This is part two of life hacks for moms of little ones! If you missed the part one blog post, click here to catch up (it’s about running errands with little kids without losing your mind, also, doing housework!).
I basically just shared some super simple tips and tricks I’ve picked up over my nine years as a mom to four kids born within five years.
I’ve been in the thick of it like you might be, and I want to lend a hand if you need it!
Let’s dive in to the next two sections of mom life WITH LITTLES…
FEEL GOOD ABOUT WHAT YOU DO
If you feel defeated all the time, you're going to lose your drive to do what you need to do, and if you're like me, you might even start to struggle with depression.
When I feel good about what I do every day, when I am reminded of my purpose and feeling accomplished more days than not, I do this motherhood thing really well.
How I feel affects everything. Here's what works for me:
1. Make a list of only 5 things that need to get done each day
This keeps you from setting unrealistic expectations for yourself and keeps you focused on what really needs to get done rather than what would be nice to have done. Your goal should be to tackle important tasks and feel accomplished at the end of the day, not to make a giant to do list and feel defeated when bed time rolls around. Having a longer list doesn't mean you'll get more done, it just means that's how much more you'll feel you failed, even if you actually got stuff done that day.
2. Hit restart any time of the day you need to
Sometimes a totally crap day comes around, and no matter what you do or how prepared you were the night before, things don't go as planned and you feel like you got dragged nine blocks by a semi by 9AM. When this happens to me, it is so helpful to pause, mentally hit the reset button, and give myself a fresh start to the day. Maybe it's your big cleaning day and you needed to tackle your chore list, but your baby woke up with a fever. Maybe you were gonna work on a project after the kids went to bed but your husband came home after a horrible day and needs you. Reevaluate, move your priorities around, and hit restart. I've done this in the morning, the afternoon, even at night. Sometimes you just need to start over, so go ahead!
3. Get the kids dressed from head to toe
Most days I get myself at least somewhat put together, because I feel good when I'm dressed, but there are plenty of days when I'm gonna be cleaning and I don't even bother. Either way, it really helps me feel "on it" if I've got my kids dressed. Usually after breakfast (which is always at 8:00 in our house), I'll have the older kids dress themselves and I'll get the younger two changed out of their jammies. Then I have them brush their teeth and I do all their hair. When they're put together, I feel put together. It's a simple thing that helps me a ton.
4. Smile at the starers
I used to think I was a little paranoid, but now I know people actually are very rude sometimes. They stare, mouths gaping at how many kids I have, they ask my age (whaaaa??), they make rude comments on my lifestyle choices, they're obsessed with what's going with me while I walk through Target, and I really don't get it, but it's rude regardless. I've learned that smiling back at them puts an ends to it usually and lets them know that I don't care and I'm good and I've got this. Even if Bella is asking a thousand questions and I'm about to lose my ish. Just smile… :)
5. Let the little things go
This is my weakness, but I try to keep the big picture at the front of my mind. In the end, will it really matter that Hudson brought his juice into the living room and spilled it on the rug? When all is said and done, will it really matter than someone had a stomach flu explosion all over my new couch? Everything is fixable and none of that stuff really matters. So I try to let it go.
6. Schedule yourself some breathers
If I know I am going to get the young ones down for naps at the same time, and I have Netflix ready-for-hire at the same time and can get lost in a novel for an hour in the middle of my day, I feel so much better! If I know at the end of the week I've got date night or some “me time” planned, then I am really on top of things that week. Taking care of yourself is important. I always say you can't give to your family out of your well if it's empty.
WHEN YOU HAVE SOMEWHERE TO BE IN THE MORNING
Why are most events for moms so early in the morning?? 9AM, really?! It is so hard to get myself and four children fed and dressed and presentable and out the door by 8:45, ESPECIALLY when you have tiny humans in the house!
But sometimes that's what I have to do to be somewhere I need to be.
There are a few things that help me get out of the house without screaming bloody murder or cancelling the event altogether though, so... that’s a positive in my book.
Here they are:
1. Pack everything the night before
When I pack for the next morning the night before, I never regret it. I get pull-ups (or spare undies, depending on the ages) and wipes in my bag, PBJ's made if we'll be out during lunchtime, sippy cups filled, apples sliced, shoes by the door, and supplies like the park blanket, lawn chairs, etc in the car. This can shave like thirty to forty-five minutes off a chaotic morning!
2. lay out everyone's outfit, including YOURS, the night before
Similar to the point above, but another morning-saver. There have been so many mornings where I'm rushing around, looking for something to wear that ends up being dirty, or I'm unable to find somebody's other shoe. I save my time and my sanity and spare my kids from seeing Mean Mommy when I have everything prepared the night before.
3. Pack some snacks for YOU
I used to always forget about myself, then 11am would roll around and I’d be leaving Bible study or moms group famished and not feeling so well because I didn’t friggin eat!
I know this stuff might be super obvious to you, but I also know that when I was overwhelmed with three kids under three, and again with four kids under five, I wasn’t thinking too clearly.
I wish I would’ve come across a post like this! I hope this helped someone!
If you love simple tips like this, you'll love this free video class I did! Click here to watch it!