- Prioritize. At the end of each day I will sit down and write a list of what I would like to accomplish the next day. Then I prioritize. Stars go next to the 3 most important items and then the rest get a 1, 2 or a 3. Start with the stars and work your way down. If you don’t make it to the 3’s, no big deal, just move them to the list for the next day. I try to limit myself to 3 from each category and then have a kind of optional list for if I find myself with a little extra time. This list is mostly crafty stuff or a recipe that I want to try or something like organizing a cabinet or a drawer. Then just in case the baby takes an extra long nap, I will have direction.
- Spend time with your kids. My mom once told me that “Your kids won’t be under-foot if they are in your arms.” If you spend even just 5 minutes with each kid, no interruptions, no distractions they feel loved and are more likely to play by themselves for longer. For older kids, you can ask questions and talk to them. Younger kids enjoy getting tickled, reading a book or doing a puzzle. It is amazing to me when I spend just a little bit of time with each of my kids how much better they behave and play nicely.
- Crockpot. This handy tool can be a girl’s best friend! You can make almost anything in a crockpot. I have even made spaghetti in the crockpot. It is so handy to throw a meal in earlier in the day and have it ready in the evenings. It always makes our day go more smoothly when I think ahead and cook dinner in the crockpot.
- Take 5. When there are several things I need to accomplish, I will take 5 (or even 10) minutes and set the timer. I will allow myself that time to clean up, start laundry or dishes or tidy a room. When the timer goes off, I then go accomplish a task that is more urgent. I find that if I don’t set a timer, I will move from room to room cleaning or tidying up and won’t realize how much time is going by. When there is a timer, you will focus your task a little better too.
- Mom time. It is SO easy to get run down and worn out! Take daily and/or weekly time for yourself. Small things like listening to your favorite song while you put away the dishes or larger things like a girls night out can work wonders for your mood and energy levels! I even keep a stash or chocolate or brownies hidden in the pantry and will take a mommy timeout when I feel overwhelmed or run down. The kids think it is super funny that Mommy has timeouts too.
- Celebrate! Celebrate your accomplishments each day. Sometimes it is a small as putting on makeup! Other days you could get 5 things done on your list or you maybe you accomplished a task that you were dreading. Remember it doesn’t need to be a HUGE deal. Something meaningful to you. Paint your nails, grab a soda, eat a piece of cake, dance around in the kitchen, or even something like checking your email or facebook. I think of it as my “inner child” that needs a reward for a job well done.
- Be flexible. There are times your kids will need more attention and there are times where you will have to drop everything for a sick kid or something else unexpected. Understand that these things will happen and that it is not the end of the world. We don’t have to be SUPER-mom, just MOM.
- Schedule your task time. This is especially important for work and craft time. When I start updating my blog, or doing some work on my home business, or even begin a new craft project, it is really easy to lose track of the time. I could easily spend hours and hours on one thing. Just like you set the timer for your 5 minute task completion, set a time for your other tasks as well. If you set aside an hour or 45 minutes to work on a craft, when time is up, task is done. This will help keep you from spending way too long on 1 task and leaving the others undone.
These are the tips that I live by. Are my kids always perfectly dressed with their hair done and clean faces? No. Is my house always perfect? No. But at my house, the mom is a little less stressed, the kids are mostly smiling even if they are dirty, and at the end of the day the things that remain undone will almost always wait until tomorrow.
Awnya Boam is the mother of 5 kids ages 9 and under. In addition to all her motherly and housekeeping responsibilities, Awnya runs a successful website, 2 blogs and a home party business. With all the duties and tasks to accomplish, Awnya has become a master at Time Management and how to be a Mom and have a life. Visit her website, http://www.Time4Felt.com, or her blog, http://www.FelterMom.com, to see the fun (and some free) things she has for you!