Thursday, April 7, 2011

Busy Mom Tips

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. Some weeks I feel like I’m just flying by the seat of my pants. I have lists of stuff to do growing faster than I can cross things off. I do know that things are much easier when I do a few things, which is why I am sharing them here.

1. Use Downtime.
Save time by using time that is usually “wasted.” While waiting for the oven to preheat, load the dishwasher. While the sink fills with water, wipe down the counters. Give the bathroom a once over while brushing your teeth. It may seem like a little thing to do, but it all adds up over a day. Then you’ll find cleaning the house is less of a big job, because it has been broken down into more manageable pieces. It also really helps to have a pre-bed routine. Pick up the last few toys (or make that part of the kids’ pre-bed routine), set out your outfit for the next day, make sure the dishes are done and counters are clear.

2. Write it down.
A lot of the stress I face daily is from trying to remember everything that is going on. Writing it down takes away a lot of the stress because I don’t have to constantly think about it, but I will still remember what I need to do. I have a Franklin Covey planner, because I am better with writing things down than using my phone or computer for day planning. I just like the feeling of writing things down, but I do admit that it gets bulky to carry around all the time. You may find using Google calendars or your phone is more convenient.

3. Plan for the week.
It can feel like everything is falling apart if you’re busy and don’t know whether you’re coming or going. Planning for the week can help. Jot down a few dinner options based on what you have on hand, write out the list of activities that you need to do (or taxi the kids to), and pick out a week’s worth of outfits on Sunday night. It really helps to tell the kids “get dressed” and know they will have weather appropriate and somewhat matching clothing to pick from, it also lets you know if you have enough clean laundry. You could even break it down day by day. When washing the dinner dishes, pick out what you’ll be making tomorrow.

4. Use bags.
I am a big fan of tote bags. I decorate them with felt and fabric paint so I can tell which bag I need, but they have helped simplify my life. Library books go in the Library book bag, so when we head out I know I have all the books we checked out and the kids can easily pick out the next batch. They go to a youth group on Sundays and have the activity books in their bags, so when we’re heading out the door we can just grab and go. When I was working in the classroom, I would keep a folder with all the course information, lesson plans, and needed materials ready to go each morning. It helped to have everything for the course in its own bag so I could grab and go in the morning.

5. Delegate- but don’t sabotage yourself!
It is easy to feel the weight of the week on Monday morning. There is a lot to do and only a week to do it in. This is even more difficult when you still have to catch up from last week. You will burn yourself out if you try to tackle it all in one day, so delegate! If you know that Tuesdays are booked, don’t add on laundry or a time-consuming meal to the day. Instead, use your crock pot (or pull out leftovers) and save bigger chores for another day. Just make sure you actually do them on the designated day! What you don’t do today, you will eventually have to do, so don’t put off too much or else you will be even more stressed out tomorrow.

These tips won't change your life, but they may make it a little bit more manageable. What are your tips for busy moms? If there anything you do to keep from chaos?

1 comment:

  1. Great tips!

    I write everything down also! I have a calendar spread out on the coffee table at all times to keep myself organized! It has been a time/life-saver.


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