Being a mom is hard! Every morning you do the laundry only to find a full laundry basket by bedtime. Everyday your family needs fed, 3 meals and often snacks in between. Every few minutes someone is tugging on your leg for something or yelling, “mom” from across the room. You’re picking up toys, putting dishes away, wiping noses, and trying to ‘live’ life in between.
Does this sound similar to your day? Being a mom is hard.
I used to feel like I never got to slow down enough to actually enjoy being a mom because all I had time for was managing the house and putting out fires.
I’m not going to lie. I still feel like this somedays because that’s just motherhood, but the majority of the time I’m at peace, enjoying the day to day.
I simplified. I let go of all expectations and gave myself permission to do less, have less, and live more.
And do you know what happened as a result? My kids are more relaxed, independent, and happier.
7 things you can do to simplify motherhood because being a mom is hard!
1. Get rid of the clutter
Having too much stuff around you creates stress. It’s scientifically proven. Going through your house and getting rid of the excess will immediately relieve some of your overwhelm. If this sounds too difficult right now, start small. Do one room or get rid of the easy stuff you don’t have to think about. As you see the benefits of having less you will continue to make this a consistent practice. Not sure where to start? Read:
2. Plan and prep your meals ahead of time
Are you thinking how in the world will I fit in meal planning when I already have no time? I’m with you. This is exactly why it took me so long to start meal planning. But meal planning shouldn’t add time to your already busy schedule. Done right, meal planning will make dinner time easier and less time consuming. I use a very simple meal planning system. You can read about it here and download my meal planning templates for free.
3. Spend very intentionally
Money is a major stress in most households. It is also one of the biggest reasons for divorce. One of the greatest things we can do for ourselves and our family’s is to learn to be intentional with money. We have been trained to buy things if we want them without giving it too much thought. Even if we don’t have the money for it. Your life will be way less stressful and more enjoyable if you learn to spend within your means and only bring things into your life that truly serve you. Two questions everyone should ask before making a purchase (these are the two questions I have my kids ask as well); Do I need this or do I want this? Will I still be happy with this purchase 6 months from now? Looking for new ways to save money? Read this list!
4. Create simple routines
Motherhood is hard, but it doesn’t have to be so hard to keep up with your daily tasks. In order to make anything easier, you have to put a system and routine in place. Think through your day and write down all the things you do on a consistent basis. Things like laundry, dishes, going through the mail, meals, cleaning, etc. Create a simple routine or system that makes these tasks automatic. The keyword here is simple. If your routine is too complicated you will quickly fall behind. If you’re looking for a few examples, I outline some of the routines I use to manage our home in this article.
5. Get rid of the to-do list
To do lists are joy killers. Being a mom is hard enough without the constant reminder for all the things you haven’t gotten done. Rather than a to do list, create an easy schedule of your day and write down what you can get done during each time period.
Each night I use a piece of lined paper with times written in 30 minute increments from 5:00am to 7:00pm. You can choose the times that work best for you. Then I block out the times I am already committed, like work and appointments. In the open areas, I begin to fill in tasks I need to get done. I often break my tasks into 10 minutes because having young kids makes it nearly impossible to stay on task for more than 10 minutes at a time. I leave the whole 30 minute window for the 10 minute task. If I finish early I have some breathing space. If I’m doing any kind of task that is about taking care of our house or our family, I involve my kids. I’ll talk about that more in the next section. When I wake up in the morning I have an idea about how my days going to go and when I will get the things done on my list, rather than starting the day with an enormous list of daunting tasks.
6. Live life with your kids
As I said above, if you’re doing anything that is about taking care of your house or your family, let your kids be involved. If your folding laundry have them help. Even if it’s just matching the socks. If you’re vacuuming, give them a cleaning chore to do, like wiping the counters. Even small kids can help out and the truth is, they often want to as long as you’re encouraging them and doing it with them. Trying to find time to get all these things done is hard if you’re doing it around your kids, but if you all do the work it just becomes one more part of the day you can enjoy together.
7. Identify your weak spots
We all have areas we are weak or just can’t seem to keep up with. Figuring out what these weak spots are will help you create a system to get them done. My weak spot used to be laundry. I could do load after load of laundry, by putting it away took me days. More often than not my family would get dressed from the pile of clothes off the couch. So I created a routine to help me get it done. Each morning I throw a load of clothes in the washer when I wake up. Before I leave the house in the morning I switch it to the dryer. When we get home after school everyone helps fold it and put it away and we start again the next morning. All in all I have my hands on the laundry for a total of about 15 minutes a day. To make this even easier I don’t separate my clothes anymore unless they really need it. I know some of you are cringing at this, but I’ve found it to be perfect for my family and make the task way more manageable. You can read more about this routine and others in, “Routines for Moms | How to Manage a Home with Kids.”
Although being a mom is hard work and can feel exhausting and down right impossible at times, it can also be joyous and peaceful. Use the tips above to simplify the overwhelm and give yourself space to breathe. Take a minute to share this article with a mom friend who may need a little encouragement.
And in case no one has told you this today, YOU are an amazing mom and YOU are raising amazing kids!