Originally Published Aug 2014
Tip 1- Simplify Your Schedule …
Simplify your life.
Who is responsible for your hectic, over-scheduled life?
Do your children have to be in cooking lessons, art classes and soccer?
Are you stressed out, sleep deprived and exhausted from your overwhelming schedule?
- How much of your current schedule have you created?
A good mother isn’t necessarily the person who has the most “to do” things on her list, yet this is how we often feel as women. Many moms find themselves over-scheduled because they feel they have to be the most giving or the most sacrificing mom to be a so called “good” mother.
On the other hand, when children are asked what makes a great mom, they praise parents for being available for them, being relaxed, showing love, and paying attention to them.
If you have over-scheduled your children, ask yourself why you are doing that.
Do you justify keeping them busy with classes and sports because you feel “good moms” give them opportunities?
What would be wrong with letting your child play after a full day of classes? Is it wrong to let a child have their weekend to do nothing? Is it wrong to have your child in 1 outside activity than 3?
Learn to say no. Learn that less can be more for the quality of your family life.
Don’t feel guilty about the time you spend away from your children either. Be a realistic mom……. You simply cannot be with your children around the clock. You will miss stuff, but you will be there for the important stuff. Pick and choose which events to go to, and which ones you can make extra special while you are away.
Sometimes doing an activity with your kids one-on-one is better than watching them at an event.
Tip 2 Smart Moms Know How To Delegate Tasks Well
Lets face it, if you cannot do everything yourself. If you are, you are doing it wrong.
- Is it really wrong to give your children tasks around the house?
- Do your kids have tasks to do around the house, or are you doing them all?
Learn to accept that delegation is a skill rather than a failure on your part.
- Do you feel as though your husband isn’t doing the laundry, dishes, or lunches as much as you do? Does he feel you are not doing your share around the house and yard? Perhaps the problem is communication.
Have a plan with your husband what tasks you would prefer, and split them up. Personally I hate grocery shopping. The grocery list will include about 10 items if I had the weekly task of going to the grocery store. On the other hand, my husband enjoys strolling through the isles. The grocery shopping would always get sacrificed if my husband didn’t take this chore for me. On the other hand, I do most of the yard work. Our family runs better this way.
Delegating includes your children. Vacuuming, dishes, laundry, changing water dishes for the pets are perfectly fine to give to children. After you delegate a task, let go of it. Monitoring, and hovering over your kids shows a lack of trust on your part. Praise them, and you will find they will do a better job because you show you trust them.
Ask yourself “What if?”
“What if the laundry didn’t get done this week?”
“What if my kids didn’t do the dishes 100% the way I do it?”
Let go of the guilt, and decide what things are worth examining in detail.
Life will happen, and if something comes up, be confident that you can deal with the problem in the moment. You simply cannot control everything, and when you do….they will resent you for it.
Tip 4 Limit Time Consuming / Drama Friends And Family
Do you have that one person who consumes your time? They stop over every day, make unexpected visits, stay too long, phone too often?
As long as you allow these people to set the rules, others will keep taking and taking.
People learn to do what works, and you teach people how to treat you. If you are battling with someone, learn to be the one to set the rules in the relationship. You may not be pushing them out of your life all together, but revealing your schedule, how much time you have to give, shows that you have boundaries. Don’t be their mental doormat for unresolved issues in their own life. There are therapists for that.
Tip 5 Make Time For Yourself
One of the best tips Robin Mcgraw, suggested on a Dr Phil show about parenting was to make time for yourself.
If you take care of yourself first, you can ensure that you will be mentally, physically and emotionally there for your family.
Consider the time before the kids are awake, and after they go to bed as time for yourself. My mother always had us on a tight bedtime schedule, because she taped her daily soap opera that she watched at night. It was her time to unwind.
If you are going to bed at the same time as your kids, your doing it wrong, and will leave very little room for yourself.
Carve out that room at the end of the night and stick to strict bedtimes. You will find you will have time for those projects that get put off month after month.
Tip 6- Don’t Sacrifice Who You Are
Most of us work in order to pay for our families expenses.
If you do work, ask yourself if you enjoy your career and the stimulation you get from your job. If you don’t, start looking at ways to find solutions to make your work life more enjoyable.
Speak to your boss, or HR director about possibly moving into a different position, or find things that excite you at your job, and ask for a position that is fine-tuned in your interest area.
If you don’t like what you are doing, start looking for options of another career path. Striving for goals at any age keeps you young. It is never too late to change a job, go back to school, or get more education.
If you don’t know what to do, the first step is to just start looking, and open your mind to something new.
Most people change jobs several times before they find the right fit. Finding something that you enjoy is important to your happiness. YOU are worth it!
Tip 7- A Successful Mom Knows Her Support Infrastructure
Moms that seem to have it all put together often have an organized support team.
- The Right Childcare Can Make A Tremendous Difference– It often takes a few tours of facilities or finding the right nannies before finding the best fit. Have a number of connections, rather than one fall back go-to person. Develop your connections, and have a number of people to call in case your regular support is missing. Make personal connections at your day care, and treat the staff right. They might bend over backwards for you that day you are running late, or happen to ask for a favor.
- Your Spouse Is Your Greatest Support, So Don’t Run Him Into The Ground Emotionally or Physically– Parenting is an equal responsibility, and communication is what makes the machine run well. If you are a stay at home mom, then be there to have the house clean, laundry done and dinner on the table when he does get home. It can make a huge difference for him. Be that wife to watch that he isn’t working himself raw to support his family. Be there to handle the kids so he can have the mental ability to provide the income needed from work. Together, you and your spouse need to develop a strategy for running your household. Decide your strengths and your schedules and come up with a plan that works. Who does the bedtime or morning routine? Who is in charge of running kids to activities or in charge of homework? Who is the one to start dinner? If the answer is always you, then it’s time to renegotiate, and come up with a better plan that works for the both of you.
- Find a Community Of Friends- Having friends and connections can really open up life in a different way. Facebook often has groups that have connections to real people in your local area. A walking group for moms could be a way to connect with other ladies, while at the same time entertaining your children. Mom Book Clubs, or Moms Who Craft are ways to get together with other ladies and form connections. Meet up at for family swim, or a coffee in the park while the kids play. If you don’t have one in your area, create one…. Start a thread in your local Facebook group buy and sell and see if any other ladies are interested in a weekly walk. From there, your small group will build. Having others to lean on and share the day-to-day challenges is extremely helpful when it comes to keeping you sane and happy. It’s important to celebrate being a mom and being a woman too.
Tip 8- Stop Trying To Create The Perfect Family Or Be The Perfect Mom
Realize that you will let your kids down. You may not always be the perfect spouse or parent and admit that to them. You will fall in their eyes, and that is ok. Stay-at-home moms aren’t perfect either, so let go of the expectations.
If your house isn’t perfect when guests come over, ……who cares.
If your kid goes to school with his or her clothes not matching………who cares!
Who cares if you don’t drive a new car, or that you don’t take your kids out on some wild adventure that Veronica does down the street does with her kids.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
If you have a friend who is shoving her grand life in your face, it is time to get new friends, or limit the ones you have and make new connections.
You don’t have to bake cookies from scratch, or give your kids the new trendy clothes each season to keep up with the Jones.
Taking shortcuts doesn’t mean you aren’t providing for your kids. Cramming your Saturdays and Sundays with activities and family adventures doesn’t make you a good parent.
Communicate with your children. As repeated above, when children are asked what makes a great mom, they praise parents for being available for them, being relaxed, showing love, and paying attention to them.
Stay connected with your kids, engage in what they are interested in, and ask them questions. Cut yourself some slack, and you will find you can start smelling those roses your husband planted at the beginning of the season for you.
You are great, worth it, and ENOUGH being who you are.