By Annie Mueller for SisterWisdom.com
Hello, Mamas. You're tired. You're busy. You're doing it all, running the daily marathon with your candle burning at both ends, so to speak. Pardon my mix of metaphors there, but isn't that what it feels like? It's not enough to just get to the end-of-the-day finish line; you've also got to get there having successfully "kept the candles burning." You know, kids fed, husband greeted, work done, house cleaned, food cooked, laundry sorted... those sort of little life details.
I'm with you. I'm a Mama of three little ones, and these are my true-life time-savers. Life savers, really. Since my kids are in diaper-days still, some of these tips are geared toward life with babies. But most will help any Mom at any stage of life.
1.) Over the weekend, I get out my slow cooker and dump in about three to four pounds of chicken breast, add seasoning, enough water to almost cover, then cook it on low for eight hours. The chicken stays juicy and gets incredibly tender. I shred it up with a couple of forks, and then use it through out the week in tacos and quesadillas, on top of a green salad, mixed with bbq sauce and eaten on buns, tossed with chopped celery, onions, dried cranberries and sliced grapes for chicken salad, mixed with cream cheese and hot sauce and reheated for a buffalo chicken dip that's great with chips. My toddlers also just like the chicken plain, and since it's tender and shredded it is easy for them to eat.
2.) This may wig out some of you type-A moms (hey, I love you! I'm just not so detailed) but on days when I'm heading out the door early, sometimes I dress my kids the night before. Ta da! New pjs, kids! It's one less thing to do in the morning. Maybe they're a little wrinkled, but they're ready. Mornings are hectic enough.
3.) If you can't handle your kids sleeping in their day clothes, or if they are old enough to protest, then at the very least try this: Pick out the outfits they're going to wear and put them at the ready. Shirt, pants, shoes, socks, hair bow, coat, back pack, the whole nine yards. This is probably old news to you Moms how have kids catching the school bus every morning.
4.) I used to wash a dish as soon as I dirtied it. I'm not exactly type-A, as you know, but my Mom instilled in me a clean-kitchen habit that has served me well. Except, in this case, I was spending 15 minutes scrubbing a pot or pan or crusty skillet and that was just, well, stupid. Now I run those kind of things full of hot water and a squirt of soap. Let sit. Next time I'm in the kitchen, I can wash that baby in about two minutes flat. And dry it, if I'm on a roll.