There’s nothing in the world like being a mother. While it is truly a blessing and rewarding, it is a full time job. Once you become a mom it suddenly feels like you’re a nurse, chauffeur, therapist, chef, negotiator, house keeper, school teacher – did I miss a few? We tend to pile a lot on our plate and are known for putting more pressure on ourselves than we really need to. Rule #1, Stop trying to be a Super Hero! There are so many things we learn about ourselves when we become a parent – patience being one of them. There’s no doubt that we’re going to have our days from time to time, and the sooner we accept this, the easier it will be when that time happens. I’m going to share with you some strategies that really helped me and continue to help me every day. Are you ready to get your life a little more in control? Good, read ahead.
Putting your priorities in order first thing in the morning (or on Sundays before the week starts) will not only maximize your time, but guarantee you get everything done that YOU need to – without getting too side tracked. Determining what is most important, what is due now, and what you really need to get out of the way will make your life so much easier and less stressful. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Make one side “Personal” and one side “As a family.” On the “Personal” side include the days and times you are going to workout, things you’d like to do – like read your book, take a bike ride, phone a friend, etc. On the “As a family” side, write down any appointments you have, recitals, places you need to go, or things you need to pay. Do this week by week and keep it somewhat flexible. Hang this list on your fridge or write it on a white board that you’ll see every day. Make sure to go over it with your family first or work on it with them, that way you’re all on the same page and can achieve these things as a team.
On the bottom half of the piece of paper, under “Personal”, write down your goals for the week, referring back to your “Personal” priorities . It can include things like “only have one soda a day (not four), walk/run for 10 more minutes, read one chapter, call Kim on Thursday, or bring an apple and a bottle of water to work every day. Be specific and realistic – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! On the bottom half under “As a family”, write down when you’d like to or have to have these things done by. We can not keep track of everything in our head, and trying to will only make things more stressful. Write everything down, either on a calender, piece of paper, and/or in your phone under a notepad option. This will save you the stress of trying to remember everything you and your family need to do and put your mind more at ease, especially at night.
- Stress Management
The first step is to identify all sources of stress in your life – people, an environment or every day tasks. Don’t make excuses as to why you’re stressed out, like “he made me stressed, I’m just a nervous person, I just have a million things to do at once, etc.” It is absolutely critical to manage stress and learn healthy ways to deal and cope with it better. Communicating effectively, being more assertive, compromising with the ones you love, learning to say no, and managing your time and schedule better are some of the most affective ways to manage stress in our lives. Learn how to meditate and clear your mind when things get out of control. If you need to walk away from a situation and take a breather for a few minutes, go ahead (of course, try to do it peacefully, without slamming doors or cursing like a sailor) as long as this will make the outcome better.
- Schedule time for fun and relaxation
Nurturing your soul is just as important as the air you breath. Do at least one thing every day that you really enjoy – if not everyday, every week. It doesn’t have to cost you even a penny. Whether it’s reading a few chapters of your book in a bubble bath, watching Lifetime movies, driving by the beach, painting your nails, window shopping, looking for recipes online, whatever makes you happy and calm, do it! We all want to be fun moms, I don’t know one woman who doesn’t. It is very important that moms from all walks (working and stay at home) take good care of themselves every single day, especially emotionally. Getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy, exercising and taking out time for ‘play’ will equip you to be more efficient in every area of your life, and it will show. Learn to be more spontaneous. Doing so will build lifelong memories with you and your family and can really bump up the bonding experience.
On a personal note, I’m a stay at home mom. I struggle with a lot of these things everyday and I definitely need to work on a few of them. I am not perfect, BUT I can work towards being better – a better person, wife and mother. I couldn’t have written this article at a better time. My little one is getting so active, bouncing all over the place, and during the day it’s just me. This is going to be an article that I’m going to refer back to often. I hope you do the same if there ever comes a time when you need a “woo sa” break. 🙂
What is the one thing that you struggle with the most as a Mom? Time, patience, getting chores/tasks done? Do you have any tips or suggestions for all of us mommies out there? Leave your comments below.