I recently got a call from a friend. She was exhausted, overwhelmed and discouraged.
This go-getter friend was just down and out because she was feeling the (insane) pressure the world puts on us mommas these days.
She currently is trying to train for a half marathon while raising two young kids that are not in school full time, be a devoted wife, run a small business, cook healthy meals 3 times a day, have a clean house, volunteer at her daughter’s school, have a stocked pantry, participate in a Bible study, volunteer at church, keep her family up to date in fashion, and so on.
Weird. I have no idea why she feels overwhelmed.
And I know so many of you can relate. We all feel pressure as young moms. It makes me want to run for the hills just thinking about it – and maybe that’s not such a bad idea.
So here are a few tips to get you through this wild season of raising littles.
1. Stop trying to do it all.
Learn to say no. Even to good things. Realize that you are in a season were your biggest priority is to raise healthy, strong, well-grounded little people.
This is so hard for many and for me as well. I love to stay busy. But when I run around all day long I am exhausted and finish the day knowing I’ve had zero quality time with my girls.
Say no to running that race (yes friend I’m talking to you) or at least realize now is not the time to get the fastest time of your life. Staying fit is a must for mental health but don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself.
Decide how you can help others best and then say no to the rest.
Often I allow myself to be pulled in so many directions that I have little to give when I reach each destination.
Say yes to less and then be fully present once you are there.
2. Pick a few passions to pursue.
I love essential oils, having a well decorated home, running, helping others with decor and design, eating healthy, gardening, blogging, hiking, and lots of other things. Thrown in two kids to that mix, a husband to help and my life looks like a real circus. So on top of saying no to activities I’m saying no to passions as well.
When I’ve got high-school aged kids maybe my garden will not be taken over by weeds. Before I’m in a wheel chair maybe I’ll run a race again. And when I have my girls in school maybe I will better figure out this blogging thing but for now I’m picking a few of the things that I love and trying to do them well. Make sense?
I’m blown away by how much time I can waste on social media. It’s just nuts. For me it really helps unplugging on busy days. It keeps me focused on what needs to get done.
Unplugging in our house also means no TV. Shocking but come on. It is so distracting. During the day there are no shows playing in the background. For tired days we will watch a show on the computer during lunch or naps. And if the hubs and I are too tired to talk in the evenings we will watch a show before bed. Other than that we say no to television.
4. Hire a helper.
For me this looks like having a cleaner come once a month. It really helps me during this stage of life. It also makes me so happy to have a clean house and allows me the freedom to put my focus on other things.
This could also look like ordering healthy meals to your doorstep. We recently tried Hello Fresh for a week. It was really nice to not have to think about what I was going to make for dinner.
Another idea is getting help with the kids. This could look like hiring a babysitter, a mom’s morning out program, or going to a gym with child watch. It’s just so nice to get a break where you can catch up on paying bills, do meal planning, get some errands done or do 15 loads of laundry which leads me to my next point.
5. Do less laundry.
Ok you guys this is a controversial topic but here it goes. Years ago before I met my husband I would wash every article of clothing after one use. I typically wore three outfits a day – work clothes, running clothes, and lounge clothes. I did unreal amounts of laundry as a single person.
Fast forward 5 years and thanks to my husband I am re-wearing some articles of clothes. Don’t get me wrong when clothes are dirty I wash them and I change my undies daily. For other things if they are not dirty they don’t go in the hamper. This also goes for my kids as well.
And although my girls clothes are typically dirty by the end of the day I save time by making them re-wear jammies for a couple nights or not washing sweatshirts that stay clean.
And maybe this is just for a season but I really feel like it has helped me stay on top of mom duties.
Ok so now if your aren’t totally grossed out with me than maybe this helped you. Just remember life will not always be like this. Embrace these years for soon they will be gone.