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5 Tips to Meal Prep in 2 Hours or Less

5 Tips to Meal Prep in 2 Hours or Less

 

Does a Meal Prep System  Save Time?

 

A meal prep system  can save you time, save you money, and help you eat healthier. Instead of worrying about it taking a lot of time over the weekend, start to view meal prep as a way to give yourself time back during the week. A good meal prep system is one of the best routines for moms!

 

I am a firm believer in meal planning and meal prep.

 

I believe in anything that saves you time, money and helps you stay healthy and meal planning… well it’s the whole trifecta.

 

I know that a lot of people think meal planning and prep, since it can take time upfront, isn’t as simple as it actually is. Though meal planning and prep is an upfront time investment, the hours it saves during the week are crucial. As a busy mom, I know the less time I have to take to do anything and the less decisions I need to make in the moment, the better.

 

It’s taken me a few years to actually get a system that works for me, but I finally have came up with easy steps that, when I follow each week, set me up for success.

 

I started to meal prep because I wanted to lose weight. I was following an at home workout program, the 21 day fix and committed to planning and preparing all of my meals in advance so that my temptations were limited. Thanks to the preparation I took during this time, I was able to lose 70 pounds and get a great system for my family’s meals.

 

Related Post: 21 day fix for the Breastfeeding Mom

 

meal-prep

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but help me fund this page. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Top Tips to Create a Meal Prep System

 

So you’re probably wondering… how do I get started with meal prepping without it taking 8 hours of my Sunday?

 

I stretch out my meal plan and prepping over the weekend so as not to get overwhelmed. Each week I follow the same system and complete the planning and preparation in chunks.

 

Fridays: Create Meal Plan

Saturday: Grocery Shopping

Sunday: Cooking and Preparing

 

If you follow these next 5 tips and the system that I’ve created, my hope for you is that you will be able to get your prep done in 2 hours and save yourself HOURS during the week!

 

Related Post: Healthy Once a Month Freezer Meals

 

Once A Month Meals

 

How to Meal Plan on a Budget as a Busy Mom

 

My number one tip is to make sure you’ve created a meal plan for yourself. On Friday  nights I sit down with a good episode of TV on Netflix and my recipe binder  to create my meal plan.

 

Related Post: Free Recipe Binder Printable

 

I start with picking out our dinners for the week based on what we have in the recipe binder and then pick my new recipe for the week. One of my resolutions this year is one new recipe a week to mix it up, so I grab a recipe (most often from the Fixate cookbook) and put it into our weekly plan. Dinners tend to be the hardest ones to pick out and plan because they are different each night. I rotate 1-2 breakfasts and lunches which keeps it simple for me.

 

I’m pretty terrible when it comes to thinking of ideas for meals. I struggle to come up with ideas and get overwhelmed on Pinterest. This past month I started using Theme Nights to create a monthly meal plan and it’s been great! I highly suggest grabbing your copy of it to make your planning a snap! Elisa creates great template ideas and really takes the overwhelm out of it! Grab your copy here!

 

theme-nights

To Get More Tips from Elisa, check out a Facebook Live Interview we did talking all things meal planning and meal prep!

 

Simple Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping on a Budget

 

On Saturdays I  go shopping for anything  I need to make my meals. While I am meal planning I jot down what ingredients I need for the week and then cross check my pantry inventory so I know what I need to get.

 

I recommend not trying to make too many meals each week. Keep things simple because you will need less ingredients and it will save you time and money. When you try to make too many dishes each week you’ll be spending WAY too much time cooking and running around getting specialty ingredients.

 

Find your family’s top meals to mix it up and have a rotation of a few things they like for breakfast and lunch. This way you keep your basics on hand at home and each week, only need to get a few things.

 

This also saves you time because, if you are making similar meals each week, you pretty much know what to get at the store. When I run to BJ’s each week to get my groceries (their produce is a great deal!) I know that I could literally shop blindfolded since I get many of the same ingredients.

 

Related Post: Save Money While Meal Planning

 

Have a Family Meal Prep System

 

Since I do the meal prep for the whole family and all of the meals, I know that I need help to make sure it gets done. There is nothing that makes me feel more accomplished than a full fridge of food each Sunday!

 

Ask your kids and spouse for help each week to get it done. Some weeks I get up early to get it done before church (if we have afternoon or evening plans) but most often, it happens after church while everyone is sitting around relaxing. I tell my husband I need 2 hours where he is in charge of the kiddos so I can be in the kitchen.

 

So often as women, we try to do everything and not ask for help and then get frustrated or angry when we don’t get the help we actually didn’t ask for. Because y’all can I tell you….. Our husbands are not mind readers! We have to be explicit about our needs and we can’t get upset if they aren’t met if we weren’t clear. (I know, I know, we just want them to ‘know’ but it doesn’t work that way!)

 

You could get your meal prep done in stages but trust me when I say how much easier it is if you can get that straight 2 hour time chunked for you. So ask for help and put on that apron!

 

Related Post: 4 Tips for Meal Planning on a Budget

 

 

Create a Structured Meal Prep System

 

This #1 way I am able to get my meal prep done in 2 hours or less is because I have a system I follow each week. I’ve created a checklist for you if you want to follow a similar system but, you can always adapt it to hit your own needs. This checklist includes the order that I make everything in and then I mix up my meals based on what’s prepped.

 

I prepare foods for breakfast, lunch, snacks and sides and most days, dinner is cooked in the moment. The only time it isn’t is when I am using a freezer meal or the crock pot and make the bag of food in advance.

 

My suggestions to make this streamlined are;

  • Start with anything that has to cook in the oven for a longer time (for me I roast sweet and regular potatoes as sides for our meals so I can just reheat them when needed since they take about 1 hour)
  • Season up and cook any meat on your stove or in the oven (ours is normally baked chicken breast and ground turkey that we toss in salads or lettuce wraps)
  • Work on any sides that have to go on the stove top. You only have 4 burners and I recommend using all four at a time. While you get these things on the stove, you can still be browning up meat and multi tasking. (these could be things like rice, quinoa, and hard boiled eggs. I might also steam up some frozen veggies so they are easy to grab for the kids lunches during the week)
  • While all of the hot food is cooking, you can now prep the cold stuff. If you start with the cold stuff, it’ll take twice as long while the hot stuff cooks. Since your stuff is already in the oven and on the stove, you can stir things up while chopping veggies for your salads or other meals.
  • Each week I make a simple egg and veggie frittata or egg cup so after the veggies are chopped, I whip it up and toss it in the oven with the potatoes. I tried making omelets in the morning fresh but honestly, I really couldn’t spare the 10 minutes while the littles were running around. Frittatas heat up super easily and taste yummy!
  • Take those chopped veggies and prep up some salads so you can grab and go during the week
  • Wash and cut up any fruit you need for the week.
  • Assemble meals in advance in tupperware or bento boxes. These are my fav bento boxes and you can check out more of the tools that make meal prep easier here.

 

beginner-meal-prep

 

 

Fill your fridge with meal prepping

 

If you’ve just spent this time multi tasking (carefully I hope!) in the kitchen than your counters are probably filled with food, your sink piled high with dishes, and your kitchen smelling great.

 

The last item in getting this done is to prepare and assemble any meals you can in advance. The easiest way that I have found to take care of myself and have meals ready (many of them I eat one handed while nursing the baby) is to have them all packaged out.

 

I always end my meal prep with a full fridge. I take some time to clean out anything old and we typically do a ‘empty the fridge’ Sunday for lunch and dinner so we can start fresh. Organizing your fridge will also help your kids get their food more independently as well.

 

My two year old know exactly which section the fruit is in and, if the fridge is open, knows where to go to grab what she needs. The more you get into the habit of keeping an organized fridge, than the easier your kids decisions will be too when it comes to food.

 

So take the time, organize and assemble, load the dishwasher (probably more than once unfortunately) and take a deep breathe. You just kicked booty and prepared for the week, saving yourself a ton of time in the moment!

 

Meal planning and preparation is most definitely a skill that gets better with time. When I started I would have loved to be as efficient in the kitchen as I am now. Give yourself some grace and know that you’ll get quicker and develop a system that works for you.

 

My hope for you is that you come up with a system that works for you and your family, one that saves you TIME, wastes less food, and keeps you on your grocery budget. And while you are doing your prep, take some extra time for you, put on a positive podcast and get in a good mood!

 

I’d love to know how your meal planning goes so make sure to comment below with what you typically meal plan and, drop your email if you want the exact step-by-step checklist I use to meal prep fast!

 

 

More Meal Prep and Planning Resources

5 Day Freezer Cooking Challenge

Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

4 Week Healthy Transition Plan 

Easy and Healthy Air Fryer Recipes

Healthy Freezer Meals for a Month

4 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

 

Meal Prep Cookbooks and Tools

Ultimate Theme Nights

Freezer Meals for Breastfeeding Moms

Fixate Cookbook 

Once a Month Meals

 

 

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

 

Looking for the best way to get organized for back to school? Me too! See the thing is, every summer the same thing happens, I let go of our routines slightly, get a bit unorganized, allow the house to be more lived in and messy and just enjoy. But systems and routines help so much for getting ready for back to school. 

 

But there is something magical about the start of the school year.

 

It feels just like the start of a New Year to me. Everything seems brand new, I want to work harder on my goals, finish the year strong and we start to get used to our new routines and schedules. And this year, on top of my stepson going into middle school and that adjustment, my 2.5 year old is starting PRESCHOOL!

 

I know, I know… cue the tears!

 

She’ll be going 3x a week from 9-12 which means adjust our normal schedule where we’d go on playdates or run errands, praying my 11 month old keeps his current 2 nap schedule for a bit (which means he’ll nap 9:30-11:30!! Imagine the possibilities with 6 extra ‘kid-free’ hours a week!)

 

Speaking of my 11 month old, we’ll also be starting Tot School at home in September  which means figuring that routine out and when we’ll not only do activities but having to plan them out. (We use ABC Jesus Loves Me for our ‘curriculum’ and love the flexibility it gives while providing structure to make it easy for moms)

 

With my stepson staying at the same school, not much changes for his schedule but now that it’s time to add in more sports, clubs and activities and it’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to remembering everything and just feeling on top of life.

 

trello back to school

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Using Trello to Get Organized for Back to School 

Enter Trello!

If you’ve been hanging on my page at all lately, you know I am OBSESSED with Trello, heck I even teamed up with my girl Elisa from Meal Planning Blueprints  to make an entire COURSE around how it can help moms! Click below if you want to learn all I know about Trello!

 

 

Trello is going to be a mom’s best friend for back to school and I’m so pumped to be able to use it for the first time this entire school year. Trello eliminates having to have papers everywhere, forgetting dates and to-dos and losing things you know you need.

Trello will also allow you to share your Back to School lists and to-dos with other family members so if you have older kids, it’s a great way to communicate and if you need your spouse to pick them up from practice or your mother in law to attend a school event, you can keep it all streamlined!

 

 

 

Trello allows you to make BOARDS that you can organize with various lists and tasks. And because I know you don’t have a ton of time to do things, I’ve set up a Trello board just for you to copy for FREE!

 

Just click this link and you can snag my Back to School board (you’re welcome!) Just COPY it to your account and it’s yours to edit. If you don’t have Trello, just go here and get a free account! Between the website and the app, you’ll be in your Mom Organization Glory! 

 

If you’re not sure about Trello or want to see how I organize my board, I did a video for you to give you all the tips on making this board work for you and your family! You can watch that or check out the step by step ideas below!

 

 

 

 

How to Copy Boards On Trello

 

 

If you want to copy the board, you’ll need a Trello account to do so but it’s free!  Once you log in go on over to the right where it says SHOW MENU. Next, hit the MORE button and hit COPY BOARD. When you copy the board, you can decide if you want to rename it and where you want it to go. Feel free to use it as a template, to get ideas, and customize however you want!

 

 

copy-trello-board

 

How to Create a Back to School Board on Trello

 

Step #1 Create Lists on Trello

 

 

trello-back-to-school

 

 

You’ll want to start with making lists for all the things you want to remember, Look at these as your categories. My board has lists that include;

 

IMPORTANT

 

SUPPLY LIST

 

SCHOOL LUNCHES

 

THINGS TO BUY

 

IMPORTANT DATES

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 

ROUTINES

 

HOMEWORK STATION

 

You can add as many as you want and even organize this board by kid or month.

 

Step #2 Customize Cards on Trello

 

trello-back-to-school

 

 

Now that you’ve created your lists, go though and customize each card.

 

Some of my favorite ways to do this is to add links of ideas I see on Pinterest  (because we all know we’ll pin a ton of things and forget to do them all) , link to my meal planning boards, and create master shopping lists.

 

You can do this with multiple checklists on each card, adding in important dates, sales you see, organization ideas or adding attachments with specific links!

 

Step #3 Add members to Trello

 

trello-back-to-school

 

I think one of the best features of a back to school Trello board is adding members so that you can all be on the same page. You can add your spouse, babysitter or whoever and if you want them to be responsible for a task or just let the, know of a date, use the @ sign and add their name. This way they’ll get a notification!

 

There are limitless possibilities when it comes to Trello for back to school and know that you can be a less stressed mom ASAP! Now go grab this FREE back to school board, copy it and start to customize it for your family!

 

 

 

Trello Boards and Ideas

The Best Way to Plan a Birthday Party with Trello 

How to Organize Your Goals with Trello 

Organize Your Kid’s Schedules with Trello 

The Ultimate Christmas Planner with Trello 

How to Organize Your Prayer Time with Trello 

 

More Trello and Back to School Resources 

Organize Your Life with Trello

Free Productivity E-Book

Ultimate Productivity Bundle

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

 

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

 

It’s important to have a productive weekend so you can have a productive week. This allows you to get more set, set yourself up for success and feel like stressed. Systems and routines allow you to live less stressed life and give you freedom to get done what matters.

 

I intentionally take one day off a week. I started this practice 2 months ago and am so thankful that I did. Prior to this, I was just go, go, go and didn’t rest, felt myself pulled by my to-do list, and was starting to burn out again. I knew the feelings of burn out, I had been there before. 5 years ago, I left teaching to become a full time entrepreneur and work at home mom because I felt the same feelings start to creep in. Now that I’m running my own business and family, I decided I needed some preventative measures to make sure that I was still taking care of me.

Hence… my Saturday’s off. I decided to take Saturday ‘off’ so that I could really just do what matters. The only work that I do on Saturday is what I just feel like doing, no pressure or to do list. On Saturdays if I don’t want to do laundry, house cleaning, or other ‘mom duties’, I don’t. I don’t really make too many plans unless it’s something we really want to do. Oh… and I take a nap.

 

I really love my Saturday nap.

 

But in order to make my Saturday rest day really work for me, I needed to make sure that I had a system for being very productive the rest of the week so I could relax, guilt free. And once I decided that I was going to schedule out a day of rest, it became so freeing. The week started to go more smoothly because I knew that I had a day to chill coming up, I didn’t feel guilty anymore about letting myself decompress, and I just started to laugh and enjoy our family time more. I learned to use my weekend to set my entire week up for productivity and keep it moving.

 

I chose to have my rest day on Saturday rather than Sunday for a few reasons.

 

On Sundays since we go to church, I still have us on a schedule to make sure we get out of the house on time. My husband delivers the newspaper as a side job right now so, he works Sunday mornings and I want to make sure I can give him rest time when get gets back at 6am before we go to church. Sundays are also my day to set my week up for success.

 

I may do some grocery shopping (though I often like to do that on Saturdays. I actually really like grocery shopping because I love to coupon and it’s a hobby for me and on Saturdays I get to go without kids!), I’ll meal prep so that I can save time during the week, and I’ll work on organizing my week, my planner, and other work tasks that I need to have a super successful and productive week.

 

Related Post: How to Meal Prep in 2 Hours or Less

 

 

productive-weekend

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend

 

There are a few things that I make sure to do over the weekend that help me have a productive week. I tend to spread them out over the weekend but you can create a schedule that fits best for you. You may have a busy Saturday and want to use Sunday as your prep day or you may spread it out – it’s up to you!

 

Tips for a Meal Prep System

 

The #1 thing that I suggest you start your Sunday with is meal planning and preparation. I actually have a system where I make the meal plan on Friday, shop on Saturday and cook on Sunday so that I don’t do it all on one day. This saves me time and decreases the overwhelm that I can face when it comes to getting it all done. 

 

However you decide to do it, make sure you plan out your meals for the week. We keep it pretty basic and have a rotation of 2-3 breakfast, lunch and dinner options each week. My husband doesn’t mind eating the same thing each day and it’s easy to be predictable with the kids.

 

Related Post: Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

 

I’ll spend some time doing some basic preparation like cutting up fruits and veggies, making salads, cooking up rice, steaming veggies, browning some ground turkey for quick lunches, and boiling some eggs.

 

I then make sure that I have listed out what’s for dinner each week so that I can check the fridge and see what I still need to get at the store. I try my best to make our plan from what we already have to save money and not have to go to the store as much.

 

Honestly though, I cannot stand cooking dinner. I struggle so much with thinking of what to make and it was becoming super stressful. This month I’ve started using the Theme Night System from my friend Elisa at Meal Planning Blueprints. This allows me to sit down one time and create a monthly meal plan. I thought this was going to take way too long and be a waste of time but it’s proven to be a game changer! You can check out theme nights here!

 

I suggest even packing out as many salads for lunches in tupperware as possible (even if you stay home) because then you can grab and go instead of preparing things. This helps a ton if we decide last minute to go to the park, or meet up with friends because the food is ready to go. It also prevents me from running out of what we need or knowing what i have to stop for. These are the ones we used in the picture below!

 

meal-prep-bento-box

 

 

 

Weekend Cleaning Routine

 

Even though, I have a cleaning routine where I do a little cleaning each day so that it doesn’t pile up that doesn’t mean I don’t do anything on the weekends. Often, after my Saturdays off, my house needs a little more TLC since I probably didn’t do as many dishes or pick up as much. What I have now just come to accept as a mom is that my house will probably always be covered in stuff, things will be out of place, and everything will just be sticky.

 

Related Post: The Best Digital Cleaning Routine for Moms

 

But just because my kids will always make a mess, doesn’t mean that I  won’t try to make it just a little more clean and tidy. I also find that when the clutter builds up, my anxiety peaks and for me ‘outer order leads to inner calm’ so taking time on Sundays to clean up really helps.

 

 

My suggested Sunday system includes laundry (I do 1-2 loads each day so that it’s easy to put away so my Sunday laundry is normally the same), sweep and mopping the floors, vacuuming the playroom, and doing a Zone clean up.

 

 

We do a Zone Clean Up as a family after church on Sundays where everyone is in charge of a room or area (My 11 year old or husband normally does a zone with my toddler). I put on a 15 minute timer and everyone is in charge of putting away things that don’t belong in their zone. This really helps all of the out of place items to find their way back home and means that I”m not the only one picking up the books that have been on the floor for 2 days and everyone walks around (you know what I’m saying!). If you’ve never done a 15 minute pick up, read about how it can change your home here!

 

Before I go to bed on Sunday, I make sure that I’ve done my typical evening routine and an additional 15 minute clean up. There is nothing more exciting for me (I know this is going to sound really nerdy) than waking up on a Monday morning where there are no dishes in the sink, my kitchen table is cleaned up, and the clutter is gone. It’s really my favorite way to start the week and having a productive weekend is the first step in having a productive week!

 

 

 

Organize Your Weekly Calendar and To Do List

 

The last thing that I do to set my week up for success is make sure i have a plan in place. Often, people ask me how I can be so productive and get so much done and, while I have some hacks that help, one of the things that helps is that I always take the time to plan.

 

I took a training with the Franklin/Covey system once that really changed the way that I planned. I learned all about the power of weekly and nightly planning and have since been implementing it for years. It’s what I do in my life, what I teach the moms that I coach and what I teach in my e-book and course; Design Your Day; Time Management for the Busy Woman 

 

time-management-cover

 

On Sundays, I take out my planner (I use a mix of a paper planner from Erin Condren , google calendar, and Trello) and look at my week ahead.

 

I start with putting in all the dates of things that I cannot change like doctor appointments or meetings. We use a family calendar in the kitchen so these things always get written on their first and then transferred to my digital system.

 

After those dates are in, I then plan out what tasks I want to accomplish that week. I create a list of personal items, business items, and projects (around the house and for work) that I want to complete. I break them down into 20 minute tasks so that I know they are manageable and easily can be accomplished in a day, rather than over planning myself and getting frustrated when it doesn’t get done. 

 

organize-trello

 

I then go into my planner and actually assign 3-5 tasks for each day. I split them up so that I Pick 1 personal task (call grandma, put pictures in frames etc….), 3 work tasks (write blog post, create images, email clients….) and 1 project task (brainstorm ideas for birthday party, work on mother’s day scrapbook etc….).

 

Assigning those things to a day BEFORE the week starts allows me to know what is going to happen and have a plan. This way, when it’s nap time and I get to work, or I have free time after dinner and want to work on a project, I’m not wasting time thinking about what to do, I can just take action.

 

Trust me when I say that if you set up your week for success you WILL be able to get more done, feel more accomplished and actually take a day off to rest and not feel the mom guilt! You can have a productive weekend for a more productive week!

 

I challenge you to start using this system (or one that works for you) to take more control in your life!

 

 

 

 

More Productivity Tips for Mom

How to Find More Time to Be Productive as a Mom 

The Ultimate Checklist for a Productive Week

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Morning Routine for Work at Home Mom 

 

Productivity Resources for Moms

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman

The Ultimate Productivity Bundle

Organize Your Life with Trello 

Erin Condren Planners

 

 

 

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Evening routines for breastfeeding moms help their babies sleep better and allow moms to get more sleep themselves. Depending on how old your child is, they may or may not be sleeping through the night. You might still be getting up to nurse them or they are getting up super early to eat. You might have just gone back to work or perhaps you’re attempting to wake up earlier to start to get used to a ‘new normal’ with baby. Whatever routine for moms that you’re hoping to work on, I suggest you start with the evening routine.

A good evening routine can help set your morning up for success. Having a plan and checking some things off an evening routine checklist can help you wake up knowing what you want to do, go to bed less stressed, and allow you and baby to sleep better.

 

evening-routine-breastfeeding-mom

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

Evening Routine Checklist for Moms

Whether you are in a new mom sleep haze or you’re extended nursing your toddler (I’ve been in both those stages! I breastfed both my kids until 19 months so I feel you on how tired you are!) it helps to have an evening routine checklist to guide your night. Having a checklist allows you to maximize your time, not have to make too many decisions or think too much when it’s late and you’re super tired and lets you pat yourself on the back when you make progress.

A checklist isn’t just about being perfect all the time, it’s about progress. I like to use checklists for pretty much everything because it allows me to set small goals, check out my growth and practice habit stacking.

Related Post: Using habit stacking to make routines that stick

For example, say you have 5 items on your evening routine chart and notice that you typically only get 3 done each night. Next week, you can make a small goal that 3 out of 7 days you’ll aim to get 4 things done. The next week, aim for 4 tasks every day of the week. Now you can slowly up your goals, realize how capable you are of getting tiny tasks done, and feel more accomplished – instead of defeating for not perfectly checking everything off.

When it comes to creating tasks for your evening routine checklist, you’ll want to make sure that they take 5-15 minutes per task. If you find that you’ve got a task that might take 30 minutes (say clean the bathrooms or do a big meal prep) you’ll need to break that down into smaller chunks. Instead of ‘clean the bathroom’ write down ‘wipe down sink’ and ‘clean the toilet’.

Having your tasks in small chunks allows the busy mom to take action on goals instead of living in dread and overwhelm. Small tasks are also super easy to delegate out to the rest of the family. I find if I ask my 12 year old to clean the bathroom, it’s a whole fight I don’t feel like having. But if I just ask him to wipe the sink, he will do it with minimal huffing and puffing.

 

Related Post: Creating a Digital Cleaning Routine with Trello 

As a breastfeeding mom, your evening routine checklist might have less of your homemaking tasks and more of your mommy duties.

I’ve provided a sample evening routine checklist at the end of this post for you. It has some things that I do in my nightly routine but there is also a blank copy so you can add in your own. It’s helpful to write on it, put it in a sheet protector and use a dry erase marker so that you don’t have to print a new one each week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening Routine for Infants and Toddlers

 

Before we dive into an evening routine specifically for a breastfeeding moms, let’s talk about what your baby or toddler could be doing for their evening routine. It’s super important to have routines for your kids (note that I said routines, NOT super duper strict schedules) so that they can see some predictability in the world. Having them on a routine makes things a ton easier on both you and baby!

 

Your baby will go to bed at various times depending on how old they are. For a great chart and baby sleep help, I highly suggest the book Precious Little Sleep! This book and its corresponding blog helped me SO much when I was struggling to get my baby to sleep!

 

Related Post: 7 tools to help your baby sleep better

 

I also suggest an earlier bedtime than you think for your kids. When mine were little, I was putting them to bed around 6:30pm and everyone thought I was crazy but science proves that sleep begets sleep! So tell all those people who tell you to ‘keep the baby up later so it sleeps in’ that it’s not true! Once they got older (mine are now 1.5 and 3.5) they do go to bed closer to 7:30-8:00 pm

 

When creating a sleep and evening routine, make it predictable and the same as much as possible. A calming bath with lavender soap can help them sleep better and start to signify that it’s getting close to bedtime. We also did our best to not nurse directly before bed so I suggest that the last feeding is right before you start your bedtime routine (about 20-30 minutes before you put the baby down) This helps decrease nursing to sleep associations and let’s you clean up any spit up!

 

After you’ve nursed the baby and possibly given a bath (because I”l be real, we probably do a bath about 3-4 times a week and not every night), take your baby or toddler up to their room to finish the evening routine. Try to get your baby used to being in their room if you’re trying to transition them out of their bassinet or your bedroom. It helps to play in their room during the day to increase their comfort level.

 

Use some lavender lotion, give a short baby massage and get them comfy in a fresh diaper and pajamas. We always end our night with a story and prayers – this part of our routine started on day 1! Please start reading to your babies daily as soon as possible (even in the womb!) It helps develop their language and love of reading early on!

 

Related Post: 3 Keys to Nighttime Success (and why diaper doublers are a must)

 

We then use a white noise machine, blackout curtains and slowly back away from the bedroom. I do let me kids fuss/cry a tiny bit before bed and my kids may make noise when I put them down but are quiet by the time I get to the bottom of the stairs (well most nights!)

 

Our favorite baby sleep items include:

These Blackout Curtains

This white noise machine

These incredible velcro swaddlers (we used this until my kids could roll over)

 

Need help getting you baby to sleep through the night? Check out the tips on my friend Jilly’s site by clicking the banner below!

 

 

When to Breastfeed Your Baby At Night

Depending on the baby’s age they might have middle of the night feedings for a while. My daughter didn’t stop her night feedings until we weaned them at 12 months and my son stopped his on his own around 6 months. You can make the choice when to stop them but, around 6 months, when they are starting solids, you may notice that your baby doesn’t need to nurse at night as much.

If you’re pumping during the day so that someone else can give the baby a bottle, make sure you have it ready to go. Neither of my kids took bottles…. EVER (it was awful and we tried every dang one) so it was up to me to nurse them every night.

Babies will most likely nurse every 2-3 hours until they are about 3 months old and then it increases to 4-6 and then they can go longer stretches. Each baby is different but be prepared with a good video monitor so you can see when your baby is up. Sometimes your baby may just stir or make noises in the middle of the night, like we all do, so I usually gave them 5 minutes before I went in to see what they would do.

Do your best to put the baby back down after you nurse, again it’s normal and okay if they fuss a little, so that you can get back into your bed. I won’t pretend that I haven’t pulled my kids in bed with  me or fell asleep on a chair but it’s really not safe (unless you practice all safe co sleeping practices from the AAP) and really only like ‘half sleeping’. If you can put them down and crawl back into your bed, do it!

 

 

 

Routines for Breastfeeding Moms

After you’ve gotten the baby into bed for the first time, take some time for you before you jump right into trying to manage your home and housework. I like to take 20 minutes to literally sit in my bed, put on a positive podcast or audiobook and scroll my Insta Stories to decompress. I used to just scroll stories but I found it made me a lot less productive, so by putting on a podcast I at least get my mind in a good spot to do things. Check out my list of favs here!

Pick 2-3 tasks that you know you need to get done to set up tomorrow for success. My suggestion is to do one task to close out your day, one task to physically prepare for tomorrow and one task to mentally prepare for tomorrow.

To close out your day you might;

  • Sweep the floor
  • Take out the trash
  • Load the dishes
  • Wipe the counters
  • Fold that load of laundry that has been sitting there for was too long
  • Complete a 15 minute pick up

To Physically prepare for tomorrow you could;

  • Prep any lunches
  • Take out meat to defrost for dinner
  • Pack up other kids book bags or items
  • Set out quiet time activities for older kids
  • Pick out your clothes or the kid’s clothes

To mentally prepare for tomorrow you might;

  • Write down 3 things you’re grateful for in today’s chaos
  • Set up your planner for tomorrow
  • Pray or have quiet time

By picking just a few tasks, you really set yourself up to start the morning more prepared and less frazzled. This helps a lot if you aren’t sleeping through the night and don’t want to make a ton of decisions in the morning.

If you need to pump to prepare for the next day, I really suggest doing this with an electric pump while you mentally prepare for tomorrow. I find this to be the least active time where I’m really sitting and gearing up for the day. I loved my Medela pump with the hands free nursing bra and even though I didn’t have to pump a lot it was a lifesaver for hands free pumping!

Speaking of pumping, if you’re a pumping mom and need help creating a routine, want to troubleshoot issues or unsure of where to start, go and check out the Pumping Mom Academy (click the picture below!)

 

 

I’ve created a checklist that really helps a breastfeeding mom create an evening routine that works. I’ve added in the things that really help me but make sure you download and print the blank copy to customize it! Make sure if you do you share it on your Instagram and tag me @apurposedrivenmom! I’d love to see how it’s helping you!

Does your breastfed baby sleep through the night yet? Post in the comments and let us know what your night’s currently look like!

 

 

 

evening-routine-breastfeeding-mom

 

More Help and Resources for Breastfeeding Moms!

How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Your Kid

3 Keys to a Nighttime Routine for Infants

7 Tools to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Sample Morning Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Evening Routine for Stay at Home Moms 

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

 

Must Have Resources for Tired Moms!

Baby Sleep Made Simple

Pumping Mom Academy

Makeover Your Evenings Course

Free Productivity E-Book 

 

 

 

 

How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom

How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom

Finding Time to Workout as a Busy Mom

Finding time to workout as a busy mom can be super hard. Taking care of ourselves and focusing on healthy living is something most moms struggle with. We feel guilty about taking time to exercise. Our time and attention is pulled in a million different directions. The to-do list becomes so long that taking care of ourselves doesn’t always seem like a top priority. We’re tired and don’t always have the energy to do it. And honestly… we just sometimes don’t feel like it.

The reality is, exercising can be tough enough when you don’t have kids but, adding kids to the mix can make prioritizing your health and self-care even tougher. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.

 

 

workout-busy-mom

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

Self Care Activities for Mothers

 

I know that it can be super hard to create the time for you between the real like stress and the guilt but can I tell you something?

 

You matter.

 

Yup, you matter more than you realize and more than you’re willing to admit.

 

Because if you take the time to actually acknowledge how fabulous you are, you’ll have to admit that you haven’t been treating yourself the way you deserve.

 

You’ll have to admit that you’ve put yourself on the back burner and that you need to get back to it.

 

But taking that time to workout a few times a week (I currently work out 5-6x a week for around 30-40 minutes) does more than just get your heart pumping. When you leave a workout, you feel accomplished. You feel proud and you are reminded that you are worth that effort.You are better when you fill your cup and when you do, you can be a better mom.

 

There is a reason that on airplanes, you are told to put on your oxygen mask first. It’s because if you’re a panicked mess, there is NO way you’ll be able to help someone else. And it’s the same situation in life. If you aren’t taking care of yourself and have little energy, poor health, low self-confidence, and just feel generally bad, then that trickles down to your family.

 

Related Post: 4 Benefits of Healthy Living

 

I find that when I am exercising regularly (which I do now and, though it’s taken years, is now a habit that I hate to miss in my day), I am happier, I snap less at my kids, I feel good about myself, I have more energy, and am just a better mom.

 

The thing is, and I’m going to toss you some real talk right now, your kids deserve a happy and healthy mom. None of us can guarantee how long we’ll have on this earth but, don’t you want to spend as much time with your kids as possible? And wouldn’t you do anything you could to make that happen?

 

If you can say yes to that question, you need to find a way to fit exercise into your life and take care of your health. For you, for them, for the grandkids you’ll hopefully get to be around for, and the pictures taken of memories that you aren’t hiding in because you hate the way you look. The self care matters for everyone!

 

i-am-that-girl-quotes

 

 

How to find time to workout as a busy mom 

 

When it comes to working out, you need to decide what you need and how you want it to happen. I personally, haven’t stepped foot in a gym in years and love working out at home. Some people need to leave the house to get that extra motivation to get it done. Determine the type of person you are, be okay with it (because you don’t have to be like anyone else), and come up with a routine that fits that.If you need alone time and want the gym to be your sanctuary, then go for it!

 

I coach and talk to so many moms that tell me they’d love to workout at home like me but really need to get out of the house, have interactions with people, and get time alone. If that’s you… go for it! Find a gym that has a daycare included so that you truly can feel at ease. It can be pretty tough to find childcare for just an hour or two to go to the gym each day but, if your gym has a daycare center then you’re kids get interaction, which they need, and you get the time to workout. The first place I’d recommend checking out is your local YMCA. Not only do they have great rates but you can get family packages, which includes childcare, classes, swimming and something for the whole family.

 

If you’re going to leave the house to workout, make sure you pick a time in the day that works and makes the most sense to you. You don’t want to go when you’ll be cutting it too close to nap and fearing cranky littles or the dreaded car nap. We have a 2-hour chunk in our mornings that is our only time where we can leave the house to do anything without someone napping so if it were me, I’d make sure that we left for the gym then.

 

Get yourself prepared the night before so that you don’t waste any time. If you know that you have 2 hours to hit the gym after one of the kiddos naps but before the next nap (which is our schedule), take 5 minutes the night before and lay out your workout clothes and pack your diaper and gym bag. If you bring bags for the kids with activities for them, make sure they are packed along with any water cups and snacks. This way, as soon as the kids are up and your window to workout begins, you’re not wasting 10-15 minutes packing things up.

 

Related Post: Morning Routine for Exhausted Moms

 

If you can pack the bags when they are sleeping, you can get it done super fast since you’ll have limited distractions.Make sure you also sleep in your workout clothes to save a step and have any shower stuff packed. Many gyms have showers you can use so, you can grab a quick one before you pick up the kids and be on your way! This diaper bag would be perfect for the gym since it’s big enough for both your stuff and the kid’s stuff!

 

beachbody-on-demand

 

 

How to Workout at Home with Kids

 

Working out at home is my jam. I get to wear whatever I want, get all sweaty and not care, try moves I would never do in public, and get my groove on to some great dance workouts all while looking pretty embarrassing. I also don’t have to worry about commuting or taking the kids anywhere and can be flexible if they are fussy.

 

That being said. It’s not easy. Getting my daily workout in at home takes planning and a system that it’s taken us a few months to really get the hang of. But, once you get the routine it can also be fun.

 

My kids LOVE workout time and a tantrum normally happens on the weekends when I go to workout in our home gym alone since my husband is home. I get to be an example of health to them and they get to join if they want. I always invite my 12 year old stepson to workout with me and, though he almost always says no, the other day he asked if I could help him train for basketball and my heart swelled up with excitement.

 

My first suggestion is to find a workout you love. I use Beachbody On Demand (get a 2 week free trial here!) and have for the past few years. I used Beachbody workouts to lose 70 pounds before I had my kids, the 50 I gained with my daughter, during both my pregnancies and currently using it to stay healthy and drop the baby weight after my son.

 

 

21 day fix pregnancy

 

 

Related Post: 80 Day Obsession for the Breastfeeding Mom

 

There are so many workouts out there that you can pick but, here is the thing… if you don’t love it, you won’t do it. In the past few years, I did some soul searching when it came to workouts and decided that just because everyone else was trying the newest workout, didn’t mean I had to. I love to stretch out of my comfort zone and try new things but, if I don’t like doing a workout, I just pick something else.

 

Now, at first you might not like any workouts because working out isn’t the most fun all the time (particularly when you’re out of shape), but I guarantee there is something out there for you! When I was pregnant and my goals were different, I did some home dance workouts or yoga because I knew it would make me feel good. Find what lights you up, challenges you, and makes you happy and I swear, over time exercising will become a part of your lifestyle.

 

You can also find something that your kids love to do can include them. Another reason that I love Beachbody on Demand is that they have a kids channe! My toddler loves doing the dance workouts with me, climbing on my back for pushups, and kickboxing is her fav! Your workouts with them may not be as hardcore as before, but remember DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT!

 

 

 

 

You can always workout at home during nap time if your kids still nap. I choose to do it when they are awake because I use nap times to work but, you can make that your time to take care of you, grab a shower, and then get to all the other tasks. The cleaning and laundry can wait… your self care cannot!

 

How to Workout with Kids

 

My first tip is to find an area of your house that is the most conducive to you getting the workout done, not being frustrated with interruptions, and sets them up for success. I tend to do more bodyweight exercises than weights because, when I do have to use our gym and bring the kids in there, they are ALL over the place. On those days, I put my 9 month old in the pack and play and my daughter plays with her kitchen set or easel that I’ve left in there but, since there is so much more to look at and touch, it’s normally more of a headache for me.

 

I choose to workout in our playroom on most days. Their stuff is there, they can watch a TV show, and it’s baby proofed. That does mean I have to pick and choose workouts that fit in that space and don’t have weights but I”m okay with that. It helps to keep them contained so grab a good baby gate or pack and play so that you know that they aren’t trying to escape or eat little things off the floor!

 

How to Keep Your Kids Busy so You Can Workout

 

Next, figure out how much time your kids can hang before they don’t want to play independently anymore. My kids (2.5 years old and 9 months) have a sweet spot of 35 minutes. If I do anything longer than that, someone is fussy or needs more attention from me, so I try to average a 30-minute workout.

 

30 minutes is also about the time of one kids show so yes… this is when they get to watch TV. The baby could care less about TV but my toddler loves it so, during a workout, she gets a show. I do try to do my best to limit the amount of TV she watches and besides working out and when I do her hair, we keep a mostly tech-free day.

 

There are some super cute shows out there that don’t include too much sass (my biggest pet peeve with shows today!) and the kiddos love! If you’re not sure where to start, head over to this link and try a free month of Amazon Free Time Unlimited – it has SO much for them to do!

We love;

  • Little Baby Bum (Netflix)
  • Owlegories (Amazon Prime)
  • Super Why (Netflix)
  • Daniel Tiger (Amazon Prime)
  • Doc Mcstuffins, Nellie the Princess Knight, Sofia the First and anything about a girl show isn’t just a damsel in distress
  • Sesame Street (PBS)
  • Word Party (Netflix)

 

 

We could go on about some other shows we love but I always give her two choices of what she wants to watch and, if I’m being real, this keeps her attention long enough for me to workout in the playroom and her not to attack or take all of her brother’s toys so he gets fussy.

 

Oh, and I have to toss in a disclaimer because maybe you’re rolling my eyes at the fact that I let them watch TV so I can workout. You need to take care of you too mama, your kids are fine with a little TV while you do so, let go of the guilt, and stop judging any mom who does things you might not *drops mic*

 

How to Prepare for a Workout at Home 

 

The best tip I can give you for working out at home is to be prepared before you begin. I always make sure that we have a few things handy.

 

My 2.5 year old is recently potty trained so I make sure she tries to go before I workout. I also keep the portable potty in the playroom so, if she has to go she can go there. But be careful… one time I did not stop my workout to empty it and my 9 month old pushed it over… ONTO ME during my pushups.

 

I also make sure all the toys are there for the baby and he has plenty of things to chew on, bang together, or build.

 

Also, make sure you get the milk cup filled up and have a snack ready so that you don’t have to stop. I workout pretty much right after breakfast and it never fails that my toddler will ask for a snack at least once during my workout.

 

You’ll also want to make sure that you pick the right time to workout so that you aren’t dealing with too fussy of kiddos. My son normally naps at 9:30 so I aim to workout at 8:15 am which gives me enough time to workout without him being fussy because it’s too close to nap. On the days when he gets up early and his nap is at 8 or 8:30, I put him down first and then workout with just me and my toddler.

 

Adjust your expectations

 

There are times when working out either at home or in the gym just doesn’t go as planned. Kids need things. Life gets in the way. You may have to stop and modify and hold your kid during that last set of squats, let them play horse with you while you do pushups, or sing “if you’re happy and you know it” through the last 10 minutes of your kickboxing workout.

 

That’s mom life.

 

But you’re a better mom for just trying to take care of yourself than saying “well it might not be perfect so I shouldn’t do anything”. 30 minutes of your day will go by super fast with you guys just sitting around playing or watching a show, so why not get your workout in at the same time?

 

This week, I challenge you to find 30 minutes or less each day to do SOMETHING active with them. And if none of these suggestions work for you, put them in the stroller and take a walk! Something is better than nothing and DONE is better than perfect!

 

Know that it is possible to workout with kids but you have to create a routine, be prepared, realize it might not be perfect, and do your best. Your kids should be one of the reasons you take care of your body and health, not an excuse not to!

 

exercise-busy-mom

 

More Exercise and Workout Tips for Busy Moms

7 Day Post Partum Weight Loss Plan 

Weight Loss Tips for Mom 

21 Day Fix Extreme While Breastfeeding 

Healthy Transition 4 Week Plan 

 

 

 

Exercise and Healthy Eating Resources for Moms

Keto Meal Planning Made Simple

Freezer Meals for Breastfeeding Moms

Beachbody On Demand (2 week free trial)

 

 

 

Sample Morning Routine for Sleep Deprived Moms

Sample Morning Routine for Sleep Deprived Moms

Sample Morning Routine for Sleep Deprived Moms

 

When you’re a sleep deprived mom, it can be hard to make any decisions, let alone what to do for a morning routine. You may feel lost in trying to keep up with your day to day demands, you are most likely in a mom brain fog as you navigate your mornings and you really just have one goal… keep the tiny humans alive. But it doesn’t mean that routines don’t matter! Routines for moms are important!

 

I’ve been there and can relate! My daughter didn’t sleep through the night until she was about 15 months old. I got so much luckier with my son who started around 5 months old. But having them both on different sleep patterns made me realize how much sleep impacts our well beings and our homes day to day.

 

morning-routine-sleep-tired-moms

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Why Sleep is Important for Moms and Babies

 

Obviously it’s key for us to get as much sleep as possible but we know that doesn’t always happen. Yes, my kids still sleep through the night but their toddler sleep issues still suck my rest! My 3.5 year old is in a “nightmare stage” where she wants to sleep in our bed almost every night and my 1.5 year old has his toddler molars come in which results in screaming almost every night.

On the nights that someone doesn’t sleep ‘normally’ (which in our home is 8pm bedtime and 6am wake up) I feel a huge difference. I snap more at the kids, I start my day feeling behind (because if they didn’t sleep through the night, I most likely hit my 4:30 am snooze alarm and slept in with them) and I’m super short tempered.

 

Related Post: 7 Tools to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night 

Sleep is key for our mental wellbeing and health as a mom. After my son, I struggled with Postpartum Anxiety and Depression and it was at a time when his sleep was the most inconsistent. From when he was 2 months – 4 months old, I found myself struggling. I wasn’t getting my basic needs met with sleep and it was taking a HUGE toll on my mental health.

When my kids’ sleep is interrupted they are super cranky the next day, hungrier than normal (one of our body’s coping mechanisms for being tired) and just not as pleasant to be around.

But we can’t predict our kids’ sleep patterns and, while we’d love for them to sleep like angels, we know that they don’t. So whether you’re a newborn mom who feels like a zombie and sleeping in 2 hours chunks if you can get them, a mom working out of the home and barely getting in sleep as you cram all of your home tasks into the night hours, or a mom who just isn’t getting the sleep you need, I want to give you some tips on creating a morning routine perfect for the sleep deprived mom. (If you need help with your baby sleep, go and grab the book Precious Little Sleep NOW! It’s a lifesaver!)

 

Need help getting you baby to sleep through the night? Check out the tips on my friend Jilly’s site by clicking the banner below!

 

 

 

 

Morning Routine Ideas for Sleep Deprived Moms

Even us tired moms need to have some sort of routine to keep our house going. And while I know you’re probably rolling your eyes at me even talking about a routine when you could fall asleep standing up in the shower, trust me when I say small tasks and habits you can add into your morning will make the rest of the day feel less overwhelming.

When I talk about creating a morning routine, note that I don’t mean a minute by minute schedule that you must always keep to. What I’m talking about are small habits you add into your morning that are predictable, help you get some time to take a breath when you need it, and create space and margin when you’re feeling exhausted.

Unfortunate as moms, we can’t always just let things go to the side because we’re tired. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been known to crawl in bed with my toddler during nap to get a snooze or pass out on my infant’s floor after they finally go to bed – but no matter how tired we are, some things just have to get done. Our kids need to eat, clothes need to be cleaned, and we need to take some time for self care.

Any of the suggestions I give in this post are to be adapted for you and your family. Include and involve all the other people living in your home into the morning routine and remember, mom doesn’t have to do all the chores! It’s so key to have good communication with your spouse and family and let them know when you’re struggling and where they can help. They aren’t mind readers so by saying the simple phrase “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with things right now, do you think you could XYZ, I’d really appreciate” will go a long way.

When I was struggling with PPA/PPD I had so many moments where I refused to ask for help. I thought it made me look weak, I thought people would judge me or think I wasn’t a good mom, or it would just irritate my husband being ‘so needy’. Note that those are valid thoughts but not real. If you’re struggling, please go seek help and ask for what you need!

 

 

Sample Morning Routine for Sleep Deprived Moms of Infants and Toddlers

If your child is an infant, your morning may look much different than a mom of a toddler or preschool age child. They are less independent but also less mobile. I found the toughest age when I was exhausted was 14 months – 19 months (where I am now). This is where my son is in EVERYTHING but also can’t do much on his own. In the infant stage, babies are fascinated in swings, most love being in a baby carrier and honestly, just don’t do much!

So what could your morning look like?

If you roll out of bed with baby, take a few minutes for you. I suggest keeping a swing or bouncer (this is the swing we love!) in your bathroom so you can have some hands free time to brush your teeth and get dressed. Don’t underestimate the power of putting on clothes that aren’t pajamas!

While you’re doing this, turn on worship music, an audio book, podcast or something to get your mindset right. This could be some 90s dance music or using the YouVersion app to read the bible to you – find what gets you in a great mood and sets your soul up for success!

 

Related Post: How to Find Time To Read as a Busy Mom 

I listen to a TON of personal growth throughout my day and used to think it was so hard to find time to do it. Then I realized how easy it is to just hit pause, turn the TV off for background noise or listen in small chunks. Don’t feel like because you can’t sit and binge an audiobook for 3 hours those 5 minutes while you brush your teeth and wake up don’t matter – because they do! If you’ve never listened to an audiobook, give it a try! You can get a free 30 day trial + 2 free books with this link to Audible!

If you have a toddler, I really suggest aiming to get up even just 15 minutes before them. You can start tracking their sleep patterns and see what time they wake up on which days to have some sort of idea. For example, I know that my kids are typically up between 5:30-6 (I KNOW!!!) so even when I don’t get a great night sleep, I set my alarm for 5:15 to have at least that time alone. If you can’t get the alone time, still take that getting ready time for you and let them hang with you. I keep a basket of books in our bathroom for my kids to look at or play with while I get myself going.

 

 

Morning Basket for Kids

After I’ve taken even 5 minutes for me, it’s time to go down for breakfast. As much as you can, I suggest preparing breakfast ahead of time or at least having a plan. You can check out this chart I made with healthy toddler breakfast ideas and print it out so that breakfast can be a no brainer! The less you have to think and make decisions in the morning and when you’re tired, the better!

Having 2-3 breakfast options to rotate through makes it easy to get breakfast going and limit power struggles over what to eat. My kids get a protein and a carb for breakfast and I let them choose which ones they want. I’ll ask if they want sausage or yogurt first and then fruit or a waffle? This allows me to easily make things I know I already have and that are balanced for them.

While you’re getting breakfast going, this is a great time for morning basket or independent activities. If you have an infant, you can make sure you have a swing or pack and play in the kitchen (we seriously had one in every room — thank you hand me downs and consignment sales!) put on some worship music or Baby Einstein and get your breakfast going too. Hopefully you remember to put the coffee pot on the night before so you can get that brewing. (seriously… buy a coffee pot like this one. It has a timer and is amazing!)

This is a great time to get your baby his or her bottle or sit and nurse. While your baby is eating, you can check in with emails, read an ebook, or text and catch up with friends! I try to limit my mindless social media scrolling and if I didn’t assign my nursing sessions to a tasks, I would have probably just online shopped and compared myself to other moms on Facebook and Instagram. If you want to check out a morning routine specific for breastfeeding moms, click here!

If you have toddlers or preschool age children, you can put together a morning basket for them. We have a table in our kitchen and before I go to bed, I leave out an independent activity for them. My kids gravitate to this table and it keeps them busy while I wake up and get our morning going and cook any breakfast needed.

Don’t let morning basket be ‘another thing’ that you can’t keep up with though! As a sleep deprived mom, my biggest advice is to keep it simple! Morning basket is a tool you can use to help your mornings, not something else to keep up with!

So what do I leave in my morning basket or on the play table?


Really any open ended toy item that they can have fun with on their own will work! This isn’t the time to do a new homeschool activity or teach them to read. This isn’t complicated Pinterest craft time or super messy play. This is a great time for them to have an activity they can use their imaginations with so that you can get tasks done.

Since implementing this the past few months, I’ve seen a drastic change in our mornings. I’m less stressed because they aren’t under my feet just asking for breakfast. They are becoming more patient with our morning pace (aka mom before coffee). They play together SO much better. It takes them more time in the morning to ask for the TV (which is a HUGE win in my book! I’m not anti-TV but I try to limit their screen time)

 

 

Are you a pumping mom or need tips? Click the picture to check out this course!

 

 

Household chores, cleaning, and organization as a tired mom

After we’ve all ate, it’s a great time for morning chores. My kids know that our morning tasks have to get done before TV goes on so they are more willing to help out. The thing is though, at this toddler stage, I want to teach them and train them up but it often is MUCH easier for me to just do it on my own.

They each get a simple set of chores to do so that they have responsibility and, while they are doing those, I go upstairs and grab the laundry for the day and unload the dishwasher. Those are the only two home tasks I do in my morning routine. I find that a load a day makes putting laundry away less overwhelming and emptying my dishwasher first thing allows me to just fill it after each meal instead of letting it all pile in the sink until dinner.

 

Related Post: Creating a Cleaning Routine with Your Kids

What chores can toddlers do?

Don’t underestimate how much our tiny people can do! From a year old, My kids have been doing small tasks and chores and helping around the house!

Sample Chore Ideas:

  • Putting laundry in hamper
  • Dragging laundry basket to laundry room (this works if you have a small plastic basket like we do for their room)
  • Putting laundry and detergent in
  • Transferring laundry to dryer
  • Giving dog biscuit (this is my youngest favorite chore and something he’s done since 12 months)
  • Putting away some dishes
  • Putting away toys
  • Sweeping (which really isn’t sweeping but get your kids a baby broom and they’ll LOVE it)
  • And more!

While my kids ‘sweep’ I get to do my chores and they are a part of the morning clean up! Try to keep those podcasts going while you do the routine so you can get you mind right! Putting on dance music can help wake you all up and just bring so much joy into the house!

 

Related Post: Top Podcasts for a Positive Mood 

By this time of the morning (it’s probably only 9am but feels like 5pm) I hope that you are patting yourself on the back with some of what you’ve accomplished. Remember mama, when you’re exhausted or having a tough day, you deserve grace since you’re doing your best! Don’t forget how powerful the small tasks can be and applaud yourself for taking a step!

 

 

sleep-deprived-tired-mom-morning-routine

 

More Help for Tired and Sleep Deprived Moms  Moms!

How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Your Kid

3 Keys to a Nighttime Routine for Infants

7 Tools to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Create a Morning Routine in 3 Easy Steps

Work at Home Mom Morning Routines

Morning Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

 

 

Must Have Resources for Tired Moms!

Baby Sleep Made Simple

Pumping Mom Academy

Makeover Your Mornings Course

Free Productivity E-Book 

 

 

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