As a working mom not only do we work all day, but we then come home to cook, complete the homemaking duties and bond with our families.
Probably all before changing out of our work clothes. Sound familiar? Well, that’s a lot mama!
The thing is, most people don’t realize all of that is still work! When the work day ends, more work begins…and continues.
It’s not that working moms can do it all, we just know how to research the heck out of time saving hacks to get it done and that’s why you’re here. Keep on reading for the good stuff, I got you!
So back to how I said cooking can feel like work. Well, if you’re not into it then it most certainly can.
Making sure you have the right ingredients and measuring them out correctly while multiple eyes on the stove are going aaannnndd there’s a toddler at your leg screaming “up, mama” on repeat.
Oh and then there’s prep work! It may not seem like a big deal, but when a recipe calls for diced this or marinated that I literally want to order a pizza lol. Don’t even get me started on the thawing situation.
I recall coming home ready to cook only to find that the chicken was frozen rock solid. After all these surprises, the dish you thought would take 30 minutes ends up taking over an hour. So frustrating!
Many times when I talk to other working mamas, they typically say cooking after work is the toughest part of the day. I can understand that. For the most part it requires focus, patience and too much dang time.
Time that you could be bonding or sitting on the couch! Have you ever been so tired at the end of the day you just reach for the quickest food source? I get it.
The thing is those aren’t the healthiest options, but to be honest that’s not the focus when you’re exhausted.
Again, I totally get it. Let’s fix that and consider some pretty sweet ways you can rock through cooking dinner like a boss and finally take a load off.
Here are 10 easy to implement hacks that will get you out of the kitchen and on to the couch.
1. Crock pot and instant pot
Crock pots are also referred to as “slow cookers” while instant pots are basically electric pressure cookers.
You can let the crock pot cook over night or while you’re at work since it takes hours. The instant pot can cook a meal much quicker in an hour or so. Either way they both save loads of time.
All I have to say is whoever invented these items must have had the working mom in mind.
Can you believe I actually used to be scared of these?
It just felt so odd to me to put completely uncooked food in a cold pot and walk away. I don’t know why I mean we do that with microwaves all the time.
When used properly these items are a such a gem. They really take the load off by doing all the work so you can focus on what’s important.
Let me just tell you that it feels soooo nice to come home to the scent of a hearty meal filling the house.
2. Quick thawing
Defrosting trays work by pulling the coldness away from the frozen food. It is said to significantly short the time it takes to thaw out frozen foods.
Here’s a tip. If you have the patience and don’t mind running water for a while, use hot water.
3. Egg cooker
This one will come in handy for sure with those sneaky recipes that call for boiled eggs.
My son went through a phase where he wanted them for breakfast. What ya gonna do?
With egg cookers all you need is water and eggs. I usually overcook mine, so I like that you can choose if you want them soft, medium or hard boiled.
Egg cookers are very user friendly and will give you perfectly boiled or even poached eggs every time.
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I hate doing dishes.
Anything in the kitchen that yields less clean up is alright with me. Save yourself time by finding some recipes that you can make all in one pan.
5. Meal plan / prep
I hear this trick a lot with working moms and with good reason. It just works.
It’s one of those things that’s more work on the front end, but pays off in major ways on the back end.
Pick recipes ahead of time and actually read through them. Find out what you need to dice, chop, or marinate and do it then.
That way when it’s time you just plug and chug right along.
Here’s a tip…the next time you go grocery shopping look for produce that’s already prepped. I get diced onions, tomatoes, and peppers all time.
If you don’t want to go that route then buy some extras, do it yourself and freeze them!
Aahhh, gotta love a good segue right into the hack #6!
6. Freezer meals
Whether this is for the whole family or the little one it’s a great idea.
Okay, so this is one of those hacks that take a while for the setup and then payoff big time in the long run.
Think of making your own healthy TV dinners.
Depending on how big your family is you could set aside some time to triple your recipe. Cook it all up and freeze it!
I made my son’s meals this way from 6 to 12 months while working full time. If I can do it, you can too.
It was a while to set up each month, but saved us time and so much money in the long run. Give it a try!
7. Parchment paper
Remember when I said I hate doing dishes? Well that’s how I discovered this beauty. Use parchment paper when baking dry foods for easy clean up.
BOOM! Mic drop…enough said!
8. Use scissors
I didn’t discover this one until I had my son and had to cut up his solids with every meal. Every. Single. Meal.
It’s so necessary but it can take time. Scissors save sooo much time. I feel like I could write a whole article just on how much time scissors save me. I use them to cut everything from chicken to toast to brocolli!
9. Order out
Okay, so this isnt cooking but come on who dosent love some good take out?
I used to love Friday nights growing up because my parents would go out and bring us food back. Try the same with your family.
You need to know that it’s okay to take breaks when you need it. It’s important to show that lesson to your kids.
Sometimes you just know it’s not going to be a cooking kind of night and that’s okay.
10. Delivery service
Again, not cooking but it feeds your family so it counts.
This costs money so if you’re looking for a budget friendly hack this may not be for you.
However, these services are the new craze among working mamas and for good reason. I have heard great things about them on repeat.
Did people ever bring you home cooked meals on your maternity leave?
I had so much support and family kept bringing meals for us so we didn’t have to worry about cooking for two weeks.
It was amazing and really reduced my stress level.
For me, the focus is quality time with my family and sometimes that means knowing when to ask for help. There’s no shame in that.
These services exist for a reason, so I say use it if you need to. Go for it! Careful though, you might get spoiled lol.
The Multitasking Myth
I’m quite sure you keep hearing how multitasking is actually a waste of time. I agree because I believe that the mind can truly only give it’s most focus to one task at a time.
To work around this, try completing smaller tasks while an ongoing task is completing itself in the background. We see this all the time in cooking.
Think about cooking all the sides on Thanksgiving Day while the turkey is in the oven. Same principle.
This is why I love one pot meals and crockpots. It’s like they were made with the working mom in mind. Not that you have to be the only one that cooks, but you may as well make it as efficient as possible.
Did you see anything on the list that you’d love to try? My two favs are the quick thawer and egg cooker. I didn’t even know those were a thing! Let me know what you learned and if you have any hacks to add!
Thanks for hanging out with me!