Let’s preface this blog post with a warning: these are not romantic gifts. These are not Mother’s Day gifts, or Valentine’s Day gifts, or birthday gifts. If you are a spouse or a child looking for gift ideas for your wife or mom, this is not the post for you. (Try these instead.)  But if you’re a mother looking for any kind of way to make your life easier, read on. The struggle to manage your daily responsibilities is real, y’all. Hopefully these four little conveniences will help take some of your load off.

Switch to Subscriptions

More and more of the things you buy at the grocery store – and department stores – are available in subscription format so you can set it and forget it. Here’s a short list of possible subscriptions to get your creative juices flowing: steaks, wine, coffee, underwear, produce, diapers, razors, medications… there’s even a cat litter subscription! If you can minimize the items you have to buy at the grocery store each week, you can save yourself a huge amount of hassle and headache.

Cut the Grocery Store Out Altogether

Maybe you love going to the grocery store. Maybe it’s an hour of alone time that you get. If so, more power to you. But if, like so many overworked mothers, you dread going to the grocery store, look at eliminating it from your life altogether. How is this possible? Many grocery stores offer delivery services – you pick out what you want online and then somebody drops everything off within a set time period. Others offer “curbside pickup.” It’s the same idea, except you have to drive to the store and let somebody load up your car. There are more options depending on your budget. You can shop at Whole Foods on your Amazon app. Try Thrive Market for deliveries if your local supermarket doesn’t offer it. Maybe groceries do still have to play a role in your life, but you don’t necessarily have to push your cart through the aisles while your children wreak havoc on your nerves.

There’s an App for That

How much time do you spend reading about productivity apps? You should probably increase that time, because there are apps to help streamline a lot of the mundane processes that fall into your lap. There are apps for to-do lists, shopping lists, time management, coupons, rebates, and balancing your budget. If your hardware is compatible – if your phone, laptop, and computer can synch with each other – your life can be even more convenient. And ladies, don’t forget a mindfulness app; even if you can only carve out five or so minutes a day, the practice will reap dividends.

Use the Internet of Things

Huh? What the heck is the internet of things? Here’s an example: If you can manage your home’s thermostat from your phone, you’re using the internet of things. If you can talk to a speaker on your kitchen counter and have the lights in your home turn on and off, you’re using the internet of things. The temptation to resist technological advancement may linger in some of us; we’re worried about spending too much time on social media, or we’re scared that the Russians are building a database for facial recognition. But for a busy mother, advanced technology is a lifesaver. If you can monitor your baby, communicate with your car, and turn up the heat just by making a few adjustments on your phone, your life is easier. 

The lesson to take home today is that a world of ways to simplify your life exists. It’s out there and waiting for you to get past some old prejudices and embrace the new. You’re not going to turn on Skynet by buying an electric car that can more or less drive itself, but you WILL be making your life a whole lot easier.