It’s been a long long time since I’ve felt like I have the time for anything. I’m finally starting to feel like I can do it all and balance everything that needs doing.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, but why am I always so busy?!
We all have a lot going on, jobs to go to, bills to pay, houses and kids to look after, relationships to upkeep, friendships to maintain, meals to cook; all that are more important than looking after yourself and being you.
I’m not going to pretend like the me before I was a mum isn’t a distant memory but I often think about what I used to do before I had any real responsibilities. And I try to do those things once in a while, so I don’t loose myself.
Being perpetually tired is part of my personality now, it’s been literally years since I felt well-rested for longer than an hour but it’s all worth it in the end and damn, some days I feel like Wonder Woman and I go to bed exhausted but happy and accomplished.
I did say I would give some tips before I started rambling on so here they are.
1. Create a system for everything.
It will take a while to fine tweak it and to find what really works for you and your family but it’s so worth it! You get things done in half the time and better. Efficiency is everything!
For me, it’s the little things like keeping my toothbrush in Alaska’s en-suite and my hairbrush and make up bag in the lounge that make getting ready in the morning a breeze. Getting clothes ready and laid out for the next day (underwear and all!) is a huge time-saver.
2. Use every second productively.
This kind of goes with creating a system for everything but I mean every second counts. Today, I had a day off of work and with it being half term, it means entertaining Alaska and looking after the house and catching up on everything as a ‘day off’. We had nothing planned so I used every second of today to do things that have been on my to-do list for a few days.
Alaska wanted me to watch TV with her and lay in bed so just before (after getting her some snacks), I washed my face and put a face mask on. I left it on while we watched TV and cuddles, killing two birds with one stone – spending time with Alaska and looking after myself.
Another time-saver I’ve started doing recently is cooking bigger meals than we eat in one sitting. While it doesn’t take much longer to chop up a few extra veg or another chicken breast, it’s really handy to have a lunch ready the next day for one of us to have. It saves a lot of washing up time too. Thanks to this we have cut out microwave meals and take-away completely.
3. Don’t put off looking after your house for later.
I used to spend hours and hours each week trying to catch up on all the house work I couldn’t be bothered doing until it got to the point of ‘shit-tip’ but now I just get it done. Eat that frog and what have you. If I’m going into the kitchen, I’ll pick up any dirty dishes/rubbish on the way. If I’m near something that’s not in it’s place, I put it away straight away. On a night, all I have left to do is washing dishes and picking up a few toys that may have been left out.
4. Delegate (give your kids jobs!).
A big game-changer for my productivity has been Alaska getting older. Kids love to help out and her getting dressed and putting her dirty clothes in the laundry bin is a big time saver. She tidies up her toys, waters plants, feeds her tortoise, finds her own clothes, matches socks up after washing, packs her own bags for going out and organises her things (although I help her out with organising). It’s great to give her a sense of responsibility and she loves being her own little person doing her ‘housework’ as she refers to it.
5. Make some time for you.
This is most important in my opinion. A content mum makes a better life than a grumpy one. While I have a lot of grumpy, frustrating moments every day, if I didn’t take some time to be me, I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I do each day. Even if you can squeeze in ten minutes to yourself, make it count – make yourself a cuppa and read the news, watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (my all time favourite), go on Pinterest or do a 10 minute DIY project. Your family will be grateful and you will feel better too!
6. Exercise when you can.
Finding the time to exercise as well as do everything else might seem impossible but it is very much possible. I walk to a lot of places to get my cardio in (my daily average is 6 miles), while I walk, I deal with emails, phone calls, make to do lists or just enjoy the journey. Another exercise that I do when I’m super-tired on a night is having a dance party. Seriously, I put my headphones in, some bad music on and dance away until I’m sweaty and happy (and possibly look crazy).
7. Make lists.
I’m a list maker. I love a good list for anything. So everything in my life gets tracked on a list which is how I manage to remember 99% of things. If I write something down, I don’t have to think about it but it isn’t forgotten. I use Evernote for any and every list that pops into my head and a bullet journal for organising the lists in a more comprehensive manner. I have bill lists, home improvement lists, brain dump lists, meal ideas lists, to do lists divided into categories, house work lists, appointment lists, self care lists, business lists… there’s a list for everything and making them clears my head and helps me clearly plan out what and when I need to do things.
What tips do you have for staying organised while being a mum? How do you juggle everything? Let me know in the comments!