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4 tips to stay organized as a busy mama

When you can’t think clearly from exhaustion, you’ll be soooo glad that you added that meeting to your calendar.

4 tips to stay organized as a busy mama

When you can’t think clearly from exhaustion, you’ll be soooo glad that you were organized enough to type in that super-important doctor’s appointment into your Google calendar.


Life with kids can sometimes leave little space in your brain for another other than babytalk. “Be organized” is easy to say, but harder to do.

We’re sharing some of our favorite ways to keep life organized:  

1. Get a family calendar—in paper or online

Go digital

One of our Motherly mamas swears by Google Calendar for keeping track of her family’s busy schedule. She’s got multiple, color-coded calendars set up -- some shared with her husband, but some just for herself. You can also try the digital Cozi family calendar for getting all of your crew’s action items in one place.

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Keep it classic

Another one of our Motherly mamas still loves paper calendars and some fun colored markers. Her favorite is by Orange Circle Studio.

2. Make budgeting simple

Get App-y

There are quite a few options out there for keeping track of your finances, everything from good old Excel to bank-provided tools to some great apps. One of our favorites include You Need a Budget, which in addition to providing budgeting software has online classes to help you better understand the decisions you’re making.

Mint, which was created by Intuit (the people behind TurboTax and Quicken), is another great budgeting tool that allows you to set a budget and see all your financial balances in one, secure place.

3. Meal plan to save time + money

A photo posted by Kate Mac (@glamour.mama) on

Plan each week

My husband and I like to sit down each week and plan out the menu for the week to help devise our grocery list. However, when my son hit six months and started solids, I found myself scrambling at each meal to figure out what to feed him.

One of the things that helped me get organized was Gerber Menu. It allows you to customize a plan based on your child’s age, stage (such as newborn, sitting or crawling) and what type of milk your baby gets.

4. Do a to-do list

Be a master of getting stuff done

I’m a color-coded paper to-do list girl myself. I try to have a master list of things I need to get done, and recently, have started each day with figuring out my top five priorities for the day.

I only add other things to the day’s list once I’ve crossed something off so that there are never more than five things on my list. It’s helped me stay focused and not get overwhelmed, especially during the dreaded four month sleep regression or after a night of teething related wake-ups.

Try one of these online tools

If you’re a Google Calendar user, check out Tasks, which is already integrated into your calendar. Wunderlist and Todoist are also great apps for the electronic list inclined. What’s most important here is to find what works best for you.

Share with Motherly: What’s your favorite tool to stay organized?

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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