Last year my friend, Crystal, posted the following on my Facebook for Mother’s Day. I was 2-3 weeks postpartum with my second and of all the things I felt, I’m not sure I felt like I was making it look easy. The post made my day and is one of the best compliments I’ve received as a mother. I’ve spent all year thinking about the things I do and the help/systems I have in place that help me get along.
I, by no means, have it all together but if I can help even one person by sharing how I “make it look easy” I’m more than willing to share.
1. Get a Shower Everyday
I’m starting here because this is how I start my day 6/7 days a week. My exception is Tuesday when Ada and I have baby swim so I shower after while she naps. Taking a shower every morning is the #1 way I make myself feel refreshed and ready to start my day. Before you roll your eyes and start with the “I don’t have time” or ‘what am I going to do with my kids while I shower” excuses let me ask a few things…How much time did you spend on your phone this morning? Can you wake up 10 minutes earlier? Can you shower before bed? My morning shower works best for me but if the morning was out of the question I’d shower at night. I would rather feel clean than worry about what my hair looks like the next day. That’s a big thing for me…I really like having my hair look good. I actually set an alarm every morning and get up at least an hour before I have to get the kids up. This gives me time to shower, unload the dishwasher, get dressed, and if I haven’t wasted too much time on my phone to spend some time relaxing.
2. Get Organized
Organize your routine, organize your stuff, make lists of the things you need and the things you have to do, THEN make lists of all those lists. LOL. For real though, get organized. I have two apps I use daily to help with organization. The first is Calendars by Readdle (free with upgrade available) and the second is Tody ($6.99). I prefer this calendar app over iCal because I can add checklist items and color code based on which member of my family is doing/needing what. The Tody app is my saving grace for keeping my chores up to par. I’ve really found being able to look at the app and see what chores the week ahead holds helps me to organize my time. It also helps me keep track of when I need to clean those things you don’t clean weekly. I could write all day about the ways I organize and the lists I make but that’s for another day.
You’ve heard the old saying “time is money”, right? Of course you have! I’m not 100% sure I feel exactly that way but I do know that time spend doing X is time you could spend doing Y and maybe being able to do Y is worth spending a little money to outsource X. For example, I use the grocery shopping app, Shipt, which means for a yearly subscription fee, a little uncharge on select grocery items, and a tip for the shopper my groceries are brought to my house. Each person is different, I understand that, but I’ve done the math and feel like overall this service is worth the cost because I I can spend the time I would spend in the store doing things with my family, working on business items, and even having a quiet moment for myself (see #5). I honestly also think I’d spend more money buying last minute things at the store I don’t need then Shipt costs us. If delivery isn’t your thing, check out Kroger click list for drive up service ($4.95 service fee per order after the first 3 orders) and if you are funny about people picking out your fruit order everything else you need with the drive-up then you only have to pop into the store for produce.
A few of my other favorite ways to outsource, Amazon subscribe and save (get monthly staples at a discount for subscribing, skip delivery on items if necessary), Home Chef (average cost of a meal is $9.95/per person – good luck getting all the ingredients at that price and not wasting the bulk of the amount you need to buy), and lawn care (I’m down to cut some grass but the edging, weed whacking, bushes, etc…worth being able to spend the weekend doing family things).
Every family is different but before you dismiss outsourcing take a minute to seriously consider what you can do with the time you gain by not having to do the task in question.
Here are a couple of affiliate links for the services mentioned above. If you’re interesting in trying, use my link. You save, I save. It’s win win really!! Just click the service name to get more info.
4. DO Things Today NOT Tomorrow
My husband (love you, Chris) can spit out at least 10 pro-procrastination “proverbs” but I’m here today to say 3 things about putting things off until tomorrow.
– If it takes less than 2 minutes to do, do it right now, don’t wait until later. I’m pretty sure I caught these words of wisdom from the wonderful Cameran Wimberly, good advice!
– Putting things off only makes them pile up and usually results in someone else having to clean up your mess.
– I’m guilty of putting things off even though it drives me nuts!
This is a constant work in progress and I feel like I’m always saying “if I can only get caught up” but the truth is, it never ends and the biggest thing you can do to help is to keep on top of all the things!
5. Do Something for YOU!
Do something small like shower or a walk, something big like a weekend away, something in between, find something for YOU! One of the biggest ways I am able to do what I do is because of the support system I have. My husband understands the need for “me” time and my family lives close and are always willing to take the kids for an hour or an overnight.
I understand not everyone has this but I guarantee you can find a way. If you have family around just ask, don’t be afraid. If you don’t have family around join a local group of moms (MOMS Club, MOPS, Stroller Strong Moms, etc.) go to an event, put yourself out there, meet some people, sometimes just going to a group event helps me check that “me time” box. Regardless of your situation don’t be afraid to tell someone you need 30 minutes alone to recharge, you would be surprised how willing your husband, family, mom friends will be to step in to give you that time.
Just remember, don’t always take. You need to be willing to give. It doesn’t have to be babysitting for babysitting but there is always a way you can pay back or pay if forward when someone helps you out!