#Mommin ain’t easy. Am I right?
I spent ten years as a nanny before I had my own child, and used to try to explain to people how exhausting my job was and how difficult it can be to be a productive mom (or nanny). Kids require constant focus. Caregivers are often expected to give them their 100% attention, in addition to wearing all of the other hats too: teacher, chef, nurse, and maid, just to name a few.
Naturally, I thought I knew what this mom thing was all about. However, once I finally had my own baby, 5 o’clock rolled around and I was like “wait, why are you still here?”
Moms are on the clock 24/7, and it is beyond exhausting. Yet some moms make it look like a piece of cake. How do they do it?
Through my aspirations to become this kind of mother, I’ve found 10 life hacks that really help. Use these tips and habits to become a more calm, collected, and productive mom.
Make Your Bed
Make your bed every single morning. Making your bed is a small win, setting you up for satisfaction and motivating you to keep winning throughout the day.
I remember listening to Admiral McRaven’s speech about this years ago. When I put it to the test, I discovered that he was absolutely right. Even if the rest of my room is a disaster, I somehow feel so motivated when my bed is nice and tidy.
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”
Soak In The Sun Rays
There’s nothing like a little bit of sunshine to start your day. Open up the curtains, and let the sunlight in. Even better, get outside for a morning walk and soak in that vitamin D. Sunlight is thought to release serotonin in the brain, boosting your mood and helping you start your day calm and focussed.
Walk, dance, jog, or whatever makes your heart happy. Taking a little bit of time each day for this important self-care is a must. It will get your blood flowing, release serotonin in your brain, and promote a healthy life. Even if exercise isn’t your thing, just commit to thirty minutes a day and you’ll see a huge change over time. A healthy mom is a productive mom.
Prepare Everything Beforehand
I have a little problem with being late to EVERYTHING. A trick I learned for getting to places on time, or at least somewhat on time, is to have everything ready in advance.
For example, on Saturday nights I iron our clothes and lay them out, and I make sure the diaper bag is packed. On Sunday mornings, I don’t have to make any decisions or rush around trying to find things I will need at church that day.
Anything you can prepare in advance, do it. Pack the bags, lay the clothes out, and make the lunches. Stress levels will decrease and this mom thing will start to feel just a little easier. Grab my Diaper Bag Checklist HERE
Never Go To Bed With A Messy House
It is difficult to start your day calm and focussed when you’re surrounded by clutter and things left undone. Wash the dishes, run the dishwasher, wipe the countertops, sweep the floor, and straighten the house before bed at night. Waking up to a clean home will feel wonderful, and help you stay motivated to have yet another productive day.
You do not need to be your child’s sole entertainment! In fact, independent play is actually very important for your child’s development and can allow for you to be a more productive mom.
You can start independent play as early as four months old. I like to sit in my baby’s room reading a book, or working on my computer while my baby crawls around and explores all of his things. He is really curious and enjoys this time.
We also make sure to keep this balanced by planning outings and having specific together time as well. Use your child’s playtime to get stuff done and you’ll both be happier.
Plan Your Meals With a Theme
If meal planning is stressful for you, make it simple by having themed nights. For example, Mondays are Italian night, Tuesdays are Mexican night, etc. You can plan an entire month’s worth of meals in under an hour.
KonMarie Your Life
Holding on to unnecessary items creates clutter which can reduce your ability to focus on a task, increase stress and anxiety, and even impact your sleep.
“When you put your house in order, you put your affairs in order too. As a result, you can see quite clearly what you need in life and what you don’t, and what you should and shouldn’t do.”
When I was reading Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” I thought her claims were a little far-reaching. Then I started implementing her methods and found that they worked really well for me.
Also, her folding method is GENIUS.
It’s so nice not to waste time digging through your things because you store them in a way that you can see everything you have quite clearly.
Self Care, Self Care, Self Care
I know we praise women that #hustle all over social media, but actually decreasing stress can provide a greater ability to be MORE productive.
Even laughter has been found to increase productivity.
It’s fantastic to be a hard worker, but don’t forget your self-care! Taking the time to clear your mind and find your joy can help propel you in the right direction while you enjoy doing it.
Focus On One Thing At A Time
Don’t let yourself drown in your overwhelm. If your to-do list is already too long, just pick one thing you really want to master from this list. Then take the time to really focus on it.
It takes 30 days to create a habit, so focus on one. As that one becomes easier, start working on another!
No great thing is created suddenly. As you progress little by little, it will eventually become a lot.