Being a mom is hard enough! Let’s add in working a full-time job, blogging, sitting on a board, volunteering, running a household, being a good friend and family member and trying to find time for myself! WHEW! Made me tired just typing all that!
People always ask me, “How do you do it all?” I usually smile politely and say something like, “I enjoy being busy!” or “I guess I try and manage my time well!” The truth of the matter is, I have NO idea how I do it all. Bottom line? Sometimes priorities have to shift.
I cannot give each of these things 100 percent all the time. So, when I am on a big project at work, that rises to the top. When my family is sick, things get put on hold. I have to divvy up my energy and focus to complete a few important things at a time. Truthfully, some people are better at multitasking and compartmentalizing better than others. But there are some tips and tricks I can share with you that may help you along the way.
Write everything down.
I LOVE Post-It notes. I use them for everything. Don’t want to forget something leaving the house in the morning? Post-It. Need to call someone back? Post-It. Want your husband to pick something up for you? Post-It. They are quick, portable, and you can put them anywhere! I even have a pad in my car so I can remind myself to get gas or stop at the bank or jot something down at a red light.
Schedule alerts & reminders.
Unless you are living in a cave, you probably have a smartphone. These bad boys are my saving grace! Sometimes those Post-It notes are not enough and if you are like me and get super busy and must postpone or rearrange timing of things, being able to create a calendar alert—and then move it if you need to—is the BEST way to make sure you get things done.
I joke with my husband that if it is not on my calendar, it’s not happening. I even create events for parties I’m having at my own house! (I don’t trust myself to remember anything these days.) You can also invite others to these events/reminders you create. My husband and I have started doing this in the Google Calendar and it is AWESOME. Doctor’s appointments, oil changes, play dates… His events are blue and mine are green. (The calendar is mostly green, in case you were wondering.)
Decide what you can put off.
Let’s face it, unless we figure out how to clone ourselves, things just aren’t going to get done and that’s okay! This was a hard one for me after having a kid but has actually turned out to be a GREAT lesson. I now focus more on the things that are really important and less on the things that are not going to end up catastrophic.
Maybe the dishes don’t get put away for a couple days. Maybe I haven’t gotten a pedicure in three months. Maybe my nights have been spent working instead of binge watching the new season of Stranger Things. Oh well. Not the end of the world—and I will get around to all those things eventually. Focus on the tasks at hand and instead of feeling like you are not in control of all the things on your plate, you will feel like you have accomplished something by tackling it head-on.
Leverage your tech.
This goes back to #2 a little and my love for smartphones. I can answer email, schedule meetings and calls and participate in a TON of activities right from my phone! I can store documents, create forms and agendas and complete payments and timesheets. I also keep a laptop right next to the sofa (away from little hands) so in the evenings, I can pull it out quickly and knock out a few action items.
I am a firm believer in texting: I don’t think twice about sending someone a message when I need information quickly. I try to send my friends notes and check in to see how they are doing. Sometimes a simple text goes a long way! I always check my email before I go to bed at night and right when I wake up in the morning as well as my social media accounts. I try to plan and schedule my work/calls during nap time or while I am driving to/from work or on lunch breaks.
Make healthy decisions.
I know it is not always possible with a little one in the house but TRY to get some sleep. Don’t stay up too late because we all know kids don’t sleep in! If you and your partner can work out an arrangement so each of you has your sleep-in mornings, that’s awesome. Don’t drink too much. The only thing that is worse than parenting with a hangover is parenting when you’re sick. Eat good foods that give you good energy and stay hydrated. Completing your MILLION tasks is hard enough… you don’t need to make it more difficult by not taking care of yourself.
Be kind to yourself.
We are not going to be perfect 100 percent of the time. Inevitably, we are going to screw something up, piss someone off or let someone down. Accept it, own it and move on. Even if you feel like you are not doing your best, guess what? YOU ARE. You are doing the best you can for that moment in time and you WILL get through it.
Like my mom used to say about most things, “It’s not like laundry. When it’s done—it’s done!” Hang in there and cut yourself some slack.