By WMM Contributor: Elizabeth Braatz
If you’re anything like me, then you’re overscheduled, overstressed and overworked. You’ve committed to every request that comes your way, volunteer when needed, check homework, make lunches, clean your house and be the best wife and mother that you can be…all while being a functioning employee at work. Just typing that sentence was exhausting; living that reality is even more exhausting. I have four children, a full-time job and side gig as a spin instructor, so my time is stretched as thin as the day is long. Given that life can become a revolving door of commitments, aggravations and never-ending laundry, here are five tips and tricks for keeping momma sane amongst the chaos:
1. Move Your Body Everyday
Exercise is an essential, even if time is sparse. I wake up at 4:30am to get in a workout because I know that the rest of the day is jammed, but I need that time for me. My ideal workout is a run outside because I am fueled by the fresh air and the rising sun – two other elements that are important in remaining calm and grounded.
Find time to get to the gym, even for 30 minutes, or get outdoors. Those immense endorphins will allow you to remain calm when life gets stressful and you’ll be less anxious about your mom shape when you’re making an effort to stay in shape.
2. Hide Out and Savor It
Outside of my exercise time, my most coveted moments in the day come after the children are in bed and ACTUALLY asleep, and when I am sitting on the couch in my jammies, watching trash T.V. The Real Housewives is actual medicine people; embrace the chaos on screen and zone out.
The Real Housewives is actual medicine people; embrace the chaos on screen and zone out.
Grab some M&M’s while you watch. Trust me…it’s better that way.
3. Make a Chore Schedule
We are a family of six with a shedding dog and I do not have a cleaning lady. We pay enough in childcare so I prefer to do home chores myself. With that said, I divvy up jobs daily so that I don’t get bogged down with housework all on one day and start to stress.
Allocate chores to different days and don’t divert. I do at least one load of laundry and run the dishwasher every day. I also vacuum every other day so our house doesn’t look like it’s been taken over by dog hair. Other tips:
- Make your children clean up after themselves before they can move on to new tasks. Or, clean up after your super little ones. The toys will not magically put themselves away.
- Set out clothes the night before so your kids can get ready on their own and on time.
- Create a “getting ready for school” and “getting ready for bed” schedule that kids can follow with photos AND word prompts.
- Make school lunches the night before and get all school-related stuff prepped the weekend prior.
4. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
One of the most fun things that I do with my kids is dancing at home. Yes…Baby Shark but mainly Flo Rida and Pit Bull. We dance, we run around and get kind of crazy.
We dance, we run around and get kind of crazy.
It’s amazing what a little Ke$ha while making dinner can do for your mood. And listening to a two-year-old sing “All I Do is Win”…you are guaranteed to laugh! Trust me.
5. Take a Few Back
In recent years, my husband and I realized how bogged down our lives were with our children. We spent no time out and about having fun. When others went on date nights, we opted to stay in. More recently, we realized how therapeutic it is to actually interact with adults. So, we often throw gatherings (often on the fly) and hang out with friends WITH our kids, and love it. No babysitter needed, kids have a blast with their friends and we can have cocktails and conversation with our friends. Yes, we get sitters and go out alone sometimes but it’s far easier to have margaritas at home with friends and throw in frozen pizza for kids.
Do yourself a favor and embrace little things in your life that can make a big difference. Don’t forget that you are also a living, breathing thing that needs TLC and time to unwind. Now go watch Kim K. overanalyze a fashion choice while eating Hershey Kisses.