6 Ways Busy Moms Stay Sane
“Ok. So I’ll take Austin to his baseball game and then drop Emma at her soccer game. You go straight to the baseball game from work, and I’ll stay at the soccer game and watch Emma play until half time...and then we can switch places, and you can see the last half of the soccer game, and I can see the last half of the baseball game!”
Mom life. We’ve all been there--whether it's juggling the kids’ activities or just trying to figure out how to fit dinner in with the homework routine or fit a shower in before the baby wakes up. As moms, we’re always being bombarded by things to do and not enough time to squeeze them in.
So how do busy moms do it? How do they give everyone the attention they need and still stay sane?
Here are six tips busy moms can use to stay sane and even happy:
1. Schedule out your week.
When scheduling your week, Brian Tracy, author of How to Master Your Time, says it’s best to focus on the five Cs: calendar, carpool, cooking, chores, and children. When focusing on these things, it’s important to first invest in a good calendar. Whether it is a digital calendar app or a huge dry-erase board or a pocket calendar to put in your purse, you need a way to schedule out your week. It’s too easy to miss an appointment or baseball or soccer game if you’re trying to keep track of everything in your head. Calendering is the best way to keep everything straight.
With your calendar in place, schedule out your “carpool” items (where you need to be and when), “cooking” details (meal planning), “chores” (what needs to be done during the week, by whom, and when), and “children” (bath times, babysitters,
2. Limit children’s activities.
Children today are being over programmed, which means parents are being over programmed too. It’s ok—and encouraged—for you, as the parent, to limit the number of activities your children participate in. There is no need for your kids to participate in more than one sport per season or even more than two in a year. It’s ok for them to have evenings with nothing to do except spend time with the family. A lighter schedule for them is a lighter schedule for you. If at some point you feel you are at your whits end, don’t be afraid to turn on a computer game like solitaire and let your children get some energy out that way while you work on other household chores.
3. Plan trade-off days for doing errands.
A great way for busy moms to get more accomplished is to designate an afternoon or day each week to do errands. Instead of dragging your toddlers around from store to store, find a good friend to trade with: your friend watches your kids on your errand day, and you watch her kids on her errand day. This way, you can each do errands more quickly and more efficiently, and as an extra bonus, the kids will get play dates with friends.
4. Realize you don’t have to do it all yourself.
You don’t have to do it all yourself. Seriously. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL YOURSELF. Tell yourself this every day, multiple times a day, until you believe it. Whether it’s your husband or your kids or a friend or neighbor or a professional, it’s ok to ask for assistance. Your husband can cook; your kids can do chores. And if you dislike cleaning your giant picture window, it’s ok to hire a professional window cleaner to make it shine. If it’s the grout in your tile floors causing you grief, it’s ok to call a tile and grout cleaning professional to get your floor looking like new again. You aren’t any less of a supermom if you allow others to help lift your burdens.
5. Decide what you can and can’t do and stick to it.
This ties in with tip 5. Not only do you have permission to delegate to others, you also have permission to say, “no.” Busy moms often don’t know how to say this simple word. They agree to anything and everything they’re asked to do. Unfortunately, spreading yourself too thin because you can’t say “no” is the quickest way to become overwhelmed and start feeling a bit crazy.
Look at yourself in the mirror and practice saying,”no.” Try it again and again until it becomes easier. Next time you get asked to help in both kids’ Halloween parties at the same time, tell one class “no” and offer to help that class with their next party instead. Once you take a stand, stick with your decision. You and your family will be much happier.
6. Figure out a daily routine and stick to it.
Your daily routine will make or break you. This routine should include getting up earlier. By getting up just 30 minutes earlier, you’ll have quiet time for yourself, important time to get ready for the day ahead. Use this treasured time to go over your calendar to be prepared for what’s ahead. Stick to your schedule throughout the day, and in the evening prep for the following morning. Make sure dishes are done, the house is picked up, and the kids’ clothes and lunches are ready for the next day. By adding these simple tasks into your daily routine, your days will start off right, setting the tone for a less hectic, organized day.
Mom life. It can be crazy busy. You may even feel crazy at times. But if you incorporate these six tips into your busy life--schedule out your week, limit your children’s activities, plan trade-off days for doing errands, realize you don’t have to do it all yourself, decide what you can or can’t do, and figure out a daily routine, you’ll see that life will go a lot more smoothly and you'll be a lot happier and a lot more sane.