Can #mumlife really be made easier?
Like fluffy tailed unicorns and a washing pile that magically folds itself, making life easier for mums may seem like an impossible pipe dream.
Pushing out a baby and popping on the ‘Mum’ tag means that the average woman goes from spending about two hours per week taking care of others to 51 HOURS PER WEEK. Yes, you read that correctly. Let’s just say it again for those fighting the fog of sleep deprivation and a shortage of coffee pods. 51 HOURS PER WEEK.
This includes some 23 hours a week on housework type duties. You know, the cooking, the cleaning, the wiping of bottoms. (just as a comparison, men with kidlets under five spend only six hours per week on housework.) Feel free to pull these numbers out of your nappy bag next time someone starts banging on about what a ‘holiday’ maternity leave is (yes, these people walk amongst us.)
Fortunately, motherhood can be made that little bit easier. You just need the right tools. Here are seven of our favourite practical hacks and secret tips to make #mumlife easier.
Banish the ‘spot tidy’ from your day
When you’ve got one small, often unmoving infant, tidying as you go seems like the clever thing to do. It’s easy and let’s face it, your kid isn’t really going anywhere fast. They won’t be able to undo all your hard work in snap. Fast forward to the crawler, toddler and older stages and suddenly you’ll be dealing with a tiny whirlwind who creates carnage wherever they happen to be. Tidying as you go? Don’t even bother. You’ll pack away the Lego only for it to be upended 15 minutes later. Leave the mess and deal with it at the end of the day, preferably when you can distract your mini whirlwind with ABC4KIDS.
Make Velcro your friend
Short of embracing naturalism, one thing you have to do each day is dress your offspring. It can be hell, there’s no getting around it. Take the pressure off with an immediate ban on any and all garments with a fuss factor. We’re talking buckles, buttons, zippers and cute but completely impractical shoe laces. Make a mum vow to only buy shoes that do up with Velcro so your older toddlers and preschoolers can put them on solo mio. Remember, gumboots go with everything. And live by the rule; ‘If it doesn’t have an elastic waist, it can nick right off.” Trust us, it’s a game changer.
Embrace online shopping
Honestly, shopping with kids is just not fun. Whether it’s groceries or a new pair of gumboots, the effort involved often far outweighs the eventual outcome. Yes, you’ll leave with the goods but at what cost? The screaming for a Kinder Suprise Egg. The spilled coffee. The small leg getting stuck in the trolley seat. They’ll most likely lead to a nervous breakdown and ain’t no mama got time for that. Shopping online is where it’s at. It also means you can keep an eye on your spend and stick to a budget much more easily than when you’re frantically doing a smash and grab through Kmart, trying to grab whatever you can in the small window of time your offspring have decided to behave.
Make meal prep a snap
Like daily clothes wrangling, feeding your children is another one of those essential yet often painful tasks. ‘What’s for dinner?’ is a question that plagues households daily and answering it can be as painful as an infected wisdom tooth (read: very). Sometimes you want the hard work done for you. Fortunately, with HelloFresh, you really can operate on auto pilot. Each box comes with recipe cards and the exact amount of ingredients necessary meaning no last minute scramble to the supermarket in search of paprika or leftover Bok Choy that you know will wilt and die in the crisper before you get around to using it again. And with meals in the Family Box starting from $8.75 per meal for 2 adults and 2-3 children, it’s cost effective as well.
Save yo’ screen time
Whether you’re a family who enthusiastically embraces screen time or one who enforces strict limits, there is no disputing the power of the box/screen/app. We all know that younger kids in particular should limit how many minutes they spend watching telly or enjoying some YouTube Kids. Save that precious time and use it wisely. When you’re trying to convince the baby to have a nap or get dinner underway, a little bit of screen time really can save the day. Stick it in your arsenal and pull it out of your box of tricks when you need it most.
Enjoy a hot drink (while it’s actually still hot)
This isn’t so much a ‘hack’ as a completely necessary survival tip, especially for those early days with a newborn. Experts estimate that new mums make approximately four hot drinks per day but only enjoy 1.25 of them hot* (*statistic may be completely made up by author). When the s**t is hitting the fan, 10 minutes with a hot drink really can make or break your sanity. The best way to ensure you’re not sipping a cold coffee? Make your drink in an insulated travel mug or keep cup. It’ll stay hot for much, much longer with the added bonus of being much safer and less spill-able. WINNING.
Sharing is caring
One of the best pieces of advice the Mum Central mums have received is to make the same meal for the whole family. Multiple dinners are a nightmare. With a little bit of forward planning, most meals can be customised to suit a variety of little tastebuds. Take the Garlic Aioli Steak Burgers that are part of this week’s menu with the HelloFresh Family Box. Babies and toddlers can enjoy a ‘deconstructed’ version with portions of thinly sliced beef rump, bake-at-home bread roll and slices of cucumber (with or without garlic aioli) while older kids and grown ups can get stuck into the whole shebang, complete with homemade beetroot relish. YUM.
Want to try HelloFresh? Sign up now with the code MUMCENTRAL40 to receive 40 per cent off your first HelloFresh box!
This is a sponsored article for HelloFresh.