When my children were small – I am talking newborns and toddlers – I had all of my ducks in a row. Sometimes quite literally, I would have 3-6 children following me around the mall, zoo or where ever was on the agenda. We were always out and about meeting new people and trying new things. I did everything by the book. We ate organic, we cloth diapered, and I nursed. Fast forward about ten years, and we are on the hot mess express. I am constantly forgetting snacks, lunches and school notes. For heaven’s sake, if my child goes to school with pants on I call it a win. I call this the mommy burn out. I can’t be the only one who has hit the wall. We have work and school, friends and extra curricular activities… we are constantly on the move. Rarely can we just be. It is hard to balance it all. Here are some of my favorite tips to help other moms feeling this way too.
- Write it down- my favorite tools are a dry erase calendar and a PAPER planner. Don’t let your phone suck you in with its color code calendar and its reminders. The act of actually writing it down helps you remember and your paper planner isn’t going to distract you with videos of kittens.
- Check it- Check your calendar or planner every day. This can be done in the morning or before bed. I prefer before bed as then I have time to plan ahead.
- Plan it- More accurately plan everything. This may seem over whelming at first but I assure you once you get the hang of it it stream lines your life. The most important things I plan ahead.
- What are we wearing? Laundry gets done once a week in our house so I always know that we have clean socks. But planning goes well beyond is it clean. Don’t be me getting your kids to school in pants is not always a win. Do the kids have gym? Picture day? OUTDOOR recess when it is 20 degrees. These are all things that need to be taken in to consideration. I lay out tomorrows outfits the night before , when I check my calendar. This way if tomorrow is mix-match day we got it covered.
- What are we eating? Having a meal plan is also very important. You are more likely to feed your family pizza or take out if you don’t have an answer when they ask “what is for dinner?” I get this question so many times a day I have a special marker board just for meal planning. My kids know what is for dinner today and they get to look forward to their favorites a week in advance. You cant just have a plan of course you also need to make sure the food is in the house. This was my problem for a while I would plan all these lovely meals but not have a key ingredient. I have now tried every meal plan under the sun but in the end I can do it cheaper/better. I know what is on sale, what my family likes and the things they don’t. Like laundry I do my grocery shopping 1x a week this way we always have what I need. While making your meal plan, remember dinner isn’t the only time you need to feed your family. This was also my down fall for a while. I would plan glorious meals but not the snacks. This would lead us to eating on the run. We would be so hungry from skipping our snack that we could not wait for me to cook dinner.
- Where are we going? There should always be something to look forward to on your calendar. For us we always have at least one big trip to the beach, or a cruise and one or more small trips to visit family. These are great but sometimes we need a little winter pick me up and will plan something smaller like dinner at our local family fun center or impromptu laser tag. Popping these little things on the calendar puts everyone in a better mood, knowing there is a break in our future.