Welcome to the fourth in my series:
The Struggles and Joys of Being a Stay at Home Mom
I want to start off this post by saying a couple things:
- I am not licensed or certified as a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor. If you are depressed or feel you need emotional support, please reach out to someone who is qualified to help you. This post is only regarding challenges I have faced as a stay at home mom, and what I do to help relieve that temporary stress. This post should not be seen as or used for professional or medical advice.
- This post is in no way intended to put down or lessen the roles, challenges, or joys of being a working mom. I've been a working mother myself, and I know all too well the struggles that come with it. In today's world whatever path you take is filled with turbulence as well as beauty. In my book, all moms who are doing the best at what they do and with what they have are super moms. At this point in my life, I am a stay at home mom. So this topic is just close to my heart right now.
Welcome to Part 4 in this series, "The Joys and Struggles of Being a Stay at Home Mom". This series is my way of reaching out to other stay at home moms and letting them know they are not alone. There are plenty of us out there who deal with the same struggles you are facing. We all love our kiddos, and we all love spending our days with them, but that does not mean our days are all sunshine and snuggles. Today's topic...not enough time.
There is never enough time in the day. I always have too much to do. I literally feel this way every. single. day. Actually, this is one of the excuses I used for taking so long to get my blog started!
*If you are using this same excuse for starting your blog...check out my post "What Took Me So Long to Start a Blog"!
For me it always boils down to one thing:
Not enough time? Maybe you need a break...from electronics.
You would be amazed at how fast 2 minutes here, 4 minutes there will add up to ridiculous amounts of time. Or maybe you wouldn't. If you engage in any sort of social media, games, watching TV, or anything of the sort, I can almost guarantee you are losing valuable hours of time a week.
Don't get me wrong. I love Facebook and Instagram every bit as much as the next person, but it's hard to deny that you can pull it up "for just a minute" and 5 minutes later you've lost 2 hours. Funny thing that social media time warp.
Now I am not saying never get on social media or play games. Everyone needs a break sometimes! But...if you tend to fall victim to too much time on electronic devices, try to schedule it in advance.
It can work for gaming, emails, surfing the web, checking your snaps. Anything that you seem to spend too much time doing during the day. Give yourself 15 minutes a couple times a day to relax, catch up, and get it out of your system. I give myself about 15 minutes in the morning to look at my feeds, and then I don't open them again until later that night.
Not enough time? Find your time bandits.
If you have no idea where your time is going, try tracking your tasks for a few days or even a week. The key is to track everything you do. It can seem tedious, but you should not have to do it long before you start to pick up on your time bandits (those tasks and activities that distract you from being productive). You may be surprised at what you find. Or you may even realize you are getting a ton done each day!
After you have tracked your time for a little bit, take a good look. You should start to see patterns. Ask yourself some questions:
- What am I doing that is unnecessary?
- Is there anything I can do more efficiently?
- What can I cut out?
- Are there things that can be delegated to someone else?
Then implement some changes into your day! Try doing some things differently, and see how they effect your time and productivity. Tweak it until it feels right for you.
Not enough time? Maybe a new routine is in order.
Structure and routine are two things I simply cannot function without. I am notorious for creating a new schedule for my "ideal" day at least every month or so. Whenever I start feeling like there is not enough time in the day I look at my schedule. As demands for my business increase, my kids grow, and seasons change I feel the need to update my day to day routine in an effort to maximize efficiency and my sanity. Clearly every day isn't going to go exactly to plan, but I like to at least have the bones of my day down so there is some sort of structure. It also helps the kiddos in my house know what to expect.
Here are some things I have done that make a world of difference in my productivity:
- Set specific times for our meals.
- Including snack times for my Littles
- Gotten my Littles into a regular nap routine.
- They know when we clean up our toys, it's time to settle down
- Established bed times and bed time routines for all the kiddos.
- Bedtime for the Littles is when the teens have to go to their rooms as well
- Do all of my grocery shopping and errands on one set day.
- Keeps me from running to the grocery story 3 times a week when someone "has to have something"
- Created time blocks for work.
- I can enjoy my time with my family when I know I have a scheduled time to work
- Clean one room in my house a day
- Or one cleaning task a day (ex. floors on Monday, dusting on Tuesday, windows on Wednesday, etc.)
- Delegated tasks to some of the older kids.
- They are responsible for setting the table before meals, cleaning the kitchen after meals, and doing their own laundry, and cutting the grass in addition to keeping their room clean
- Laundry on specific days.
- I do mine on different days than the teens so there isn't a pile up in the laundry room
- Go to bed earlier, and wake up earlier
- I'm always amazed at what I can get done in the hour and 1/2 before the Littles wake up
These are just some ideas, but I have found that they have improved my productivity and feeling of accomplishment tremendously.
For more posts in this series...
These are the struggles I look to touch on in this series:
- Not enough time/Too much to do
- Self care
- Struggle with identity
- Establishing a sustainable routine
- Juggling work and home
If you want to visit a specific post in the series, just click the link above, and you will be directed to that post.
A couple more things...
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