Wake up, exercise, shower, get dressed, pack school lunches, make breakfast, take kids to school, work full-time job, chauffeur kids to various after-school activities, get groceries, check backpacks, assist with homework, keep the laundry going, clean house, oversee daily chores, make dinner, eat dinner, enjoy family time, take baths, put kids to bed, savor quality time for self and go to bed. Repeat.
Just reading this is exhausting, isn’t it? Parenting can leave busy moms feeling frazzled, fatigued and depleted. But there are fabulously creative services and technology that can streamline your life and provide some much-needed relief. Whether you’re all too familiar with this daily hustle, are a brand-new mom or maybe you have a friend who’s feeling the pressures of new motherhood, call in some support by way of these five life-changing solutions.
Outsource laundry duty.
No mom wants to do the piles of laundry that are stacking up if she can be napping with her newborn or cheering on her little soccer player. So get a month-long subscription for a laundry bundle service. A quick Google search (be sure to check the ratings) should reveal the local options in your town. The average price to wash, dry and fold clothes can range anywhere from 90 cents to $3 a pound. The cost per piece for larger items and dry cleaning can start at $5 and up. And some companies offer monthly laundry pickup and delivery packages.
Cut out shopping and meal prep.
If grocery shopping and cooking is not your thing, then save some time by using a grocery delivery service or online order/pick-up option. In addition to services like Shipt, Amazon Prime Now and InstaCart, grocery stores like Kroger also now offer grocery delivery and online ordering/pick-up options. Annual delivery memberships can range from $99 to $150, and order minimums typically range from $35 to $50. If ordering online to pick-up, there is typically a nominal fee. If you don’t even want to think about what to make, subscribe to a meal-prep delivery service like HelloFresh, Blue Apron, eMeals, Marley Spoon or Green Chef. And be sure to look for the many fabulous local meal-prep delivery services popping up in your city.
Order a same-day babysitter.
Forget the struggle of texting your list of go-to babysitters and calling friends for recommended sitters. Now you can simply book a trusted sitter and enjoy a date night. The Wyndy app employs only background checked, vetted, undergraduate and graduate students as babysitters who can be booked in advance or at the last minute. Plus, they can be chosen based on their school, major or affiliation with certain organizations to make sure they are a great fit with the family. (Think: A soccer-playing nanny for a brood of little soccer stars.) The minimum pay is $12 per hour, and the typical job ranges from $13 to $20 per hour, with all payments made through the app.
Sneak in bursts of fitness.
Working out increases your energy, so it’s a smart move for moms who need the maximum juice to get through a hectic daily schedule. But it can feel like a gargantuan task to work in a workout into an already crazy day. Outsmart the system by fitting in short workout sessions that can be done at home or even from your cubicle. Fitness Blender has more than 500 free workouts searchable by length, difficulty, training type, muscles used, calories burned and more. And Yoga by Adriene features an endless variety of free yoga series searchable by categories like “under 10 minutes,” “yoga for beginners,” “for back pain,” “for weight loss,” “for anxiety” — the options are endless!
Keep everyone on the same page.
Eliminate miscommunication and constant confusion from your busy schedule with a clever family organizing app — these options allow everyone to get on the same page. There is the ubiquitous Google calendar, of course, but there is also the widely used Evernote and Trello, both of which function as dynamic virtual corkboards. Cozi is another favorite that boasts family calendars, to-do lists, recipe sections, shopping lists and more. Others to check out are TimeTree, Jorte and FamCal.
Walk the dog while you work.
Sometimes your schedule can be so jam-packed that you can’t make it home to let your pooch out to play. But with services like Wag and Rover, you can schedule a dog walker to give your furry friend a 30-minute or an hour-long walk, as well as overnight dog-sitting and boarding. Google “dog walking services” to reveal other local options, many of whom will come and tend to your dog, new puppy, cat or other small pet and even help with grooming and pill administration when you aren’t able to. Dog walks average $20 while other costs vary depending on service.
Take an hour out of your day to do something that truly relaxes and rejuvenates you. Whether that is a massage, acupuncture, cupping, flotation spa, salt therapy — many of these services offer relaxation, reduce stress and enhance your body’s natural ability to heal, as well as a host of other benefits. Or maybe your favorite thing is a facial, mani-pedi or another beauty boost that makes you feel like your most gorgeous self. SB TIP: Local at-home spa services will even bring these treatments to your door! Needless to say, when you spend every hour working hard to bring home the bacon and take care of your family, it is worth every penny to get that professional restorative service that will deeply relax your body or boost your confidence.
Too busy to shop? There’s a box for that.
There is a box subscription for just about anything you can imagine. Need an outfit in a pinch but no time to shop? Try Trunk Club, Gwynnie Bee or Frank And Oak. Too busy to shop for your kids’ clothes? Try KIDBOX, Rockets of Awesome, Mac & Mia or Kids on 45th. Need beauty products? Try Birchbox, BeautyFix or The Clean Beauty Box. Need Snacks? Try Snack Nation, Candy Club or Graze. Wellness products? Try SweatStyle, Bulu Box, Mindfulness Box … There’s even The Cat Lady Box (self-explanatory), Book of the Month Box, Fuego Box (or “Hot Sauce of the Month Club”), Try the World (exotic global food tastings) and on and on. Whatever your need, there’s a box for that.
Hire a driver.
There’s only one of you, and sometimes your kiddos need to be at multiple places at once. Fabulous new Uber-style driving services for kids, like Zum and HopSkipDrive (both California-based companies), are expanding and popping up everywhere. They offer heavily vetted drivers to cover carpool and more. Care.com offers nanny drivers who can help you chauffeur the little ones to all of their after-school activities. Look for similar rideshare services in your area. Prices vary based on provider, distance covered and hours required.
Rest and relax.
Quality sleep and mental clarity are key to staying on your A-game, but sometimes it’s hard to quiet your mind and get centered. Download a meditation app to help you meditate for even three minutes a day, which reduces stress and anxiety, enhances self-awareness, lengthens attention span and might even help fight age-related memory loss. Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer are great meditation apps. If you have trouble falling asleep, there are some helpful sleep apps that can change the game for you. Sleep Cycle uses sound analysis and tracks your movements in bed to monitor your sleep patterns, even gently waking you with its intelligent alarm at the perfect moment and offering detailed statistics for you. Relax & Sleep Well is experienced hypnotherapist Glenn Harold’s hypnotherapy and meditation recordings to address insomnia, stress, anxiety, sleep and more. Or enjoy a white noise app like Relaxio to lull you to sleep with the sounds of your choice.
Most importantly, remember that sometimes the easy way is the best way. Cheers to YOU!
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