66 proven ways for working moms to balance life like a superhero

As a working mom, this is the blog post I’ve always wanted to read.

It’s no secret that it takes tremendous effort to balance family, work, cleaning, cooking and your own interests.

The reason it’s difficult? Balance doesn’t exist.

Some days your work will take over, and other days your kids will need so much attention that you can’t do anything else.

But there are ways to lighten the load.

I’ve compiled a list of extremely useful tips for working parents to help juggle it all. I’ve pulled from moms, dads and efficiency experts with real-life experience. I’ve also thrown in a few of my greatest hits.

If these tips are from blogs, I’ve included the link so you can read more.

They are divided by category:

  • Save time and energy
  • Going to work
  • Kid hacks
  • Feeding your family
  • Taking care of your home
  • Taking care of yourself

This post contains affiliate links.

Save time and energy

Keep your schedule simple. “Think about what are the top 5 things around your house that make a difference in how everyone functions and feels and focus on always getting those simple things done each week.” I love this! — Thrifty Little Mom

Develop a calendar system. Find a scheduling system that works with your family. We use a shared Google calendar for all of our events and reminders, plus we have a wall calendar so we can visually see it as well (see what we use).

Use technology to stay organized and save time. Check out Redefining Mom’s Working Mom’s Resource page, with recommendations ideas for calendar, organization exercise, budgeting and other productivity apps and websites.

Start a Bullet Journal. The easiest way to keep a to-do list is to write it down. The Bullet Journal system takes to-do lists to another level and helps you not only remember but also process what you have on your plate. — Tsh Oxenreider, The Art of Simple

Have long-term goals and only commit to things that promote those goals. What do you want for yourself? Your family? Your home? Write down some measurable goals and then focus on them. You can say no to anything that doesn’t help you reach them.  — Little Bits of Granola

Turn off the TV sometimes.  You may think you are a multitasking ninja, but even leaving the TV on as background noise can be distracting and slow you down. — Honey We’re Healthy

Up your multitasking game. Find new and creative ways to multitask. Bring a book every where you go in case you have time to read a few pages. Check your work emails at the post office. Get as much done before you get home so your family time is as sacred as it can be.  — Kelly Van Atta, The Muse

Don’t answer the phone. Let all calls go to voicemail. Block out time and handle them all at once. Batching is efficient and definitely saves time. — Lisa Druxman

Do all of your errands within the Golden Triangle – home, office and school. From the dentist to the hair salon to the grocery store, make no exceptions. Organize your life so everything is in close proximity. It saves so much time! —Samantha Ettus

Buy ahead for birthday parties. Stock up on a few gifts from Amazon so you don’t have to run around at the last minute. Also make sure you have plenty of bags, cards and wrapping paper. — Lauren Doyle Exnicios

Use your commute time to fit in the things you love. I love to listen to podcasts while I commute (and here are a few I love). Other times I listen to audiobooks. If you take the subway, you can read or even knit.

Make a list of recurring purchases and stock up once a month. Review your list at the beginning of the month and order or buy anything you are running low on. This will save time and energy so you don’t have to run out at 9 p.m. to buy shampoo or diapers.

Order as much as possible online. You can probably set up your entire life so that you never have to walk into a store. I usually add household essentials to my Amazon account while I am waiting for my son.

Automate your monthly purchases through Subscribe and Save. If you need the same items every month, such as diapers, you can also save money by subscribing through Amazon. You get a discount and it arrives automatically at your door.

Buy in bulk. Go to Costco, Sam’s Club or BJs and buy all your essentials. The less time you spend shopping, the more time you have to do the things you love.

Save time when you pre-order and pick up.  You can pre-order things like groceries and library books that will be ready when you are. This is especially handy when you have kids in tow and you don’t have time to search for what you need.  — Andrea Dekker

Go to the grocery store on weeknights.  Once the kids hit the sack, make a beeline for the grocery store. The stores are less crowded and you can leave your kids at home.  — Trine Jensen-Burke

Learn how to get the most of your day. If you really want to geek out on productivity tips and hacks, I love Laura Vanderkam books “I Know How She Does It” and “168 Hours.” She has some great tips to find more time in your day.

Advice, tips and hacks for working moms everywhere! These tips are great for any busy parent!

Going to work

Find childcare you are happy with. It will make a world of difference if you feel confident that your child is being taken care of properly when you are working. — Net Mums

Be home at bedtime. It’s better to work at home after the kids go to bed than to miss bedtime. — Pilar Guzman, Cup of Jo

Don’t feel guilty about leaving the office at a reasonable time. Don’t apologize for leaving on time to spend time with your family, especially under normal conditions. Special projects are the exception. — Pilar Guzman in Cup of Jo

Work from home part-time. You save time on commuting and you get to spend more time with your children. — Lauren Conrad

Bring your child to work. Not physically, but you don’t have to hide the fact you have kids, especially around those who aren’t parents. Be yourself. Be authentic and it’s much easier. — Kelly Van Atta, The Muse

Pump while you drive.  Take advantage of your commute if your pump has a battery pack. — Rikki Rogers, The Muse

Go a step further and hack your pumping. If you are still pumping, here are some serious tips to keep you going. This is a fantastic resource for pumping mothers. — Living with Low Milk Supply

Give up the need to balance work and life equally. Some days your family needs you more, and other days your work consumes you. Be flexible and let go of what you think balance should look like! — Amy Morin, Forbes

Advice, tips and hacks for working moms everywhere! These tips are great for any busy parent!

Kid hacks

Give everyone an extra 15 minutes. Tell your kids you have to leave 15 minutes before you actually need to. This gives you plenty of time when they find ways to drag their feet. Genuis! — Working Mom Magic

Let your kids sleep in their clothes for the next day. Is it difficult to get your children dressed in the morning? Have them sleep in their clothes.

Wear a shirt over your dress clothes when getting ready in the morning with little ones. This saves you from a last-minute change after your baby spits up on your shoulder. Just take the shirt off and you are ready to go. Alternatively, wait until you are about to run out the door to get dressed.

Use a timer. We sometimes have trouble getting our son to move from one activity to the next, especially on weekday mornings. He responds well to a timer because it manages his expectations of how much time he has.

Multitask with your kids when you are getting ready in the morning. “I have a box of toys under my bathroom counter for my son to play with while I’m getting ready.” – Jaclyn Kent

Use homework time to check emails. It’s a great time to multitask when your children are hard at work. — Autumn Jones, Romper

Group your evening baths. If your kids aren’t too far apart in age, joint baths save so much time. — Autumn Jones, Romper

Buy the same color socks for your kids. Buy plain black or white socks. It makes sorting laundry so much easier. — Lisa P. Smith

Schedule a family-centered activity at least once a week. It’s so easy to get caught up in the flow of busy work/school/cleaning schedules. It’s important to have a strong activity planned to keep the family connected. — Mom Mandy

Use technology when traveling to stay connected. If you are traveling without your kids, stay in touch with Snapchat or Skype. — Baby Caston on Board

Don’t spend all your time doing Pinterest projects for your family.  Don’t worry if you don’t have time for the latest DIY project. Your children really just want to spend time with you. — April Perry, Power of Moms

Hug often. Enough said! — Nina Roesner

Advice, tips and hacks for working moms everywhere! These tips are great for any busy parent!

Feed your family

Plan your meals. Menu planning is one key to getting dinner on the table quickly. It also greatly reduces stress on weeknights.  Don’t like to plan? Try my menu planning for non-planners. I also love Paula’s (Beauty Through Imperfection) simple menu-planning system.

Outsource Dinner. Short on time? Have someone else make your dinner. Here are 6 dinner outsourcing ideas to get you started.

Cut your meat up before you cook it. The smaller the piece of meat, the faster it will cook. Plan ahead and cut your chicken into smaller pieces the night before. It will make weeknight cooking so much easier.

Make lunches the night before. Your morning will go smoother if you do as much as possible the night before. It may be the last thing you want to do before bed, but it will make dealing with morning meltdowns that much easier.

Leftovers are your friend. Make a double batch of whatever you are making. Eat it for lunch or dinner later that week. Leftovers are a saving grace in our home. We always find creative ways to make them tasty the next night.

Instant Pot or Crockpot. Invest in an Instant Pot or Crockpot if you haven’t already. Crockpots are great but it can be difficult to get the timing right if you are at the office all day. An Instant Pot can do the same thing as a crockpot but in a fraction of the time.

Make frozen smoothie packs the night (or week) before for breakfast. Slice up your fruit and throw it all in the freezer to make it easier to blend the next morning. This is such an easy way to do breakfast. And here is a tip to quickly clean your blender afterward. —  

Eat out. “Don’t be too hard on yourself. If eating out four nights in one week is going to keep you and your family happy and sane and you can swing it, don’t guilt yourself out about it.” — Molly Peterson, Cup of Jo

Advice, tips and hacks for working moms everywhere! These tips are great for any busy parent!

Taking care of your home

Do laundry daily. It’s easier to deal with laundry in small doses then face a large pile at a later date. —  Nina Roesner

And use this laundry hack. You can set your washing machine to start while you are sleeping or at work. When you wake up or get home, your laundry is ready to dry.

Clean your bathroom while you bathe your kids. While your children play, wipe everything down.

Clean your shower while you shower: Pick up one of these handy cleaning wands and you can multitask in the shower.

Ask your kids to help with the housework. You’ll get free help and also teach your your kids a few good lessons. — Family Focus Blog 

Clean in 15-minute spurts.  Do as much as you can in 15 minutes. We can do anything for 15 minutes right? And it’s amazing how much you can get done. — Redefining Mom (with a free downloadable cleaning cheat sheet).

Make a cleaning schedule and get it done during the week. Who doesn’t want a clean-free weekend? Try to get all your chores done during the week. — Working Mom Magic 

Outsource your cleaning. If you have the budget, outsource your cleaning. At least occasionally. It will free up other valuable time.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s really okay if your bed isn’t made every day. —Kidspot

yoga-kid-cropped

Taking care of yourself

Get up half an hour earlier than you think you need to. “Your morning sets the tone for your whole day ahead—and it can either be calm and pleasant or stressful and hectic.” By getting up earlier, you will have more control over your day. — Lauren Conrad 

Schedule exercise in your calendar: It’s more likely you will exercise if you block out time on your calendar to get fit. — Christine Yu, Daily Burn

It’s probably easier if you workout at home and in the morning. Set up your life so that it’s easier for you to work out. If driving to the gym is a deterrent, then buy or stream exercise programs you can do at home. — The Multi-Tasking Mom

And if you only have 15 minutes to exercise, do high-energy bursts. Try these plyometric exercises in 15-minute increments to get you started. They will get your heart pumping in a short amount of time. — Alex Orlov

Read whenever you have a free minute. Are you at the post office or standing in line at the bank? Pull out your book. I get a lot of reading done in the bathroom as I’ve been potty training my son. The key is to use the small corners of your day.

Schedule your breaks and enjoy them.  “If you don’t allow yourself to slow down, your body and mind will mutiny on you and force the slowdown.” — Chris Guillebeau

Don’t know what to do on your breaks? Make a list of 100 dreams and pick one when you have downtime. This concept is genius and blogger and research Laura Vanderkam has some great ideas of how to fill your list. — Laura Vanderkam

Completely disengage so you can recharge. ” I force myself to take “me” time, which is typically getting outside and enjoying time with my friends and family. During this time I force myself to stop worrying about meeting a deadline or finishing a project.”  — Erica Riegelman

Shower at night. This may be the only way you ensure you get clean. Dry shampoo is awesome, too.  — Rikki Rogers, The Muse

Create a network with other moms. Find other moms to talk to so you can share your problems and solutions. You’ll need this support, especially when something unexpected comes up! — Aparna Ayyar 

Sleep. Learn to power nap and go to bed early. You will feel so much better! — Nina Roesner

Go easy on yourself.  “There is so much pressure to do everything and to do everything. Once you realize that doing all of these things is not just a lot of pressure but also a physical impossibility, things get easier.” — Emily Kalanithi, Cup of Jo

Do you have anything to add? I’d love to hear your suggestions on how to juggle a busy life with kids!



Advice, tips and hacks for working moms everywhere! These tips are great for any busy parent!

Advice, tips and hacks for working moms everywhere! These tips are great for any busy parent!

16 Comments

  • Susan @ Culinary Envy October 7, 2016 at 11:57 am

    What an Excellent and thorough post! So many helpful and great ideas. I think I will start with taking care of myself, because that is the last thing I think about and interestingly enough, it was the last section on your list too! Pinned!

    Reply
    • Debbie October 11, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      Thank you so much! And that’s a good point about being the last section. The funny thing is, it was the first section I wrote! I may have to rearrange it. 🙂

      Reply
  • Stefani @ Crafty Christian October 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Wow, so many great ideas! Definitely saving this to look back on.

    Reply
    • Debbie October 11, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks!!!

      Reply
  • Briana Marie October 11, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    This is such a great post! So many useful tips. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • Susan Croox October 11, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    This list is unreal! Too many good points to comment on, but I think the socks tip takes the cake. I love “balance doesn’t exist.” I think I may need to revisit this post. Pinterest …

    Reply
    • Debbie October 12, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Thanks so much!!!!

      Reply
  • Shann Eva October 12, 2016 at 1:09 am

    Love these! There are so many good ones. I would love to outsource dinner, and putting the kids to bed in their clothes is genius. I also need to start telling my kids we need to leave 15 minutes before we actually do, so we can finally be on time. And Hugs! Yes!

    Reply
    • Debbie October 12, 2016 at 8:16 am

      Hugs are definitely a must! And the 15 minutes tips is genius. I usually have to use that one with my husband!

      Reply
  • Christine Em October 12, 2016 at 7:01 am

    Wow there is an abundance of tips here, love it. my favourite is definitely the Save time and Energy category. The Dont answer the phone is one I use often!

    Reply
    • Debbie October 12, 2016 at 8:16 am

      Thanks! I am having trouble not answering my phone but I am always so much happier when I don’t!

      Reply
  • Candace @ Fullest Mom October 12, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Kid hack, hug often is the most important one of them all! I love your list. It’s a great roundup. I think another good tip was having a network of moms. Sometimes when you’re the only one in the family with little ones, it can get pretty isolating. Reaching out and finding other moms in the same situation helps.

    Reply
  • Tiffany | shortsweetmom October 13, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    These are wonderful tips! You covered everything. I plan to share this helpful post with others.

    Reply
    • Debbie October 14, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      Thank you so much!

      Reply
  • Shahira October 17, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Saving this up so as to look back to when I start back practice in a couple of months. Such a detailed and excellent post.

    Reply
    • Debbie October 18, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks! And good luck starting back up!

      Reply

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