Your house is spotless, your children are well behaved, and every night there's a beautiful home-cooked meal on the table. Just how do you do it?
The answer: You don't. From 1960s how-to guides portraying the perfect mother to today's Pinterest-crazed super moms, there's always been pressure on women to do it all. But in reality, it's unrealistic, and mums today are saying: "That's OK."
"Being a mum, you quickly learn to let go of trying to perfect every aspect of your life," says actress and mum Busy Philipps. "So rather than trying to perfect things, I rely on tools to simplify those chaotic moments, which allows me to enjoy what matters - time with my kids ... and my sanity."
With that mantra in mind, Philipps is sharing some of her favourite life hacks. Here are a few secrets for mums - both beginners and seasoned - for getting things done and enjoying life's good moments:
Make me-time and them-time: "It's so important to master me-time!" says Philipps.
"Nothing beats getting up early for a good workout before starting the day. Want to really maximize a workout? Plug in your headphones, stream your favourite show and get your heartbeat pumping while catching up on those episodes you missed! Another secret? Include your kids in 'me-time' once in a while for a 'them-time' session."
Minimize laundry time: "Never-ending laundry is a never-ending headache. I love my LG SideKick washing machine, which is a pedestal washer attached to my main washer," says Philipps.
"It's perfect for washing those small laundry loads that are a big deal and can't wait - from a soccer uniform to delicates and activewear. You can also wash two loads at the same time when you need to: large loads in the main front-load washer and delicates - like my favorite workout clothes - in the LG SideKick, which is a huge time saver."
Cut cooking chaos: "Forget the foodie frenzy," Philipps stresses. "If you can pull together a simple and nutritious meal for the family, you are a superstar. This doesn't require slaving away for hours in the kitchen. Internet search one-pan recipes. When time is really crunched, there's no shame in takeout. Trust me, everyone does it."
And her healthy eating tip? "I get my kids to eat healthy by hiding nutritious food - like broccoli pureed into spaghetti sauce - so they don't even know they are eating it. A page from a book I swear by: Jessica Seinfeld's popular cookbook, 'Deceptively Delicious.'"
Create a healthy competition: In a perfect world, your kids would enjoy helping with all the household chores. In the real world this can feel like fighting a losing battle. Philipps' solution: Try using a little trick psychology. "Think of ways to transform cleaning into a competition," she says. "Who can toss the dirtiest clothes into the baskets? Who can make their bed faster? Who can match more pairs of clean socks from the laundry in 60 seconds or less? Kids will race to win, all while helping you get those chores done."
"Being a parent can get messy, but obviously we wouldn't want it any other way," says Philipps.
"Tricks like these help me accept that life's not perfect, which is okay because life's good. And good is great!"