If you Google the phrase “working mom tips”, you will get over six million results. Most of these hits are cheery articles with pointers like, “get a good day planner!” (seriously, does anyone still use a day planner?) and “make school lunches the night before!” (wow, thanks for that novel suggestion which I have never, ever heard before). These articles contain a lot of exclamation points.
Here’s the truth: you’re probably already really damn organized out of sheer necessity. You could WRITE the article on working mom time-saving tips and must-haves. You don’t need to read anyone’s advice. Am I right?
So instead of offering up another list of non-actionable, not-particularly-helpful pointers, I’m just going to list the stuff I personally need to survive. This is my list, and mine only. I present it solely because it might amuse you. And turnabout is fair play! What do you need to survive? Tell me in the comments, darlings.
- A minimum of three black dresses to throw on in a pinch and look professional and/or put together
I own approximately 18 black or navy blue dresses. I love them each in their own way.
- Black ballet flats
To go with the aforementioned dresses. (I used to wear high heels. But I turn 40 this year. I’m too old to run in high heels.)
- NARS Orgasm blush
This is one of three moderately spend-y items on the list, but ohhhhh it is worth the price. NARS Orgasm blush makes my skin look refreshed and even sort of glow-y. I use it on those mornings where I need to look a little less haggard and pretend like I got a decent night of sleep. (In other words, I use it every damn day.)
- Dry Shampoo
I consider myself a connoisseur of dry shampoo. These are the three currently on duty in my medicine cabinet. Why? Because let’s be honest – I haven’t had time to wash my hair on a daily basis in years. Dry shampoo is the only thing that stands between me and appalling personal hygiene.
- Eleventy-billion of these hair ties
To go with the dry shampoo, of course. Turn your second-day hair into a cute up-do with these babies. Like all hair ties ever invented, they have a nasty habit of disappearing into the ether, though, so my advice is to buy a lot at once. (I got these on sale at Target; they are particularly cute which means my daughter will probably steal them all from me.)
- This badass coffee maker
This is the second spend-y item on the list. I love this coffee maker so much that I occasionally talk to it. For years, I got by with a crappy $20 coffee maker I picked up on clearance at Target. When it finally up and died on me, my mother talked me into buying this one. For weeks I vacillated on whether or not I should get it, as the nearly $300 price tag made it a little hard to swallow. Then it went on sale, I pulled the trigger, and it changed my life. Every morning it grinds fresh coffee beans and turns them into a magical potion that makes me cheerful and (usually) prevents me from screeching at my children like a harpy. Money well spent.
- Baby pajamas with zippers, NOT snaps
Have you ever tried to change a diaper at 3:00 a.m. when your baby is wearing jammies that close via ten tiny snaps? It will make you either swear or cry. (Or both.) This is why, by the third child, my husband and I adopted a strict zippers-only policy.
- A subscription to Amazon Prime
I am not sure how moms functioned before the rise of Amazon Prime. In the past two weeks alone I have had the following items delivered to my house via Amazon Prime: diapers, nighttime diapers, swim diapers, Avengers-themed thank-you cards, ballet shoes for my daughter, Wine-Away stain remover (seriously), a new dog leash, and – in a particularly meta moment – Amazon gift cards for end-of-the-year teacher gifts.
- A shoe basket
This is NOT because I require visitors to remove their shoes when they come inside. I’m not that organized. (Or that clean.) It’s because I need a central depository for my kids’ shoes, or we would never, ever find them and thus never leave the house early enough to get anywhere on time.
- The pet-hair model Roomba
Here’s our third and final spend-y item. I have three children, two cats, and a dog. The amount of filth tracked onto my floors on a daily basis is unreal. And I am not vacuuming my house every day. I’m just not. I don’t have that kind of time. (Also I’m lazy.) So this Roomba stands between me and… I don’t know, probably some kind of gross dirt-related disease.
That’s what I’ve got, lovely readers. Now you know way too much about me and the condition of my home. So ante up, darlings. What gets you through your week?