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Since becoming a parent, I find myself saying and doing things that I never expected to do, like, "Don't wipe that on your brother." Or I find myself holding a shirt with a questionable stain on it to my nose to determine whether or not the garment is clean enough for public outings. Life gets busy, and sometimes I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day for my family and for me, but I have found little ways to simplify the chaos that rouses my home.

As a mom, cook, housekeeper, home accountant, business owner and family nutritionist, I find any shortcut I can to make things easier without sacrificing quality. Honestly, a "quick and easy" meal isn't that great if it looks and tastes like a brick. There are a few simple tricks I employ to make life a little easier:

1. Toss in a Tide Pod or Gain Fling

I have enough going into my Target cart, and I don't need an awkward jug taking up space. Not to mention how it slowly oozes out of the soap tray when I start a load of laundry. With Tide Pods and Gain Flings, all I have to do is toss one into the washer and get back to whatever else it is that I'd rather be doing, which isn't cleaning up after my burping detergent jug. Tide Pods are ideal for what I call the "boy stains." Tide Pods are an all-in-one power pod; they have detergent + brightener + stain remover in one. Just one gets the laundry done. New Gain Flings come in two scents, and I don't have to worry about losing the intoxicating Gain smell that I love so much because the Gain Flings actually have 50% more scent. The best part about shopping at Target for Tide Pods and Gain Flings is that they will send you coupons directly to your phone. No one have don't have time to clip coupons anymore, so this has been a real time saver.

2. Become a Crockpot Connoisseur

You can still eat healthy when you are on the go. While I am bustling about the kitchen in the morning, I fill up the crockpot while topping off my coffee cup. I make sure that everything I need is chopped up and defrosted the night before so that I can toss it in first thing in the morning. When it's time to serve dinner, I always slice up a family-friendly vegetable and serve it on the side. The best part about a crockpot is that you don't need the unnecessary fats and salt to cook because the juices from your ingredients will flavor your meal throughout the day.

3. Fall in Love With the Schedule

When you are scheduling practices, games, and afterschool events, always include family time, even if it's just watching your favorite family show together on Sunday nights. Make it a point to have dinner with your family and include a designated homework time. When you divvy up your time throughout the week remember to put yourself on the schedule so that you can relax and maintain your health. When mom is happy, the family is happy.

4. Don't be Afraid to Delegate

It's OK, you can let go and allow someone else to help you out. Have your kids fold their laundry, load the dishwasher, pick up a duster and sweep the floor. Not only do I get more accomplished in a day, but I feel like I am teaching my children to be helpers and instilling a strong work ethic.