Take Back Mornings! 5 Tips To Make Getting Your Kids & Yourself Out Of The House Easier

#MomsLifeHacks #MomsSavingTime #MomsWeekdayHacks #MakingMorningsLessPainful

I am not a fan of weekday mornings. The pressure of getting everyone fed, dressed, toileted, cleaned and dropped off to school (or work in my case) while creating some semblance of ‘easing into the day’ generally feels overwhelming.

I had a delightful interview with Jennifer P., a reader of MHN, yesterday. Jennifer is not only the mother of three children ages 8 and under, she works full-time and her husband travels Monday through Friday most weeks!

My burning question… how does she handle mornings? Although I’ve managed (some) competency in a few areas, like food and fitness, I’ve yet to come up with a reliable process to make mornings reasonable.

Inevitably, I start off the day with the grand intention of having a nice, drama-free morning where everyone faces the all-important start of the day on a positive and peaceful note. Yet, by mid-breakfast I begin to get stressed about being off schedule and start appealing to the (nonexistent) sense of efficiency in my kids. I then get frustrated and quickly devolve into Dragon Mommy by tooth-brushing time. But I digress…

Jennifer has mostly great mornings and was kind to share the brilliant short cuts that work for her family. Continue reading “Take Back Mornings! 5 Tips To Make Getting Your Kids & Yourself Out Of The House Easier”

Dinner Blueprint – My Family Dinner Menus The Week of April 1st

#MomsDinnerHacks #MomsSavingTime #KidFriendlyFood

I shared my ‘weekly dinner blueprint’, explaining the ‘daily dinner hack’ I’ve used for over a year to save at least one or two hours of time each week cooking family dinners and I’ve received several requests for more sample menus and recipes.

I’m delighted to share more, because after all, food is my favorite hobby!

The menu below is what I’ve been cooking this week. Once you learn the basics of the plan—what to keep in your pantry and freezer, what sized meals to make on the weekend vs. weeknights, you’ll find it surprisingly easy to ‘cook this way’ instinctively. I’ve documented my steps, but now I rarely cook with recipes, unless I’m experimenting with something new.

Most of the recipes are my personal recipes, however, there are a couple of dishes where I’ve linked to excellent recipes online from sources I trust that mirror the cooking processes I follow.

I like to ‘start’ the week of meals on a Saturday when I have more time to cook a ‘2X – feed my family twice’ meal and also grocery shop if I haven’t had time during the week (which happens often).

What we’re eating for dinner this week: Continue reading “Dinner Blueprint – My Family Dinner Menus The Week of April 1st”

6 Tips To Make Time For A Daily Run

#MomsSelfCare #MomsFitHacks #MomsHealth
I run everyday with rare exceptions — even when I’m traveling for work, which is fairly often. Marathon season is upon us and I get asked a lot about how I carve out the time. My schedule has always been dynamic, even pre-kids, but now smart planning is essential to getting anything important done.  Exercise is no exception. Continue reading “6 Tips To Make Time For A Daily Run”

My Daily Family Dinner Hack – How Moving to ‘A Dinner Blueprint’ To Satisfy My Children (and Schedule) Has Saved Me Time & Sanity

#MomsFoodHacks #MomsDinnerHacks #MomsSavingTime

How much time does it take you each week to put dinner on the table for your family? I mean the whole process — from thinking about what to cook, to choosing recipes, to visiting the virtual or real grocery store, making kid-friendly adjustments to said recipes, actually cooking and then the (never-ending) dishes that result. What about dealing with toddler and young child preferences?

Yes…family meals are kind of a part-time job. However, there are some workarounds.

There are not many subjects I give unsolicited advice in, but food – including hacks to make cooking homemade meals daily for a family work – for this, I’m you’re girl! I’ve been the unofficial menu, cooking and all-things-food advisor to family and friends for decades now.  My system saves me at least 1 to 2 hours per week.

So, before I explain my system for dinners I want to caveat a few things. Continue reading “My Daily Family Dinner Hack – How Moving to ‘A Dinner Blueprint’ To Satisfy My Children (and Schedule) Has Saved Me Time & Sanity”

Top 10 Ways Moms Relax! When Moms Unwind…

#MomsSelfCare #MomsUnwind #MomsHealth

I am flexible (as a person) but my schedule is not and anytime something goes awry, I’m frustrated at best, defeated at worst.

I like having big goals, I want to accomplish a lot in my life and career. I enjoy staying deeply involved with my children while still pursuing personal growth: wisdom, creativity, becoming more present and deepening my professional expertise.

In the past two weeks, my (too tight) schedule has taken a hit from children’s illnesses and doctors appointments, my own doctors visits (routine) and then finally, a blizzard – shortening my nanny’s schedule, cancelling my son’s school — basically upending my schedule with hours of lost productivity.

I realize life happens… all of the time. How do other mom’s deal? What are the techniques that create more room for the unplanned? What brings stress levels down and creates space for peace and self-care? Most moms juggle a lot and share the strain that comes with it. A few, seem to have figured out a formula for being great, patient moms and incredibly effective in their work and communities.

I’ve been focused on understanding (and reducing) stress, as part of the quest for self-care, as I shared with part 1 results from the Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs survey.

Here’s what I’ve learned from the ‘stress question’ in the survey, when asked ‘when you do unwind, how do you do it?’ Mom’s responded with: Continue reading “Top 10 Ways Moms Relax! When Moms Unwind…”

How & Why Mom’s Prioritize Their Time

#MomsSelfCare #MomsQuestForTime #MomsHealth

About two years ago, shortly after maternity leave for my youngest, I ran (frazzled) through the parking garage to reach the nursing room at work before my first meeting after spending the past hour driving in heavy traffic. I then realized, that in my sleep-deprived state, I left my pumping bag at home.

Has this ever happened to you? I barely remembered driving to work in the first place and then the hard reality, that I needed to reschedule my morning to drive back home, set in.

I’d already been thinking (ok, obsessing) about my own prioritization and ability to balance a demanding yet engaging career with motherhood.  Despite following a path that seemed ‘natural’ — breastfeed, form deep bond with new baby, return to being a rock star at work, pay thoughtful attention to my older child, continue with navigating playgrounds and museums on the weekends as if nothing had changed — I felt tremendous stress and fatigue most days.

Cumulatively, that stress eroded my goodwill, patience, sense of humor, creativity… Everything that made me ‘me’ was gradually slipping away under what felt like constant pressure from an invisible, yet impossibly tight, schedule every waking moment.   I was depleted and longed for practical solutions.

Did all moms with young children feel this? Did all working moms feel this?  Continue reading “How & Why Mom’s Prioritize Their Time”

What’s Next For Mom’s Hierarchy?

I launched the survey to better understand how other moms are handling the juggle.  I’ve been on a quest to increase productivity and happiness by feeling less squeezed for time.

For my next update, I’ll share the results from the question in survey 2 about  ‘when moms do unwind how they do it’.  I received incredible feedback on how moms ‘de-stress’ and unwind day to day.

The next survey will dig deeper on specific solutions – for those of you who have figured this out, what changes have you made at work or at home to create meaningful shifts?  I want to know!

I ’d love even more responses for the survey wave 3, including a comparison of Mom and Dads (I’ve had one Dad respond so far).

If you’d like to get periodic updates and receive an invitation to take future surveys, please let me know and I’ll add you to the mailing list.

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