Having children is an absolute gift. I have had some great jobs in my life, but nothing compares to the joys of being a mom. I sit back at night and laugh out loud at all the hilarious things they say and do. Last night my 3 and 4 year old were arguing over whether or not I was a pony-corn, AKA unicorn. You cannot make this stuff up. Yet, as moms we know that with parenting comes a tremendous amount of unexplained stress. There is no other way to put it; parenting is hard, period! I am not perfect, but I feel I am improving in certain areas and doing my best, which is all we can do as moms. Below are some tips I have found to be helpful in managing my stress level.
- Keep a daily to-do list: Thanks to Sandy, one of my great mentors, I keep a monthly notebook and each page represents a day of the month. I have done this for years now. Every night I write out my list of what needs to be done the next day, who I need to call, appointments I need to make, etc. What actually works best on super busy days is breaking my day into hours of what I am doing and when. It keeps me on track because I have a horrible memory and with each kid we have, I somehow manage to get more forgetful.
- Give yourself a little leeway: This topic reminds me of my days in corporate America. A boss once said that if an employee is always late to work because they are stuck in traffic, they simply need to leave home earlier because the traffic is now a known, daily obstacle. It is no longer a random occurrence. The same goes for us. As an example, we know for a fact it takes a long time to get out the door with kids. Let’s be honest, it can be flat out painful sometimes. This is not a surprise. We know that this is one of the challenges that we have to deal with each and every day. So, by giving yourself more time to get to places, your stress level will go down. Trust me! If I know it takes me 15 minutes to drive someplace, I have the goal of getting everyone out the door planning for a 25-30 minute ride, not 15. This helps me tremendously. Do not get me wrong, we are still late sometimes, especially in getting to the early church service on Sunday mornings, but we have made significant improvements by giving ourselves a little leeway.
- Make quiet time mandatory: I honestly do not know how moms survive without quiet time. My husband works a lot of hours. Yesterday alone, he worked an 18 hour day. So most days, it is me flying solo with three young kids. And a house with kids can sometimes get really LOUD and chaotic. If I do not get up early and have ME time, I will undoubtedly be incredibly cranky and have to play catch up all day. My morning quiet time gives me the uninterrupted opportunity to look at messages, enjoy a few minutes of social media, have my Bible time and work. This time is great for the soul and worth getting up early for. Quiet time is important for your kids too. Our kids need and deserve a happy, fulfilled mommy. I have personally found starting off the day with some quiet time works best for me. You have to figure out what works best for you, but make sure you get it in.
- Understand that you will fall behind, and that’s OK: Plan for the fact that the plan will probably not go as planned. Ha! I am not being a negative-Nelly, I am just being smart. My husband sometimes tells me to get rid of my to-do list. Trust me, he does not want to know what would happen if I did that! His point is simple though; do not let the daily tasks overwhelm you. Sometimes your list of things to do will not happen as planned. Some days you will be lucky just to brush your teeth and shower! These days will happen. And, your list of things to do and people to call will still be there the next day. Others will just have to deal with it. If they do not understand this, they are either too far removed from having young kids or not a very compassionate friend. So, don’t sweat it!
We must do our best to be efficient, but it cannot be an obsession. If you have what seems like an unproductive day, trust me, you are still being productive. Chances are you spent the day putting out fires, dealing with unexpected tasks, nursing sick kids, etc. We are raising children and it is the most important job we have been given. It is also the biggest juggling act one can ever imagine. We may not be able to exercise, work or socialize as much or as long as we want to. Yet, we must keep in mind this is simply a season of life, and we are meant to grow while on this journey. We are looking for progress, not perfection. Our children will interrupt our plans. But, they are a blessing and our number one priority. So, remember to treat them that way.
Jennifer has 7 years of direct sales experience in the skin care and health & wellness industries. She is a former personal trainer, fitness manager and group fitness instructor. Jennifer is a work-from-home wife and mom with three kids, age four and under. She can relate with individuals who are simply trying to merge a healthy lifestyle with a SUPER busy life.
Jennifer has had tremendous success with the Isagenix 30 Day Cleansing and Fat Burning System. Isagenix is the world leader in whole body nutritional cleansing, cellular replenishing and youthful aging. As a result, she is back to her pre-baby weight, has eliminated sugar cravings and significantly reduced the intensity, duration and frequency of her migraines.
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