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Working mom? Here's six ways to get more kid time out of your day.

6. Get your kids on *YOUR* schedule.

Working mom? Here's six ways to get more kid time out of your day.

The thing that sucks about being a working mom, is the simple fact that when you are at work, you are not spending time with your kid (or kids). But I have learned to make the best of it, and have found six working mom hacks that help you to maximize the amount of time you have with your children.


1. Stop grocery shopping on the weekends:

I dread going grocery shopping, and for some reason I always ended up doing my shopping on Sunday morning. Sometimes I would bring the kids, sometimes I wouldn't... but it wasn't exactly what I would call fun, family time together. So I started going on weeknights.

And it's awesome.

I usually go on Monday night, after the kids are asleep. The grocery stores are basically empty (no deli lines people!!) and I can actually think about what I need since I'm not throwing goldfish or iPhones at my children to keep them from terrorizing other customers. Try it out, you will never go back to weekend shopping.

2. Workout early:

I like going to the gym. I try to go every other day, since my hubby andI take turns. It's important to me and it makes me happy. So I wake up early, like 5 am early, to go the gym. That way, I get my workout in and I'm home in time to wake up my son at 6:40 to start getting him ready for school. We like eating breakfast together, so both my husband and I make it a priority to workout early, so we can

enjoy time as a family before we all head off work and school.

I don't feel any guilt taking the time for myself, since I know everyone at home is sleeping. Once you start waking up early, you get used to it. I promise.

3. Take advantage of your salon's odd hours: I don't get my haircut as often as I should, but when I do, I go on Thursday nights after work. That's the 'late night' at my favorite salon. One night a week they stay open until 9pm so that's when I go. I don't like spending a Saturday at the salon. It was never my thing. This way, I miss one dinner, instead of missing an entire afternoon on a weekend. Many nail and hair salons have these odd hour nights, so take advantage of them. Also, if you have a person you go to regularly, there is a good chance that if you just ask, they will come in early or stay late to accommodate you

4. Make a cleaning schedule: My husband and I do little things throughout the week, so we can have a 'clean-free' weekend. Find out which tasks take the most time for you and try to get them done during the week. For us, it's our floors. We have tons of neighborhood kids over everyday and our entire house is light colored tile. (except the bedrooms) We realized it was taking FOREVER to clean the floors on the weekend. Now I try to do the floors a few times a week in the morning, after my hubby and son leave. The baby just follows me around, and the floors are clean (almost) all the time now, since we take care of them during the week instead of the weekend. We also do more laundry during the week to get that out of the way as well.

5. Technology helps in a pinch: Sometimes my husband and I work different hours. I occasionally work a split shift, which means I go in around noon and stay until 9pm. My husband has to work weekends every once in awhile when he is the manager on call. These are the times technology is awesome. Facetime is your friend. When I work late, I call the fam up on Facetime after dinner to hear about everyone's day and give them all good night 'kisses' through the phone. We will make videos of our activities on the weekend when my husband is at work to send to him. (while this technically isn't spending time with your kids, but it's still a working mom hack, so there.)

6. Get your kids on *YOUR* schedule: We used to stress about having dinner ready for my son before I came home from work, since he was hungry, but then we were all eating at separate times. Now he just gets a big snack after school, and we usually don't eat dinner until around 7pm. And it works for us. We all eat together and take our time. Sometimes we have a dance party while we're waiting for stuff to cook. My kids may not get to bed right at 8pm, more often it's closer to 9pm, and that's okay. We have them on a schedule that works with our own, to help maximize the time we get together on weeknights.

A few small changes to your routine can make a big difference when it comes to getting more time together as a family, especially when mom and dad both work! What are some shortcuts that help you get more time with the kids?

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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Life

Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

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

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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