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10 Time-Crunching Tips for Moms by Christine Louise Hohlbaum

10 Time-Crunching Tips for Moms
2005 Christine Louise Hohlbaum

Laundry is plentiful. Time is not. For most moms today, multitasking has become a must just to keep up. In this fast-paced world, saving a few minutes here and there can make all the difference in the world.

1. Make a plan. Instead of swinging by the grocery store multiple times a week, limit it to once or twice. Use a grocery list and stick to it. Avoid food shopping when you are hungry to prevent impulse purchases.

2. Delegate. Children live in the house, too. Institute a few ground rules. If you break it, fix it. If you make a mess, clean it up. Put things back where you found them. Follow these rules yourself. Encourage your children with praise and gentle reminders if they become wayward and conveniently forgetful. Your job is not to clean up after them, but to show them how they can do it themselves.

3. Place baskets on the stairs. To reduce the number of times you have to run up and down the stairs, collect things in a basket to carry to the next floor. It will save you time and energy.

4. Limit TV viewing. According to a recent AARP magazine article, the average American spends 11% of his lifetime in front of the tube. If the average lifespan is 75, thats 8.25 years you could save doing something else.

5. Integrate exercise into your lifestyle. Instead of wondering when you can squeeze in an hour at the gym, coordinate a family activity with your exercise regime. Take a family hike or bike ride. You will teach your children the value of movement while getting enough yourself.

6. Use a timer. Distraction is a big time-waster. Give yourself a set amount of time to fulfill a task. If you need to clean out the kitchen drawers, allow yourself just enough time to complete the job before moving on. It will raise your awareness of the task at hand.

7. Say NO! Practice it in front of the mirror. Society does not encourage mothers to use the term very often. If your childrens school or social group wants your help, agree to it only if you truly have the time. Extracurricular commitments can be all-consuming. Be aware of what is involved before saying Yes.

8. Coordinate schedules. Instead of racing to the dentist for three different appointments, try to go to your 6-month dental check-up when your children do.

9. Hire a babysitter. If you are pressed to finish a certain project, get the help you need. There is nothing shameful about hiring someone to assist you, even if you just need the day off.

10. Take a break. The benefits of napping have been vastly documented. A 15-30 minute power snooze leave you refreshed and more productive than those who go full out all day.

You dont need to be in the rat race to lead a productive, fulfilling life. So snatch a few minutes, shift down a gear or two, and take a load off. You, and ultimately your family, will be happy that you did.

Christine Louise Hohlbaum, stay-at-home mom expert and author of Diary of a Mother and SAHM I Am: Tales of a Stay-at-Home Mom in Europe, lives near Munich, Germany, with her husband and two children. Her popular parenting ezine takes a zany look at motherhood through the lens of an American expat. To subscribe:

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