Being a mom is the best. But it can also be one of the hardest jobs in the world.
Who would apply for a job that was 24/7, no salary, with crazy hours and extra pressure? The answer is no one, but moms all over the world take those same benefits with open arms, because they love their kids.
With all the pressure to be supermom, it can be hard to step back and remember: you’re allowed to cut corners. You’re allowed to say no. If you feel like you’re drowning in the daily tasks of work, life, and parenting, here are some simple solutions for winning back more of that time.
Don’t go overboard with meals. If you feel like you need to cook a “real” dinner every night, you’re probably stressed every evening when it’s time to get a meal together. It can be overwhelming to find the time, do the shopping, and come up with a recipe every dinner. The answer to this dilemma is: stop. You don’t need to cook fresh every night. In fact, you shouldn’t. If you’re passionate about feeding your family whole versus processed foods, then find ways to keep health in your diet without going crazy. Do one freezer meal day a month, and get the whole family to help you. Teach your older kids to make slow-cooker dinners. They’ll probably love making dinner all by themselves, and you’ll get a much-needed break.
Cut corners in your own schedule. If you feel a drive for perfection, now is the time to let it go. You’re allowed to drive the kids to school in your pajamas sometimes. You’re allowed to clean fewer days per week. Wherever you can, find way to make your life easier. Combine goals. Be that mom who jogs behind the stroller, because it’s a great idea. Are you hoping to lose weight and spend less time getting ready in the morning? Have a Humapro shake for breakfast and tackle both aspirations at once.
Make less work for yourself. Doesn’t that sound great? It might seem impossible, but you can actually lessen your workload if you try, and it usually starts with things around the house. Are you kids old enough to put their dishes in the dishwasher and pick up their own room? Are they doing it? Talk to the experts if you think you’ll have trouble implementing those new rules. You can also clean less by simply having less stuff. Try to downsize and get rid of things you don’t need. If your kids already have more toys than they know what to do with, try to gift experiences on their birthdays instead, like bounce house rentals or a trip to a waterpark.
Rest more often. Before kids, you probably knew that taking breaks made you more productive. You probably took advantage of the weekend and occasional vacations to return to work bright-eyed and ready for action. Now that you have kids at home, exactly when do you get a break? Even if it means calling in the babysitters, just so you can go sit at the park, it’s worth it to get some rest. It might seem like you’re wasting time, but a bit of solitude and slowing down can help you get some things in perspective. Make sure you take rest breaks as often as you can, not to do more work, but to actually rest. You’ll probably find you get more done the next day — and even if you don’t, you’ll be a happier mom.