As all mothers know, parenting is a messy business. Literally. As in, finger paint smeared all over the kitchen table kind of disorderly. Dirty laundry pile-ups, spilled milk on the floor, accidentally broken new eye glasses….messy! It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the mayhem, and yet, I know I am preaching to the choir when I say that this mayhem is what child-rearing is all about. Here are some simple tips that have helped me embrace the madness of everyday life, teaching me to laugh at myself on the days I leave the house wearing two different earrings.
Have A Daily To-Do List. Chances are high that you have a running to-do list, but do you stick to it? Do you review it often? I used to get frustrated that my to-do list never seemed to get finished. Then I realized that I was not properly prioritizing. Have a check list of small items (order the balloons for the birthday party, clean the upstairs bathroom) that you want to accomplish so you feel a sense of task completion when they are done. For more long term goals (earn a promotion, grow your business), set realistic time lines and have weekly checkpoints to assure you are making progress.
Have A Morning Routine. Mornings set the stage for the entire day. If you get off on the wrong foot before breakfast it is easy to send everyone into the world feeling defeated. Having both a weekday routine and a weekend routine help alleviate some of the morning madness. Children AND adults thrive on routine. Aim for the same week day wake-up time. Also, set some morning ground rules. For example, Adam & I no longer allow screen time Monday through Friday. Morning media just does not work for our family! I would run frantically throughout the house yelling at everyone at full volume only to find that no one had brushed their teeth or combed their hair because they were all too busy staring zombie-like at the third episode of Uncle Grandpa.
Delegate. We as women do not always do a good job of saying no. Add a dose of mommy guilt to this equation and we might be the absolute worst. With each child I have learned to share the load. If there is a job you can delegate, DO it. I have my boys set the table and help with household chores, my friends and I share carpool responsibilities, and if someone offers to lend a hand I graciously accept their offer. It takes a village.
Surround Yourself with Things of Beauty. Fresh flowers. Nature. Art. I take several magazine subscriptions because I find inspiration among the glossy pages. I keep my favorite subscriptions out where I can see them. Maybe you love music? Hook up your Bluetooth and put speakers in the rooms you frequent most often. Buy seasonal produce (it is cheap and accessible) and use it to decotate your living space. There is so much beauty in everyday life.
Surround Yourself with Positive People and Positive Thinking. One of the most life-changing books I have ever read is Norman Peale’s, The Power of Positive Thinking. I highly recommend this book to anyone! This same philosophy carries over to the company we keep. Good energy is contagious.
Achieve Balance. Society today prides itself on being “busy”. We are all so over-scheduled! Yet, we wear our hectic lives like a badge of honor. Burning the candle at both ends will eventually leave you burnt out. Down time is both welcome and deserved.
Don’t Compare. Often times we allow ourselves to be distracted by the accomplishments and achievements of others. Stay focused on personal goals and avoid the social media trap-if life were as glamorous as it appeared on Facebook, it would not be real life. Support thy fellow mom. We are on this journey together.