Get your shit together and run the house!

Let’s face it, its hard to be the one “On Duty” with little people all day. Its even harder, in my opinion, to do that AND run the house (i.e. groceries, cooking, cleaning, gardening, being a good spouse, planning, organizing, budgeting” .
Up until recently I was barely hanging on by a thread, and only when I had my third little critter was I thrust into the world of having my shit together. Sure, before I could whip a dinner together and made it to our activities on time but I wasn’t consistent and wasn’t always finding joy in it. After having the third baby, I had a mini-meltdown and realized if I was going to ever leave my house and have a life I needed to get my head in the game.

So I started thinking like a business owner. how would I run this show if it was my job (yes duh I know its my job, but what if I could get fired?” so I consulted with fellow parents whom I felt had their “shit together” and asked how and what they did to excel at running the family. Here are some key takeaways that I have been implementing and they REALLY WORK!

1. Mondays are the planning days (not sunday). Yes, so before I would try to do my grocery shopping + meal prep on Sunday but it was always last minute or didn’t happen at all because we were running around having fun on the weekend. So instead I use Mondays as my “look ahead” day. I visualize my week, I think about what food I want to eat. I meal plan, I make my grocery list. I plan activities for the following week. I map out my time. I prioritize the things I want to have happen that week.

2. Command Center. Have some place in the house to be your “operations area” and have all your “tools” there. I am a visual person so I got a cute whiteboard with lots of color options and hung it up in plain view. On Mondays I look at the week ahead of me and fill in all the things off my phone calendar. I also have things that I want to do (i.e. a podcast I’ve been meaning to listen to or an article that I want to read and have a working list of them, when I find myself with a pocket of free time I can check out my idea list and if I feel inspired/inclined I have something to check out.

3. Mediate Meditate Meditate. I swear its a time investment that pays me back over and over again. Investing even 10min in quiet mediation can relax + open my mind to help me be more efficient later in the day. It works. Its the secret to happiness, health and success. I am working towards prioritizing it (always a work in progress) but the days I meditate I can tell a difference. So I try to do that first thing in the morning and in the evening before bed.

4. Playtime for YOU. I am such an extrovert. I will chat with the homeless man on the corner to recharge my batteries. I get energy from interacting with other people. And no, my kids don’t always count. It needs to be adult interaction. So I have been consciously scheduling / prioritizing adult time into my days. Whether its a phone date, play date, date night or whatever I make sure my day is broken up with meaningful interactions with peers.

5. Delegate like a boss. We are running on a tight budget but I have found a way to have a babysitter come once in awhile to hang with the kids so I can get stuff done. It’s an investment you will not regret. Summer is coming up so find a neighborhood high schooler to work as a “mother’s helper” so you can even be in the house while they play with your kiddos for a budget friendly fee. Or see if you have a neighborhood babysitting co-op and swap watching your neighbors kiddos so they can watch yours! It is the only way I could get grocery shopping done this summer. I also empower my kids to help with chores. They are excited to chip in around the house.

6. Morning routine for kiddos. Kids thrive with boundaries, structure and routine. I have set up a morning routine that goes something like this: wake up, get dressed (we pick out clothes the night before and lay them out), choose a quiet activity if its not time for breakfast yet (always have the diffuser going with some uplifting oils), show up in the kitchen as a family around 7:30 and wait for breakfast. We have a few options that we rotate for breakfast food (oatmeal + fruit, fried eggs, toast with pb + bananas or cold cereal) and whatever is on the menu that day is what you get, we have a saying in our family from Aaron’s camp days “you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit”. Then we are usually out the door by 9 for our activity.

7. Refresh your To Do list: I am pretty reactive and if I allow myself to read an email or text message I tend to respond right away – but inevitably with kiddos its not always the best time. Especially since I am trying to model good technology etiquette and picking up the phone a million times a day is not what I want to model. So instead of doing anything in the moment I keep a lonnnnng list. I keep a few note pads in select places in my house (on the fridge, whiteboard at the command center and in the car) and I add whatever thing pops into my head that I want to get done to the list. When I have a chunk of free time I will tackle something on the list… It has helped me so much… if I didn’t use this system my ADD ways would get the best of me and I would be half doing everything and neglecting my kids at the same time.

8. Stop Scrolling. This has been a game-changer for me. I need a digital detox big time. It was actually my mom who gave me a big old fashioned kick in the butt. She commented that I was on my phone too much while nursing my baby- I can take constructive criticism but it hit  home coming from my mom. She was right. What was I looking at? How many minutes + hours was I spending scrolling through my phone? Now, I leave designated times to check my phone. I leave my ringer on so I don’t miss important calls but other than that I check my email once in the morning, lunchtime and evening. I limit my social media scrolling to naptime. That’s it. Some days are harder than others to stick to that but for the most part I try to limit my phone usage. I allow myself to update my IG or FB biz page once a day and I try to do it all at the same time so I can be done with it. It really is liberating!
What are some things that work for you as a busy mama?!

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