There are things you can do to set yourself up to have a better day. As a busy mom, it can seem like an impossible feat juggling your kids, marriage, and chores around the house. Not to mention working, cooking and cleaning. . . . and the list goes on.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you’re a new mom, or a mom of young kids. To make everyday stresses and demands manageable, I’ve become more organized, neat, and on time than I was before I had kids.
Keep reading to find out 11 ways YOU can start having a better day today!
Sometimes Moms Feel Overwhelmed
Some days you feel on top of the world like you have this mom thing all figured out. Everything is going well. The kids are happy, dinner is cooked, and you even managed to get the laundry folded. But then other days your dinner burns, the kids aren’t listening to you, and the dishes are a mile high in the sink.
Nothing seems to go right on days like these and you feel like the biggest failure.
We’ve all been there!
Do you find yourself thinking:
- Why bother?
- Why am I always late?!
- My house will never be clean.
- There’s not enough time.
- How does SHE do it?
- I’m just not one of those moms.
If you find yourself asking these questions or making these statements more and more. . . .know that you’re not alone. Everyone has tough days.
While we will always have our share of bad days, we can do some things to decrease the bad defeated ones and have more of the “winning’ ones.
Let’s get started!
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11 Ways For Moms to Have a Better Day
1. Lay out items needed for the next day
In the evening, lay out any items needed for the next day. This applies to both working moms and stay -at-home moms. There are still routines and things we can do the night before to prepare for the next day so that it runs smoothly.
When my kids were babies and started drinking from bottles, this came in handy. I’d line up baby bottles with all the parts ready to go so I wasn’t bumping around in the dark in the middle of the night trying to find a certain piece–or wash new ones.
Having items laid out for feedings, and diaper changes (diapers, wipes, cream) will also help your husband if he gets up with the baby. It will save you the poke in the arm with your husband leaning over whispering “where are the ____?”(you fill in blank– wipes, formula, etc.) when you JUST want a few more glorious moments of sleep! You will thank me ladies!
Think about where you will be going the next day: a park, a playdate with your littles, a work meeting, dropping the kids at school, etc. Are there any special items needed? An important work document, snacks or picnic blanket for the park? Or perhaps it’s your turn to provide a baked good for your child’s school party.
Gathering all these little items ahead of time for your family add up. You won’t believe how much time you will save!
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As a busy mom you may be thinking that is the last thing you have time for. Trust me. . . it’s one of my secret weapons. No matter how much you feel like you have on your plate, carving out only 20, 30 minutes or even an hour (if possible) will make you feel so good.
It’s not only one thing you’ll accomplish for the day, it’s also good for your health. For me, a good workout session makes me more motivated and energized and able to handle stress better. I feel like I’m a better mom because of my regular workout routine.
3. Do a little as you go
I’ve found the less chaotic my house looks, the less chaotic I feel. Ideally I’d love to be the “Tuesdays I mop floors, and Thursdays I vacuum” kind of mom. But I need a more flexible kind of a schedule. And some days I’m downright too tired to do anything.
And on those days I give myself permission to stay in my bathrobe all day and drink as many cups of coffee as I need to get by.
But if you do little things during your day to maintain your place, you will keep mess at a minimum and feel less overwhelmed. Check out my list of 6 specific things you can do in an hour or less to improve the look of your home.
4. Make your bed every day
This simple task is something that is so quick and easy and makes the biggest difference with your mindset. Your room automatically look more pulled together, and you’ve accomplished at least one thing for your day, even if nothing else gets done. Sometimes it’s the boost I need to keep going with my tidying up.
5. Unpack/Re-pack diaper bags, bookbags, work bags as soon as you get home
Sometimes packing a diaper bag sounds easy but often chews up more time than I have for such a task. Taking a few minutes to get all those half eaten bags of puffs, stained bibs and baby utensils out of the diaper bag will save you lots of time in the long run.
Either repack right away for the next day or save the repacking for nighttime when kids are in bed. The next time you’re in a hurry to get on the road you will thank yourself for doing it now.
6. Lay clothes out night before
This applies to everyone in the family including yourself. I can’t count how often I used to waste time getting ready for work in the morning.
I’d be running around at the last minute looking for a pair of nylons without a run in them, searching for a certain pair of shoes under my bed or hunting for a particular pair of earrings to match my outfit.
Or I’d run out of time and the shirt I thought I had time to iron was worn in a wrinkled mess.
Little things add up. If everyone’s items are laid out and ready to go, your mornings will feel calmer. The unexpected is bound to happen, and it does. But at least there will be less chance that you will be late or feeling frazzled.
For older kids, having clothing items (outfits, shoes, hair ties) and other items needed for school or daycare (backpacks, spare clothing etc.) will save you precious time in the morning.
It’s better to find out now that the shirt your daughter was planning on wearing tomorrow is still in the wash. You still have time to have it dried and ready for the morning instead of scrambling for a new one at the last minute.
7. Leave early
I use apple or google maps on my phone if I’m going somewhere new. These apps help estimate how long it will take us to get there.
Then I plan backwards.
I figure what time I’m supposed to be somewhere, minus the driving time, minus the loading the car time, minus a half hour/hour buffer (for the unexpected and slow moving kids).
With my diaper bag already being cleaned out and repacked we usually end up being places on time now or even a little early. I’ve found whatever time you think you’ll need to leave, you need to leave earlier.
(Besides maps, there are other many useful apps for moms that I use and share on my resource page.)
My husband and I haved moved several times in the last few years. Because of this, we’ve become more aware of all the “things” we had and what we really “need.”
By throwing things away, or donating things we don’t use or need anymore, we feel lighter. Keeping the clutter down has made us more organized and able to use and enjoy the items we do have.
9. Make a ‘To-Do’ list for the next day or week
My husband and I take the time to run schedules by each other. Between work meetings for him, and doctor appointments or commitments with the kids, we try and make sure there aren’t any conflicts.
There’s so much to juggle as far as schedules when you have kids.
You won’t have to stress about forgetting important things if you can jot down your to-do’s and your schedule for the next day or week.
Because of this, you won’t forget to buy that birthday card for your sister, or schedule that dental cleaning that you’ve been meaning to do for the last two weeks.
Planning ahead also allows for you to schedule fun family activities. Time won’t keep slipping by, and you’ll be able to take full advantage of these precious moments together.
10. Get up before the kids
I still struggle with this because I’m a night owl and like to sleep in as late as possible. But when I can and do get up before the kids, my days start much calmer. Getting up earlier than the kids will allow you to catch up on your latest book for book club, shower, exercise, or just enjoy a cup of coffee. . .hot!
It’s a great way to ease into the day before you start charging full speed ahead. You can take charge of your day instead of feeling behind from the start.
11. Make dinner in the morning
Hear me out. I make dinner in the morning because I’ve found that the kids get tired and rowdier (and I get more tired!) as the day goes on. So making dinner in the morning works better for me since it frees up my afternoons. All I have to do at dinnertime is heat the food back up.
Making dinner in the morning might not work for you because of your work schedule or other commitments.
Use your schedule to your advantage.
Maybe plan some crock pot meals or meal prep the night before. You can count on pinterest for some simple and great make ahead freezer meals that just need to be popped into the oven or reheated.
You’ve Got This, Mom!
When I set myself up for a better day, I’m so much happier. And most importantly, I have more time to focus on my kids–cause there’s nothing better than sitting on the floor in one of my kids’ rooms playing cars, coloring, or just talking to them while they play.
And what’s even better is doing these things without those nagging feelings of needing to do something else or feeling distracted.
It’s definitely a learning process. I’ve found what works for me partly by seeing what wasn’t working for me.
A few extra minutes of planning, preparations and doing a few small things each day can make the difference between a good day and a bad day.
And I hope you have a GREAT day mama!
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