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Let’s face it: Moms are modern-day superheroes. They stay up until all hours of the night and still manage to go to work the following day, and they somehow make any and all booboos feel instantly better. But do you ever wonder how they do it? We’re spilling seven secrets of moms who always have it together.

letters on desk
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They Have “Specialty” Drawers

It’s Friday night, and you just remembered Charlie has to attend a birthday party tomorrow, but you were so focused on the gift that you forgot to buy a card. Uh-oh. Instead of running out to buy one in her pajamas, a prepared mom taps into her designated drawer filled with all the trappings of a good birthday gift that she keeps on hand, just in case. Use this tactic for any occasion, from graduations to weddings to sympathy.

Sponsored on cor rib sandwich
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

They Make Time for Dinner (No Matter What)

Between picking up one kid from soccer practice and bringing the other to the dentist, weekday afternoons are nothing short of hectic. But that shouldn’t interfere with the family bonding that happens over a sit-down dinner. No time to cook a homemade meal? Keep a freezer full of hearty On-Cor frozen entrées, like boneless barbecue patties. Hint: They make the perfect base for a sandwich. You’ll have a crowd-pleasing dinner on the table in less than an hour, hardly any prep work required. A win-win.

boy playing with toy

They Do Toy and Book Swaps

You already use toys to temper public meltdowns. But what happens when they lose their effect? Try a toy or book swap with friends to keep those items fresh—the kids will be caught off guard and excited, and you’ll avoid buying a million new action figures. Wait, is that Jackson’s cool Star Wars figurine?! Tantrum averted.

baby shoes

They Always Have a Backup Ready

When it comes to kids, accidents happen at random. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. Carry an extra set of your kid’s clothes with you at all times. We’re talking about a complete outfit, not just an extra pair of underwear. Keep the clothes in a large ziplock bag so they stay clean inside your purse (because who knows when your own lipstick tube will decide to explode?).

woman on phone

They Rely on Apps

As your kids grow, there’s more and more to keep track of. Between their ever-changing clothing sizes and booster shots, it’s hard to stay on top of every last detail. Breathe, mama. Start using an app like Evernote to record important information. Now, when you have to fill out camp forms or make doctors appointments, everything you need is at your fingertips—not hiding somewhere in the back of your brain.

back to school shopping
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They’re Constantly Two Steps Ahead

Speaking of growing kids, it’s best practice to think 30, 60 or even 90 days ahead. For instance, when you go shopping at the start of the school year, don’t stop at buying sweaters and boots. Think ahead to November, the start of the holiday season, and stock up on festive gear like dresses, button-downs and khakis in slightly larger sizes (hey, kids grow like weeds). When everyone else is fighting over parking spots at the mall, you’ll be glad you don’t have to worry about a thing. Other than trying to get your kids to wear said fancy clothes, that is.

wash up bin

They Have Supplies…Everywhere

Gone are the days of having one cleaning-supply closet. If you look in the cabinets of any prepared mom’s home, you’ll notice a stash of supplies in every room…on every floor. That way, if there’s a cranberry juice spill on your favorite rug upstairs, you won’t have to run down to the kitchen to grab stain remover. Leave a bucket of paper towels, all-purpose cleaner and even diapers (again, accidents happen) in your most-used rooms. It pays (roughly the amount of a professional carpet cleaning) to be prepared.

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