How mothers use up to 20 time-saving shortcuts a day as they try to juggle tasks

Ready meals and bribing the children: How mothers use up to 20 time-saving shortcuts a day as they try to juggle tasks



15:21 GMT, 10 September 2012

Juggling motherhood with modern day life is no easy task and most mothers are forced to cut corners in order to keep things ticking over.

In fact a new study has revealed that modern mothers use up to 20 time-saving shortcuts, with the most common being buying quick fix foods and bribing children with treats.

An increasing amount of mothers are also paying for school dinners rather than making packed lunches and using sauces instead of cooking meals from scratch.

Shortcuts to success Many mothers are now using sauces instead of cooking meals from scratch and bribing children with treats (file photo)

Shortcuts to success Many mothers are now using sauces instead of cooking meals from scratch and bribing children with treats (file photo)

Other popular time saving tricks listed in the survey of 2,000 mothers were laying out school uniforms the night before, hanging clothes up rather than ironing them and spraying deodorant into smelly shoes rather than buying new ones.

Many also admitted to writing names in uniforms with pen rather than sewing in labels.

However some of the tricks mothers admitted to using weren’t necessarily beneficial to their children’s health and diet, with one in ten admitting offering sweet treats to get their kids to finish their dinner and a fifth admitting to regularly resorting to drive-through fast food meals to save time.

‘The average mum is the engine of any family and often forced to take a lot on to keep things running smoothly every day,’ said Susanne Wright, a spokesman for Seven Seas Haliborange, who carried out the research.

‘It’s no surprise mum’s look to innovative ways of saving time in order to fit everything in and it’s remarkable the amount the average mum achieves.’

Meanwhile a third of the mother’s surveyed felt they didn’t get enough support in the running of their home, with more than one in 10 complaining that they did absolutely everything.

Three in 10 mothers said they suffered from stress on a daily basis, while over a quarter felt taken for granted.


1. Freeze food to use later in week

2. Use jarred sauces instead of home making everything

3. Buying convenience food

4. Lay out clothes and school uniform the night before

5. Delegate household tasks to other family members

6. Bribe children with treats to get them to cooperate

7. Hang up clothes up instead of ironing them

8. Use a pen to write their names on clothing and shoes rather than sew labels

9. Use baby wipes to clean their children’s faces instead of washing them

10. Give children food they like so they don’t complain, even if it’s not healthy

11. Use the ‘three second rule’ when dropping food on the kitchen floor

12. Grate vegetables into food to ensure the children are eating their ‘five-a-day’

13. Buy outfits for school plays instead of making them

14. Pay for school dinners instead of making them

15. Use drive-through fast food restaurants

16. Use a bit of ketchup on foods they don’t really like

17. Offer sweet treats to get them to finish their plate

18. Put dry shampoo/ a bit of talc on greasy hair to save washing it

19. Ply your children with biscuits to keep them quiet

20. Spray deodorant in smelly shoes instead of buying new ones

The mother’s surveyed said they would always put the needs of their family first, with time with a partner or friends and ‘me time’ being the first things sacrificed.

Four in ten of the mothers surveyed admitted that they felt their lack of time was starting to compromise the health and well being of their children.

‘The reality is that mum’s are in danger of burning themselves out from hectic family lives and, in some cases, a lack of help from their partners,’ added Susanne Wright.

‘Even mums in relationships often find the onus falls on them to keep the family running smoothly.

‘Mum’s should not be afraid to ask for help from their family or partner and may find it beneficial to encourage them to be more involved in the day to day running of the home.

‘Mum’s are doing the best they can to maintain their children’s health and wellbeing however a lack of support often makes taking care of their children, the way they want to, challenging.’

Meanwhile Independent Nutritionist Dr Emma Derbyshire said that the study proved that modern mothers are excellent multi-taskers, but stressed that they should always try to make choices that are beneficial to their children’s health.

‘This Haliborange research shows mums are excellent multi-taskers and they are obviously creative when it comes to managing demanding family life,’ says Dr Emma Derbyshire.

‘Keeping children fit and well is important to mums but it is fair to say a lack of time can make it difficult to make healthy choices for their children.

‘However, a few small changes like swapping biscuits for a piece of fruit or considering a children’s multivitamin supplement if your child is a fussy eater can help support your child’s health and wellbeing.’