Mom Admin: Getting Sh*t Done…Constantly
BY STEPHANIE JACKSON
Next month I am hosting a wine-and-cheese night for the young moms in my neighborhood. These are all the women I met and became friendly with when I was out strolling my newborn last year. Though it will be nice for everyone to meet, my intentions are far from selfless and I have one simple goal in mind: Find out how these moms are getting sh*t done and steal their resources!
Since I’ve become a mom, this is my new fulltime obsession: How do I get more done with less time so I can get back to things I actually want to be doing? How can I do it better? How is everyone else surviving? Do they have their groceries delivered? Instacart or Amazon Fresh? Are their diapers on auto-ship? Which photo-sharing site is the most grandparent friendly? Am I the last person in the world who doesn’t own this magical Instant Pot I keep hearing about?!
I’ve found that the hardest part of being a mom isn’t the actual “momming.” It’s all the “mom admin” that comes with the job. There’s always a new project on the horizon: ordering bigger clothes, buying a new car seat, pre-school applications, ear infections, birthday parties, getting out of town with the baby, getting out of town without the baby (this is actually worse…), etc. There’s rarely a weeknight I’m not pulling out my laptop after dinner to either do work for my career or do life/house/baby maintenance, and every mom I know is in the same boat. My favorite pre-baby saying was “catching up on the weekend.” Oh my goodness, those were the days….
This has definitely affected the way I’ve shopped in the past year and what is most important to me when I make buying decisions. The following are a few observations about my “new mom” shopping habits:
CONVENIENCE TRUMPS EVERYTHING:
Everything. New moms are strapped for time and crave organization and a sense of control over any area of their life where they can find it. I will gladly pay for a pricey individual pouch of baby food that I can squeeze straight into my child’s mouth on the go (and have five more sitting in the diaper bag at the ready) than preparing a snack or, god forbid, pulling out a spoon.
I JUST WANT SOMEONE TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO:
I now seek out the advice of trusted sources more readily because I honestly don’t have the bandwidth or the desire to research everything myself. “You have a short list of sippy cups my child might actually drink from? Awesome!” That’s why social influencers have become indispensable to me. For example Lucie’s List was a godsend this past year for baby gear. I was told by friends to trust her recommendations and I did.
SET IT AND FORGET IT:
This is my new motto and I’m trying very hard to stick with it. I’d never auto-shipped anything in my life before having a baby. But thanks to Amazon’s Subscribe and Save, I’ve got everything from garbage bags to kitty litter coming to my house right on schedule. I think everything might be slightly cheaper at Costco, but you know what? I don't care!
QUALITY STILL MATTERS…BUT I'M NOT GOING TO OBSESS:
Don’t get me wrong, I still want to make sure my child is eating food that doesn’t come in BPA packaging (though I still have no idea what a BPA is) and I did make extra sure his mattress won’t spontaneously combust in the middle of the night. I’m absolutely looking for quality products I can trust for my life and my kid. But I don’t have time to obsess. And like most moms, once I find my “go to” brands, I am pretty darn loyal. For example, I love Carter’s for baby clothes. Their clothes are cute, durable, very well-priced and they send me a coupon about every other week for 40% off. It only took me one time of foolishly shopping around on a bunch of different baby clothes sites to realize I don’t have the time, energy or extra money to go on the treasure hunt of comparison-shopping every three months as my son grows.
NEW MOMS ARE SUCKERS FOR “ORGANIZATIONAL” BABY GEAR:
It’s almost laughable how excited I get about any baby gear that could make my life even marginally easier. Below are just a few purchases that got my attention quickly this past year:
Tidy Tyke Mats: When I saw my friend whip out this disposable placemat that her toddler could eat off of at a restaurant I knew I needed to have it immediately.
DadGear Diaper BackPack: This bag has an outside pocket that opens for easy access to baby wipes (I mean, how can that not make you feel warm inside?) It makes no difference that I already had two perfectly good diaper bags — I am determined to refine this until I get it right!
Loopy Cases: This is my all-time favorite purchase last year. Once I saw this iPhone case advertised on Facebook with a loop for your finger so you can hold your phone and your baby at the same time, without dropping either, I couldn’t enter my credit card information fast enough (and I get stopped by moms all the time asking where I got it).
None of the above is an essential purchase by any means. And yes, I realize people have been raising children for thousands of years without premeasured formula dispensers (but I bet they would have LOVED it if they had one!) However they are just a few examples of “new mom” branding that scratched me right where I itched.
I think newer moms realize they’ve just been hit with a tidal wave and it’s a sink-or-swim situation. We have to be organized and we have to execute quickly. Brands that are tested, brought to our attention by people we trust (i.e., friends, social influencers, secret mommy Facebook groups, etc.) and are easy for us to get our hands on are going to win our business every time. Also, brands that recognize that we don’t want to be facilitators 24/7 and who help us feel more on top of our game also get points in our books. Again, we just want to check it off our To Do list, have peace of mind that we aren’t going to run out of toilet paper, and get back to all the things we’d rather be doing — like having a wine-and-cheese party where we don’t talk about our kids.
Stephanie Jackson is a writer/actor/producer living in Los Angeles. She has appeared in a number of television shows including Chuck, Up All Night, Workaholics and Fresh Off the Boat. In 2014, she created the award-winning digital series Does This Baby Make Me Look Fat? and is now in talks to take it to a larger platform. Stephanie has written articles for a number of women’s blogs, including Mommyish, Circle and Bloom, The New Hollywood and Ms. in the Biz, mainly focusing on the topic of infertility, an issue she herself faced. Stephanie is currently writing a romantic comedy screenplay with her husband and, to date, they are still married. The role of “mom” is by far her favorite to play, though, and she’s having a blast running around (constantly) after her 1-year-old son Rhett.