Being a mom is a full-time job, but unlike any other job this one is a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week gig! No breaks, no paid vacations and no sick days – but it does give the best benefits. So how do we integrate mom life and other aspects of our lives like chasing our dreams, having a career or even just a social life?
Below I’ve listed my top six (not so simple but very effective) steps to help with achieving this; regardless if you are a working or stay-at-home mom:
Step 1: Lose the guilt! Show me a mother, and I’ll show you a woman who feels guilty for something. Whether it’s the time you’re not spending with your kids (at work or otherwise) or the extra screen-time they’ve had lately – it’s easy to feel imperfect in a world of social expectations, family pressures, misrepresentations and partisan views on who or what it takes to be a “great mom”.
There are always going to be compromises we make as mothers striving to maintain our own identities while nurturing our children. Knowing your ‘why’ and figuring out which of those compromises are worth it are key steps to minimizing ‘the guilt’. Remember making time for yourself, is a win for the family too.
Step 2: Don’t compare! Don’t compare yourself to other moms, we’re all a hot mess – some just hide it better than others! The reality is that you do not have to be a perfect mom to be a great mom, because there is no one ‘right way’ when it comes to raising children. Just as we all differ in our personalities, preferences and circumstances, the choices we make to live an abundant and fulfilling life for ourselves and our children differ as well.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” and time – so do not waste your energy worrying about what other moms are doing. What other mothers are doing is none of your business, so use your time to focus be on the well- being of yourself and family because in the end, we are all doing the best we can for our own.
Step 3: Get organized! Being organized helps with time management, reduces stress and increases productivity. As a mom, I achieve this by planning ahead and by creating a routine that works for my family.
Planning Ahead: Grab your calendar! It’s very important to make To-do lists and plan your days out – before the start of the “work week” (let’s say, Sunday night if your work week is Monday to Friday), make a list of all the things you need to do and then tailor it for each day.
“Your ability to think, plan, and decide, is your most powerful tool for overcoming procrastination and increasing your productivity. Your ability to set goals, make plans, and take action on them determines the course of your life” Brian Tracy.
Routine: We use routines to organize our family, get things done, spend time together and have fun. Routines give children a sense of security and control over their environment. They learn what to expect at various times in the day and routines are also effective in managing negative behavior.
Planning ahead and having a routine go hand-in-hand. By applying these tools, I know exactly what I need to get done each day for myself and my children.
Step 4: Delegate! It’s ok to not be able to do it all, asking for help or delegating tasks does not mean you’re weak… it means you’re smart (this took me 3 kids to accept)! Whether it’s a nanny to help with the kids, a house maid to help with the chores or online shopping to save a trip to the store – all of these open up a window which allows extra time in the day to get more things done.
Step 5: Be present! When you’re present, you can focus completely on the task at hand. If you’re someone like me with a wandering mind or you’re someone who is always checking their phone, then you know firsthand how counter-productive not being present can be.
Whether it’s the time you spend with your family or while working – being present takes practice and discipline. When you focus on what you want, you’ll achieve it even faster and you will enjoy the activity you’re currently undertaking more. Oh, and that mom guilt I mentioned earlier, being present subdues the guilt big time!
“By being an active participant in your life, instead of a bystander, you’ll feel a greater sense of purpose in your actions and connectedness to those around you.” Tony Robbins
Step 6: Sleep! Disclaimer: If you have a child under 12 months, this does not apply to you – lack of sleep in the first year is inevitable. For the rest of us getting less sleep because we’re up all night catching up on social media or reality tv shows, we need to prioritize sleep.
Studies show getting quality sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health (reduces weight gain, lowers your risk of getting a stroke, depression or type 2 diabetes) – sleep also helps with task performances by improving concentration and productivity.
I hope these steps help you to maximize your full potential. It takes time and putting each step into practice to see the difference and overall benefits in your life – you deserve to have it all and with a little integration you can.
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