Welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Timesavers – helping moms like you save time each week!
This week, I’ll be talking about the thing that is my biggest challenge as a working mom: the morning routine.
Here is how my mornings have been going as of late. Miss A wakes up at 7 or 7:30. Mr. Dad and I will roll out of bed – one of us will get ready for work while the other one feeds, dresses, and gets her ready to go to daycare. Lately, he’s been the one handling getting her ready and fed, while I get ready for work. I’ve been finding that my current process takes way, way too much time. Over the past week, I’ve been examining what I do each morning in order to come up with some ideas on how to save time and get out the door.
So, here are my suggestions.
- Shower at night. This saves 15 minutes off of the morning routine (20 if you blow dry your hair), and has the added benefit of keeping your pillowcase clean of the germs that collect in your hair over the course of the day. (I realize not all women wash their hair daily — I do, though, probably because I’m a bit of a germ freak.)
- Cut back on cosmetics. My morning makeup routine takes less than five minutes. This is probably the shortest part of the process. I use liquid-to-powder foundation (Cover Girl’s Aquasmooth is a good one – good coverage but not heavy), lipstick, eye shadow, mascara and eyebrow pencil. Getting to skip the eye liner, and using the combined foundation/powder cuts out 3-5 minutes from the makeup routine.
- Pack the night before. One thing I used to do, and need to get back to doing again, is packing a large bag with everything I need for the following day. Any paperwork I needed to bring with me, nonperishable lunch items (I would grab a frozen meal from the freezer in the morning), and anything that needed to go to daycare (diapers/wipes/clothes) went in the bag the night before. Also, when Miss A was still on the bottle (we’re off it now!) we would prepare her bottles the night before and leave them in the fridge in a cooler bag, which I would grab when I grabbed my frozen meal in the morning. This saves a variable amount of time, depending on how organized your chaos is first thing in the morning.
- Eat a quick breakfast. I don’t cook in the morning — ever. Breakfast is either a Lean Cuisine breakfast pocket (A minute and a half in the microwave) or a bowl of cereal, with juice or coffee. This is a lot quicker than making eggs and toast or anything else that requires preparation in the morning. This saves 5-10 minutes of cooking time.
- Time your coffee. Last but not least — my coffee maker has a timer on it. I prepare it the night before and set the time for 7:00 a.m. (remember, Miss A wakes up at 7 or 7:30) so by the time we’re ready to sit down for breakfast, the coffee is already made. That means no setting up the pot to brew in the morning and no waiting for the coffee to be ready. It practically makes itself. This probably saves another 5-10 minutes of preparation and waiting.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Got any ideas for saving time in the morning? Feel free to comment and let me know – I know I’d appreciate it and I bet other moms will too!