6 Tiny Hacks To Make Your Life As A Mom Go Smoother

Better handle the hundreds of tasks and responsibilities we have on our plates.

Mom and baby taking it smoother, both with black hair, in front of natural colors and hearts Santypan via Shutterstock | AngelaIntheFields and Lovanissa via Canva

Most moms utter the words, “I am so busy and overwhelmed” several times a week. We constantly feel like our to-do lists never get accomplished and that just when you think you are caught up, something else comes up.

It’s a never-ending cycle of housework, work demands, kid activities, returning emails and texts, cooking, and worrying about finances — and results in moms feeling overwhelmed and stressed out nearly 24/7. Even just thinking about everything a mom has to do in one day is exhausting! This is why so many moms experience what I call "mommy burnout."


I have found there are strategies to help counteract feeling overwhelmed. 

Here are 6 strategies for making your life as a mom less chaotic.

1. Let go of unnecessary to-do's

If you continue to skip over a particular item on your to-do list week after week, it probably isn’t that important. Just drop it! Some women keep things like, “manicures” on their to-do lists day after day. They realize they aren’t going to get to it, but it still stresses them out because it’s another thing on their “still didn’t do it list!”

Guess what? When you need a manicure (say you are going to a wedding) you will get it.


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2. Create a structure for your day

You will be much more likely to feel accomplished when you have a plan for the day. Your to-do list should have a time by it that you write in hourly order in which you can reasonably get the task done (for example 6:30 am: return emails). Just map it out, and you will quickly see what you can realistically get done and what you either need to delegate, move to another day, or just drop from your list entirely.

3. Distinguish between needs and wants

If you have a hard time prioritizing ask yourself the question, “Is this a need or a want?” This question helps you cut right to the chase, whether it’s getting together with a friend or baking cupcakes for the school bake sale.


I have a personal to-do list rule that helps me from feeling overwhelmed: The needs come first, and then the wants. It’s like work first play later — they are both important, but for me to relax at a dinner with a friend, I have to feel like the things I needed to get done were accomplished.

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4. Know your most productive time of day

Become aware of when you work best. Take an honest assessment of when you are most likely to be in the right head space for responding to work emails, getting a workout in, going food shopping, or catching up with a friend.

@ikeyajavon Do you personally work better in the morning, night, or some combination of the two? #productivity #evernote #efficiency #flowstate #ikeyajavon #highqualityhuman ♬ Epic Music(863502) - Draganov89

For me, I am in the best spot to breeze through to-do's first thing in the morning, so I do the things I need to accomplish that day soon after I wake up. I also know that breakfast does fuel me, so when I wake up I take a moment to express gratitude, I eat breakfast and then I get done with whatever has to be done before 8:00 am.


I have a daily agenda, and I do my best to stick to it and to mitigate distractions. That might mean turning my ringer off, changing my work environment, or not looking at incoming emails. You have to find a system that works for you, but the point is that most of us benefit from a personalized system.

5. Learn to say "no"

Set boundaries for yourself when it comes to others, and learn to comfortably say no. Easier said than done, but practice in this case helps.

Start with small things, like not volunteering at a school event, and experience what it feels like to turn down an opportunity and how people handle it. I find that among moms, there is a level of respect that comes with seeing another mom hold her boundaries and know her limits.

The only way you are going to know that you can do it is by trying to start small and build up from there. When you value your time, so will others.


6. Be a good example to your kids

Remember that you are a role model to your children. You are setting the example for them on how to manage time, your emotions, stress, and other people.

Her life with her daughter is less chaotic as a mom Ground Picture via Shutterstock

If they see that you are constantly feeling overwhelmed, they will think that is just the way life is. They will be less likely to practice the skills necessary to self-regulate all that life has to offer. Our children are already stressed and overwhelmed in their childhoods with all of the opportunities that they are afforded, so teach them through your actions how to create a sense of control in their lives.


Today’s moms report record levels of stress in their lives. By following these tried and tested strategies you really can make a difference in your own life and the lives of those around you. You can accomplish more in less time and have time daily to schedule something for yourself, which is key to managing stress and anxiety.

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Dr. Sheryl Ziegler is a mother, Doctor of Psychology, speaker, and author of Mommy Burnout: How Addressing Yours Will Make You A Better Mother And Create A Better Life For Your Children. More advice is available in her newsletter.