I get messages all the time from people asking me how I do it all or that I make motherhood look easy. Let me start by sharing my secret, I DON’T do it all. If you’re a mom you know that motherhood is far from easy unless you have both sets of retired grandparents living in your neighboorhood and willing to help. Before my mom moved back to Chicago, she used to live less than a mile away from me. She was in better health and able to help me with Peyton quite a bit. I was able to get out to events more or go out with my husband with short notice. Now she’s almost 80 and lives in Chicago. I’m home with two kids while my husband works long hours with no family to help out. It can be overwhelming but I’ve found ways to make being a stay at home mom life easier and manageable.
- Meal Plan. I can’t stress this enough, if you cook for your family, you have a plan. I would lose my mind if it was 5 pm and I don’t know what my kids are eating for dinner. You can read my meal planning tips HERE. It’s also ok if you eat out a few times a week. Whole Foods hot bar is BAE.
- Plan outfits ahead of time. I know you’re saying, who cares what I’m wearing when I running kids around. That’s one of my secrets to making motherhood “look” easy, I make sure my clothes are washed and planned out. If I have an event, I don’t wait until it’s time to get ready to figure out what I’m going to wear. It also helps to you get out the door faster. I’ll be sharing more details soon on how to curate your mom wardrobe.
- Outsource. We underestimate the power of outsourcing help. Apps for house cleaning and food delivery are life-saving. I have a cleaning lady come once a month to do the time-consuming stuff. It doesn’t cost as much as you think and it’s well worth it. It’s like having two of me!
- Add everything to your calendar. My phone stays buzzing with alarms and calendar alerts. I use a traditional planner to visualize my weeks, but alerts help me make sure I get it done or on time. Remember that time I forgot that Peyton didn’t have school? It wasn’t on my digital (phone) calendar. I also have my Google calendar connected to my phone. Once I add it there, it’s everywhere.
- Use childcare. Since I don’t always have friends and family that can help, I’ve been forced to find childcare. I use childcare apps and drop in daycares. They are lifesavers. Since Peyton is older I feel comfortable leaving them with a babysitter. She knows how to contact me on her own if something isn’t right. Mister and I have been able to finally enjoy more date nights. One of my friends became a Cultural Care Au Pair to help her learn a new language but the jobs she had to do made me realise how useful au pairs are for childcare as she helped cook, clean and picked the kids up so you could also look into that if you have room in your home.
- Teach your kids to clean up after themselves. As they get older, they can start to take on some responsibilities. I’ve tried to create organizational systems that the girls understand. Toys in a bin or putting their clothes away. As they get older, they can start to take on some responsibilities. Peyton is in charge of cleaning her room, the family room, and folding towels. Harper is still a work in progress.
- Talk to your spouse. Don’t let them off the hook so easily. Our significant others know we need help. Sit down and talk about what they can take off your plate. A few (stress on few) night a week, Mister will handle the bathtime routine. It’s minor but after mommin’ all day, that break is appreciated. This can be an ongoing battle but eventually (or once in a blue moon) something can be marked off the list.
- Say No. As much as I want to do everything, I can’t. Even though I’m still a work in progress, I don’t over commit myself as much as I used to. Say no, won’t leave you and others feeling disappointed.
- There’s always tomorrow. Instead of trying to finish everything in one day, sometimes, you just need to reset and try again tomorrow. It’s ok. Some days I just want to cuddle with Harper and take a nap. As long as everyone is eating and breathing, the family will be ok. I like my kitchen to be cleaned before going to bed, but sometimes it’s ok to leave it for the next day (or ask your husband).
- Have a drink. We need it! This helps the bedtime routine go a bit smoother.
These are just a few tips that have made mom life a bit easier. Being a mother is hard and tiring. We can’t do it all and it’s ok. I operate on the premise of work smarter, not harder. As much as I like to be a go with the flow person, I still get stressed out with the daily mom responsibilities. I always remind myself that doing my best as a mom is good enough. Don’t let social media make you think that someone else is a better mom than you. Trust me, folks are only showing you what they want you to see and it’s that clean corner where they are taking photos.
What do you to make mom life easier? Please share in the comments.