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10 Working Mom Hacks

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Since becoming a working mom five years ago, I've gotten really good when it comes to routines and organization to help me salvage my precious free time and also make more time to spend with my girls. But since my second daughter was born nearly a year ago, to say that my life is a bit hectic is an understatement as a full time leaning in working mom.

I'm really shocked that I manage to get everything done without too many panic-stricken moments. What I soon realized, though, was that I started to be more creative with my routines.

Here are a few of my working mom hacks that save my sanity in addition to some other ingenious working mom hacks from other busy moms!

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1. Shower Party

Get your mind out of the gutter. It's not THAT kind of party. I shower at night during the work week because getting up at 5:30 a.m. is early enough for me. So on nights when it's the girls' "bath" night, I bring them into the shower with me after dinner. Everyone gets clean, toys are involved so the girls have fun, and I'm showered before they are in bed, which means I get more time to sit on my butt before I have to go to bed.

2. Jail Time

Finding time to exercise is tough. But it's a priority for me. Everyone is better off when I can get my endorphins going. On days that my husband isn't home before dinner, I've been known to put both the baby and my preschooler, along with some toys, in the pack-and-play while I do a quick 30-minute exercise video. The baby is amused by her older sister, and big sis is enthralled that she gets to play "baby." It mostly works out for everyone in the end.

3. Clean All the Things

Extra-long showers are my favorite. Sometimes it's to have some more decompressing time at the end of a long day, but other times it's because I'm cleaning the shower. Of course I rather not be doing the latter, but when I'm crunched for time, I do what I can to take care of household chores without interruptions.

4. Getting Dressed Made Easy

I've had way too many early morning battles with a cranky preschooler about getting dressed.

Working mom Debbie Hodges Walyus has gleaned some great advice from seasoned working moms for when her kiddo is older. "I recently heard of a mom who dresses her kids at night for the next day. No PJs but normal clothes." This is brilliant! I've had way too many early morning battles with a cranky preschooler about getting dressed. Now I wonder how well I could sleep if I wore my own work clothes to bed?

5. Birthday Parties Done Right

Lawyering mom, Lauren Doyle Exnicios, really knows how to keep up with the hustle and flow of all the birthday parties her two girls get invited to. "I buy birthday gifts in bulk when Amazon or another site has a sale so I don't even have to think about what to get when we get a last-minute invite or if I forget that so and so's party is this weekend." How much easier can it get! I'm always running around last minute to purchase birthday presents for my daughter's friends. Totally bookmarking this working mom hack!

6. Automatic Laundry

Laundry, along with cleaning the house is one of my least favorite adult things I have to do. And working mama NJ Rongner has figured out how to ease this task with the help of technology! "I use our front loading washing machine to my fullest advantage. It has the ability to schedule a load of laundry to start in advance. I schedule a load to wash around 3:30 a.m. every day. When I get up at 5 a.m., one of the first things I do is throw that load in the dryer and schedule the next day's load. When the day is done and the kids are in bed, I fold and put away. Because I'm only dealing with one load a day, I'm never overwhelmed by laundry and it doesn't take long to take care of." Now I think I need to go shopping for a new washing machine.

7. Extreme Working Mom Style

Becky Goerend, teacher and mom to two boys and another baby on the way, goes to extremes when planning her working mom attire. "I plan all my outfits along with accessories during a nap time on the weekend, so in the morning I just grab the outfit and accessories all off the hanger so I don't have to think about it. I hang the scarf/necklace/bracelets on the hanger with the clothes." Now if I could have enough forethought to think about accessorizing my outfits!

8. Get All the Sillies Out

They get to burn off energy and I have a few moments without a kid in my face.

Working mom of three, Laura Anderson does the unthinkable on weeknights. "On nights when I'm flying solo and I've had a long day at work and am beyond worn out, I take the boys to a big play place at the local community center. They get to burn off energy and I have a few moments without a kid in my face to collect my thoughts." And here I thought taking my girls to Target on solo parenting nights was a smart move.

9. Ultimate multi-tasking.

Jaclyn Kent, working mom to a toddler, really knows how to hack her morning routine. "I have a box of toys under my bathroom counter for my son to play with while I'm getting ready." Baby is happy and mom can get all the things done! Kent even goes a step further as she's primping in the morning. "I also check my emails while I'm curling my hair. It helps me leave the heat on my hair longer, too, which gives me better curls!" Momming, working and primping all at once!

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10. You better keep them separated.

Michelle Goree, working mom with two kids, separates her kids during breakfast. She does this so that "they don't egg each other on and fight." What a great time saver! I'm totally taking note of this one for when baby sister gets older.

So what's your working mom hack to add to this list?

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