheaper, this can also mean your family are eating more fruit and vegetables as you are not shopping blind when hungry.
As you have now meal planned for a whole week, it makes sense to go shopping just once a week. With your ingredient list, you can choose which supermarket you want to go to rather than just visiting the local, expensive shop every couple of days. This helps you control your food budget, lets you allocate the shopping a specific time each week and gives you more time to do other things.
Meal preparation/cooking for busy mums
After planing meals for the week and shopping for them, it is now time to meal prep. If you don’t know what this is, then listen carefully. I used to waste time chopping vegetables and cutting up meat every meal. Time consuming and tedious. Surely there are better ways of doing this, I thought. Then I watched food programmes on TV and realised that the ‘cook in 15 minute’ programmes had already prepared certain food. So I started to do the same, with trial and error. This is a great way for a busy mum to organise her day.
Now, I suggest buying a whole bag of onions and garlic and set aside a little time each month to chop! Once finished, put them in containers. Then you have ready prepared base food for roughly a month which can be kept in the freezer. The same can be done weekly with certain vegetables that can be stored in the fridge. You will be amazed at how much time you will save when it comes to the daily dinner. It takes away the boredom and time that cooking often produces. Just to remind you, this is a great way for a busy mum to start organising her day.
This is a massive section a lot of mums struggle with. I hear so many friends say that as fast as they put things away, their children take out and leave other things. My small daughter loved emptying a drawer that she could reach. I decided to view it as one of her ‘toy’ areas. It was a learning curve for her and for a short while she enjoyed emptying it. Then it passed and I got my drawer back again. Stress free for all.
I find it easiest to teach children responsibility from a young age. I know it can be seen as time consuming but it does pay off. Responsibility for their own bedroom is the easiest to start with. For example, putting their clothes back in drawers or in the wash basket. Yes, it is repetitive to teach and for a while, it may seem like more work for you but it pays off in the end. Repetition installs patterns. These in return create routine and have people in the house sharing responsibility. Start small but aim big.
A tidy house also helps create a tidy mind. If everything in your house has its own place, then you know where to go when you need something quickly. I would suggest both daily and weekly tidying for all members of the family to create a calm, uncluttered house.
Organisation tips for busy mums
This is now one of my favourite pastimes. Its not just tidying, its deciding on how to store items and labelling. For example, buying see-through, long-lasting storage solutions for cereal, pasta etc. Then you can decant boxes into these and use up all of your storage room in cupboards as they will fit neatly together. Also label your kitchen storage containers for quick reference.
For bedroom items, I would suggest organising your items firstly by work and leisure and then sub-categorise within these categories. For example, work skirts, then trousers, then tops. Then divide these further by colour. Believe me, when looking for an item or deciding what goes with a particular skirt, it makes it far easier and quicker if your wardrobe is organised.
This is an area I love and one I hear more and more about. It is also a great idea for busy families. The idea behind minimalism is to only keep or buy items you need, not just if you want them. A minimalist house will help all members on their way to a decluttered mind and a calm atmosphere.
To help on your journey to becoming a minimalist, you need to go through each room, one room at a time. When was the last time you used each item? Why are you keeping it? You will be amazed at how much money you have spent on items you do not need/use. I advocate not keeping something if it has not been used in the last year. I think the only items I have that do not have frequent use are memory boxes.
You could create an area in one room for items that are not to be kept and split it into ‘for charity’ and ‘for selling’. Give yourself a time limit, however on selling them. This will also leave you surprised on how much money you have wasted in previous years.
Overtime at work
Be firm with your boss and with yourself. If you are regularly staying at the office late, ask yourself these questions. Is your workload too much? Is it recognized, appreciated and rewarded? Are your family suffering because of it? If it is having a negative impact, you need some time-saving tips for busy mums.
It can be difficult to implement but start leaving a little closer to your contracted hours and see what happens to your work and relationship with your boss. If you continue working successfully and your boss does not say anything, then continue it. If your work is impacted, then it is time to have a sensible conversation with your boss. Remind yourself that you manage to run your family life as well as your job so you can hold your own in this coming conversation.
Now that you have planned your day and found ways to make the organisation of it run smoothly, lets look at you and your individual needs. We busy mums need to examine what makes us happy, productive and relaxed. The below is a list of ideas for ‘me time’ activities that you can now choose from to fit into your day. They don’t have to take a big chunk of time but they are all relaxing and just for you.
Self-care for busy mums
- Long bath
- Nail care
- Phone catch up with friend
Mental health for mums
The last important area we need to take care of is our mental health. Our routine alters drastically when we have children and we need to make sure all areas of our health are looked after.
A survey in 2019 by Benenden Health shows that up to two thirds of mums believe that stress affects their ability to be a good parent.
Many mums believe that having a baby has a big impact on their physical health but do not always realise the mental health effect it can have, including stress and anxiety. I know that when I had mine, the impact certainly took its tool. Especially in a society that advertises how ‘natural’ motherhood is. A strong support network is important at this time so ensuring you and your family are organised is one very important way along this road.
Mental health tips for mums
- Eat healthily
- Allow yourself to talk to/ask support network for help
- Organise by following above tips
- Join local mum groups
Different ways for a busy mum to organise her day
It is time for us to recognise that our busy lives have pushed ourselves down our own priority list. Listen to your stressed body and mind. They will show you it is time to make changes. By organizing your day and family routine you will see a huge change. Your mental health will improve, your family will appreciate you more and you will have time for self-care.
Follow the above tips and download this FREE Weekly Household Chores for busy mums.
Get ready to embrace your stress-free future.