Mama, can you heaaaar me? Come closer, I want to make sure you hear THIS: Your life is crazypants crazy right now. Yes, yours. It’s nuts. You hardly know whether you’re coming or going, even if you’re staying home all day. How do I know this? Because I am YOU, girl.
I’ve got three kids, a husband and a J-O-B, and for years I was a disorganized mess. But now I am proud to announce that in the past few months, I’ve become LESS OF A MESS! At least inside my mind-brain, which is the most important part, right? (It is, trust me.) Over the past year I’ve been working on trying to get my act together so I can have a wee bit o’sanity even when life is stressful. Because, (spoiler alert): IT’S ALWAYS STRESSFUL! No matter what season of parenting you’re in! Hear me out and hold on tight, mamas.
Here are 7 things I do every day to rock my mom life—and you should, too!
1. Get up before your kids
OK STAY WITH ME NOW! I know this is a hard one (P.S., if you have a newborn? I’m not talking to you. Go back to bed ASAP and stay there as long as humanly possible.) I fought this one for years. YEARS. Even after my oldest went to school, I’d have my husband wake me up at the same time my son needed to get up, not before. I am not a good sleeper so every minute of sleep is precious to me. However, a year ago when I started working, I knew I HAD to get up before the kids and get myself dressed and cleaned up before waking them to get them ready. And you know what? I LOVE IT. Not the actual getting up at 5:45 part, that’s still horrible. (Never been a morning person.)
Exhibit A: Me at 5:45 am
But the being up before the kids part, being caffeinated and wearing real clothes and feeling like a person part? THAT PART IS AMAZING. Try it for a week before you knock it, I beg you! I wish I’d started it when my oldest was 2, not 10. It has sent my productivity through the roof, and my day always takes a dive if I choose to sleep in. I know it sounds crazy…but do it! DOOO ITTTTT!
Exhibit B: Me at 6:30 a.m. before I go wake the kids up:
2. Make a to-do list
I hate to admit this, but I am nothing without my to-do list. I put ALL THE THINGS on it, you guys, every little thing I can think of! I do this because a) I don’t want to forget anything of course, and b) it’s very cathartic to cross those little things off! That’s right, you go on with your bad self and put “shower” and “get dressed” on that list in addition to your tasks for work, preschool pickup, or starting the crock pot. My to-do list is a road map that leads to a day that ends well, and if I forget to start one in the morning, my efficiency takes a hard dive without it’s oxygen tank real fast.
Exhibit C: I make a list for work (I work at home) and home-related items every day.
3. Put on a real outfit and/or makeup
I am going to level with you here. It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to feel AWAKE without my makeup on. It’s totally vanity-driven and psychological, but it works! It makes me feel great and energized to have my face on. It also helps to have on a cute outfit that makes me feel good. So even if makeup isn’t for you, GET DRESSED. Put on pants that do not have an elastic waist, and try an accessory or two (I wear a scarf as often as weather permits. I’m a scarf lady. They make me feel fab!) I always leave my hair for last. If I don’t get to it, my three coats of mascara can more than make up for it. Get dressed, girls!
Exhibit D: I KNOW it’s just a tank and jeans, but it’s not pajamas! It makes me feel AWAKE! You can only see my cute earrings a little bit in this pic but they also make me quite happy. (Also I know my woodwork needs to be refinished. It’s a work in progress, y’all!)
4. Take a walk
This is the newest addition to my rocking mom routine. I am so addicted to my daily walk that I don’t know what I am going to do when winter hits! I usually walk for just 10 minutes, but it’s all I need to clear my head and just do something for me. Not to mention it’s good for your health. If your kids are in school like mine are, hit the sidewalk solo and enjoy! If not, strap those kids in a stroller or a Moby and beat feet! Take 10 minutes, a day, and soon you will be craving more. I promise!
Exhibit E: Me on my daily walk
5. Do a five-minute pickup
If you look around your house and overwhelmed by the chaos, WELCOME TO THE CLUB. The thing about keeping my house clean is, welllllll..FIVE PEOPLE LIVE HERE. The struggle is real. The five-minute pickup has made this struggle a LOT easier to handle. Put it on your to-do list and rock it out! I usually do one right after the kids leave for school in the morning and one right before my husband comes home, just to get things back in their place. Think ya ain’t got time for that? Set a timer and give it a whirl. You will be amazed at how much can be accomplished in five uninterrupted minutes! (Let’s be honest, children have been conceived in less time.) Make your kiddos help, too! I use the 2nd five-minute pickup of the day to have them put away their own things under my expert direction. Which leads me to….
Exhibit F: My dining room table. I can put a HURT on this mess in 5 motivated minutes! (I know, Mountain Dew. DON’T JUDGE! It was my birthday. And because I am KLASSY, I like Mountain Dew on my birthday. Said birthday also explains the gift bags. And the cake carrier. YOU GET THE IDEA.)
6. Make the kids do one chore
Start ’em young, mamas. Start ’em young. I waited way too long with my kids! During school, I usually just give them one chore. During the summer they have more. My favorite thing to have them do is load and unload the dishwasher. And my motto for the kids’ chore? “If I didn’t have to do it, IT HAS BEEN DONE CORRECTLY!” Let go and make this your motto. This is KEY. Teach them responsibility and check another thing off your list! Folding and/or putting away laundry is another one I love to assign to the kiddos. For a good list of age-appropriate chores, check out this blog post.
Exhibits G & H: Two kids enjoying their chores. Ok, my daughter’s just pretending, but my 4-year-old son LEGIT loves setting the table AND helping his big brother unload the dishwasher.
7. Run the dishwasher before bed
As I mentioned, I have the kids unload and re-load the dishwasher, but at the end of the night, I drop a tablet in that baby and run it before I head to bed. That way I always know that I will wake up with enough utensils for everyone’s breakfast, and THAT, my dears, is a beautiful thing. I put it on my list (um, except the one I took a picture of for this post, GEESH) and I don’t cross it off until right before I head to bed. In my world, it’s a must!
Exhibit I: Locked and loaded dishwasher about to go for a RUN.
Well mamas, those are the seven daily tasks that make my WORLD go ’round and keep this mama’s mind in a good place. I’d love to hear what parts of your routine YOU can’t live without—and what you would add to my list. Let’s hear it! And if you liked these ideas, don’t forget to share them on Facebook and pin this fantabulous infographic!