Hey, Moms…can we all agree that motherhood is by far the hardest thing we’ve ever done? Sure, everyone tried to warn us about the “big” things, but, in our defense, there are about a million little things that we weren’t warned about and are figuring out every day.
Some nights, after putting my son to sleep, I lie on the couch, numb, and wonder how in the world I’m going to do it all over again the next day. How will I regenerate enough energy to handle another day like the one I just barely survived?
Whether we’re stay-at-home or working moms, we rarely catch a break, and, eventually, the exhaustion catches up to us.
But is there a way to make it all seem a bit easier? Can we really start fresh every day without dreading the next twelve hours? Here are 5 habits that could have a significant impact on how smoothly your days go, and, most of all, your sanity.
Plan, Pack & Prepare the Night Before
You guessed it: organization is vital. If you want to have lunches to whip up, diaper bags to pack, and meal plans to put together in the morning, that’s your choice, but there is something extraordinary about waking up to a packed diaper bag and lunches already stuffed into Tupperware in the fridge. When the kids are in bed, put together a meal plan for the week (enough of those “we have nothing to eat – guess we’re ordering pizza” nights!), so you know precisely what to defrost and when. When I know I have a busy day ahead, I even prepare the coffee pot the night before. All I need to do is hit “Brew” when I wake up. Make overnight oats or a yummy casserole for breakfast the night before to avoid the morning rush. No more frazzled running around in the morning – enjoy that cup of coffee you so deserve!
Do Laundry & Dishes Every Day
I can’t think of a more giant mood killer than a sink full of dishes or a washer full of dirty, smelly clothes that should’ve been run the day before. To avoid the additional chore, just get it done the night before. Seriously. My husband always says he’s out of commission after 8pm, but, to me, it’s so important to start fresh every single morning – enough random chores will pop up on my to-do-list as the day progresses! Never leave anything behind, telling yourself you’ll worry about it in the morning. It’s worth the effort to get it out of the way.
Clean Up As You Go
By the time I put my son to sleep at night, our living room looks like a battlefield. It can sometimes take me 15 minutes to organize his toys after a long day (especially if his Dad was on Daddy Duty!). My tip is to always clean up as you go. Yes, sometimes, it might feel as if you keep doing the same work over and over again (especially when your child decides to take every single book out of the bin you just finished organizing), but it avoids the massive mess at the end of the day. I always declutter during nap time and right after bedtime. Before meals, when my son gets “hangry,” I’ll ask him to clean up his toys first. It works like a charm! Come up with consistent, designated clean up times that work for your child, of course.
In terms of decluttering your home, tackle one room at a time – it’s a huge mood booster to see your home come together, but a room is a lot less overwhelming than a deep clean of the entire house. Don’t underestimate the impact a clean cupboard can have on your state of mind!
Fix Your Family’s Bedtime Routine
Bedtime is very important in our household. My son is in bed at 7 p.m. every night and, except for special occasions, we’re very consistent about his routine. Yes, it helps to have your kids get used to consistency when it comes to their routines (less whining involved for sure), but we so often focus on our children’s needs that we forgot about our own sleep schedule in the process. Make it a point to go to bed earlier than usual. Not only will you feel a lot more rested, but you will also most likely wake up earlier and be more productive the next day. Goodbye puffy eyes – when it comes to sleep, consistency is critical for everyone!
Have Quiet Time Every Day
Here comes the fun, but often forgotten part: Moms need time to unwind! It’s so, so, so important. Whether that means something as simple as a shower (alone!), reading 30 pages of a book, running an errand (alone!), or doing your nails in your (locked) bedroom, just do it. We focus on everyone but ourselves all day long – consider this another one of your mommy duties. You’ll soon realize that the whole household runs a lot more smoothly when Mom’s sanity is made a priority.