Say Sayonara to the housework! I’m not suggesting you forgo your household chores every day, but I am suggesting you pick your mental battles. That pile of clothes will be waiting for you with arms wide open tomorrow. I promise. Some days the best thing you can do for you and your family is just slow down and enjoy an evening of laughter and fun!
Everything has a place. If you’re anything like me, mommy brain has taken over, and there are times when you don’t know your left foot from your right. Try ensuring that you keep your essential items such as your keys, purse, phone, etc. in a designated spot. Mommy brain might be able to erase what I did five minutes ago, but it can’t defeat my routines! It’s like my body is wired to check a certain drawer when I need certain items. The few times I’ve chosen to go against my normal regimen, my keys have ended up in the most awkward areas of my home such as… umm the fridge. I know. I know. I can definitely be queen of the Hot Mess Association, but my conscience effort of maintaining routines has helped tremendously.
Stay present. Speaking of keys in the fridge, you’ll lose even more valuable time if your mind is elsewhere, and you’re never focused. I’ve made countless errors since I’ve been #addictedtomommyhood because I was focused on the next moment and not the present moment. I get it. The baby’s crying, the phone is ringing, and you’re rushing to send a deadline email. Yes, life happens, and it can all happen at once. Stop. Take a deep breath and stay present. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself running in circles and not remembering anything about your day. You’re right. Sometimes everything needs to be addressed (it seems) at that very moment, but your little one is also growing right before your eyes. If you’re not careful, you’ll lose out on precious moments due to making huge mistakes. This leads to more wasted time, added frustration, and a burned out mommy.
Slow cooker meals are a mom’s best friend. Where would I be without my crockpot? This has to be the best invention ever! You simply dump the ingredients and go. I tend to start my meals in the evening and let them cook overnight. There’s really no other reason than I just love to smell the meal cooking while I sleep! I’m not superwoman (yet), and I can’t do it all. There’s work, the gym, swim class, cleaning, and a million other tasks on my to do lists. Something has to go! The time that’s needed to “stir occasionally” with some recipes just isn’t there for me….at all. Instead, I pull out my crockpot, pour in the ingredients, and then move on to something else. Below I’ve provided a few of my favorite crockpot websites to help get you started. Enjoy!
Order online. Recently, many retailers have provided customers with home delivery and/or curbside pick up service. These have been huge life savers for my weekly routine. Instead of dragging my ten-month old into the store ( which is an entirely different blog entry), I simply place my order online at http://www.walmart.com, check in when I park, and wait for my order to arrive at my car. The ease and convenience of it all are like a dream. In fact, my life hasn’t been the same since I’ve discovered this online gem. It saves so much time, and my grocery list is even stored for my next shopping trip! The only downfall for me is that some chains require you to place your order twenty-four hours in advance. This means I have to remain somewhat organized for the week, but I’m up for the challenge!LOL Check out the links to a few other stores that provide curbside/home delivery services as well. Every mommy should give it a try at least once. I promise you’ll be hooked!
Get a great planner (if you don’t have one by now). There are tons of planners out there that can help you stay on track, but I’ve included a few options to help you get started. These planners have been used to tame my own chaotic life or have been highly recommended by other busy mom friends. You’ll find that each one has a unique quality that sets it apart from the others, allowing you to choose a planner based on the specific needs of both you and your family.
- At-a-glance–Since I’m pretty old fashioned, this one is my favorite! I still love actually writing my plans down on a monthly calendar because it’s easier for me to see everything all at once. This helps me avoid any surprises in both the week and the month. One of my mom friends actually carries different colored pens to color code reoccurring events in her family’s lives. Umm yeah, I don’t have that kind of time, but to each it’s own. If color coding helps you adjust to the madness of mommyhood life, then color away!)
- Google calendar–Google calendar is the tech savvy direction I’m trying to move towards. My husband and I have extremely difficult work schedules, and Google calendar (from what I’ve been told) would allow us both to add important events for family members to view. The only requirement is that all parties have a Gmail address in order to access a free Google account! One of my close mom friends even allows grandparents to view the Google calendar. This helps them stay updated with dance recitals, birthday parties, and even the days they are needed to get the kids from school. Grandma has been informed that all of her need to know information is in blue which makes it even more user-friendly. My mom friend says Google calendar has helped to alleviate a lot of miscommunication and lightened her load of texting/calling everyone to update schedules. I’m currently being pressured to step out of the dark ages and join the rest of the tech savvy world. To be honest, I’m thinking of giving it a try (in a month or two), but for now, my pen and paper will do just fine. It’s just what works best for me!
- Smartphone calendar–This calendar might be the most convenient because we all have one, and it’s easy to access! Smartphone calendars aren’t my favorite because I can’t see everything for the month when I open it. Having to click on the actual date of the event has wreaked havoc in my life once before, and I think I may still be traumatized. I found myself opening the calendar the night (or day) of the event and saying “Oh shoots! That’s tomorrow!” Nope. That just doesn’t work well with my anxiety at all, but once again, what works for one may not work for another. You may find the convenience of a smart phone calendar is just what you need to find balance in your mommyhood life.
At the end of the day, you have to decide what works best for you. You’re the mom. You’re the glue. It doesn’t matter which calendar method you choose, just choose one! If you’re anything like me, life is a juggling act and something almost always slips through the cracks if it’s not written down. Stop stressing yourself and organize today!
Create a bedtime routine and stick to it. Olivia is in bed every night no later than 8 (ok 8:30) pm. This gives me time to catch my breath and recharge for the the next day. There’s just no way we can be any good for our families if we don’t invest time into ourselves. After Livvy is put down, that time belongs to me. Sometimes I use it to catch up on work, spend some uninterrupted time with my hubby, or just pamper myself. Often times, we feel that if we’re not focused on everyone else, we’re not doing a great job and that just isn’t true. We do our best when we are our best! We’re better for ourselves and our families. It’s not selfish. It’s needed. Creating (and sticking) to a bedtime routine with Livvy wasn’t the easiest thing to do. However, it was necessary. Livvy used to stay up all night and then join me in my bed. This meant that I had absolutely zero time to myself. I was tired, cranky, and unable to focus on the next day’s duties and goals. Now don’t get me wrong. If you want your little ones in your bed, then let them! That just didn’t work for me and my household. Mommyhood is all about finding your balance and making it work for you!
As mommies, we’re expected to come up an extra two to three hours to get stuff done. We’re moms. We can do that, right? Well as much as we all wish a time extension during the day were possible, we know that that type wishful thinking just won’t work! These ideas were given to help you feel that you’ve gained a few more hours when really you’re just working smarter, not harder. Let’s make a deal mommies. This week, try to use at least one of one the suggestions from this week’s post to make more time for cuddles or to just catch your breath! Don’t feel you have to walk this mommyhood journey alone. Remember, we’re in this together!