Ready, set, go! As a kid, I remember my mom telling me to "Move fast! Save time!" like it was a big secret to happily conquering the universe. Turns out? It kinda is.
Time = The Most Precious & Valuable Resource of Motherhood. (Just my opinion. Time is also the most precious and valuable resource when you work in the news business... so maybe I've just been brainwashed by my trade. Hm.) There are 24 hours in a day... no cuts, no buts, no coconuts. Us moms must use and abuse those 24 hours like a boss to get IT done: kids, spouses, schedules, food, laundry, work and that little milestone called potty training that your 3 year old is giving you hell over. And no matter how much time we save or use, there are very few moments ever left for us to recharge or reboot. Exercise? No time. Makeup? Ha.
But where there's a super strong will... there's a sneaky way to take care of yourself. Shh.. Here are five of my fastest, most fabulous and wacky time-saving hacks that smash self-care and wellness into my day. (I swear by these bounce-back tips so much, I wrote a whole book about 'em...)
1) SHOWER AT NIGHT. No time to get clean in the morning, period. I shower after putting my kids to bed... or I don't shower at all. And if I happen to wash my hair? I take advantage of that blowdrying time to stretch the legs. Who needs yoga when we can flip our wet hair upside down (bending from the waist, keeping our legs straight) and feel a therapeutic burning in our hamstrings and lower back? If I'm really motivated to look decent the next day, I do my hair... hairspray and all... and then hit the sack.
2) SLEEP IN REGULAR CLOTHES. Wake up all dressed up and ready to go! C'mon... they didn't invent Pajama Jeans for nothing. (Please do NOT tell my preschool moms that I slept in the cotton hoodie I read a story to the class in.... yuck.)
3) KEEP MAKEUP IN A KITCHEN DRAWER. How else are we supposed to dab concealer under our eyes while simultaneously supervising our toddlers eating breakfast to make sure they don't choke? May I also suggest hanging a massive decorative mirror in your kitchen area so that you can effectively fool yourself about having a most luxurious morning beauty experience while you brush on eyeshadow in a most ridiculously-hurried way before your 4 year old finishes her cereal. (Just tell your friends you saw the "mirror in the kitchen" design trick on TV and thought it added to your home decor -- rather than spill you're hanging it out of pure vanity to look decent before 1pm).
4) LIVE IN SNEAKERS. My laundry-folding, dishwasher-loading, bed-making and toy-picking-up-ing (yes I know that's not a word) have become my new cardio workouts. Wearing my sneakers, stretchy pants and sports bras at home on a daily basis keep me motivated to move FAST through my most-hated chores and actually serve to get them done quicker. Moving Fast = More Household Tasks Done Quickly = Feeling Better Mentally and Physically = More Time Later to Relax and Eat Ice Cream to Make Up for All Those Calories You Burned While Doing Chores. See?
5) SLEEP IN YOUR CAR. You think I’m kidding? I’m notorious for doing this (during daytime hours, in busy parking lots) on days that I work outside my home. We're all sleep deprived. Naps are one of the most effective ways to treat sleep deprivation. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a 20 minute power nap can boost alertness and won’t interfere with nighttime sleep. Lock your doors, spread out one of those old-school windshield shades, recline your seat and close your eyes. If anyone knocks on your window, give ‘em a look from hell. Because if you don't nap before you return home to your kiddos saying "Mommy Mommy you're back!" you ain't never gonna squeeze those zzz's in.
More time for self-care equals more joy. Now that's fun and fabulous mom-ing.
HOW DO YOU HACK TIME TO FEEL AND LOOK GOOD?
Jill Simonian is a TV/digital Parenting Lifestyle Personality and mom of two young daughters. Her blog, TheFABMom.com, keeps life focused after babies (f-a-b). Jill's debut book, The FAB Mom's Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby (Skyhorse) is a frank, motivating and resilience-building read -- with celebrity stories and expert tips sprinkled between -- to boost any first-time mom's mind, body and spirit.
Images courtesy Jill Simonian of TheFabMom.com