Being a mom is one of the most beautiful roles in life, but it is by far the most demanding and time-consuming. The life of a mother is certainly cuddled in the evening, kisses in the morning, but it is especially the crazy race between school, daycare, swimming pool, shopping at the supermarket, extracurricular activities, appointments at the dentist, the pediatrician, housework, not to mention professional and administrative constraints… In short, an overloaded rhythm worthy of a multinational CEO! It is difficult to be zen and relaxed with this schedule! However, it is essential not to let yourself be overwhelmed, at the risk of suffocating under the weight of the daily tasks. The risk of maternal burn-out is real and should not be ignored. Fortunately, there are some tips that can help you get organized and save time for yourself and your well-being. Here are the essential tips that will help you change the way you live your life as a busy mom, without getting overwhelmed.
1. Forget the dream of perfection
The super chick who is the perfect mom, the ideal wife, the cook, the house fairy and has a brilliant career does not exist in real life. It makes no sense to set such unattainable goals for yourself. This can only lead to permanent dissatisfaction and intense fatigue. Reality is made of imperfections, small mistakes, trials and improvements, and that’s what makes it motivating and interesting. You are not a superhero, but you are a wonderful mom, with all the failures and successes that come with it.
2. Set your limits
You are a human being, your capacity to act is limited and this must be understood by your children. You have to break the stereotype of the mother who does the impossible and beyond for her children, because in the long run it’s exhausting and tiring. Know how to say “no, I can’t”, “no, I don’t want to”, “sorry, I’m taking time for me”.
To find the strength to handle all your tasks, learn to give yourself breaks and moments to yourself. Relax, call a friend, make a cup of tea, watch a show, or read a book. In short, do nothing useful and nothing for others for a short hour. This little break in the middle of the day will allow you to recharge your batteries and regain the desire and motivation to resume your day as a hyperactive mom.
4. Learn to delegate
Being a mother does not mean carrying all the burdens of everyone else. You have to learn to delegate, to divide the tasks and to spread them over the whole family. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Involve the children. Don’t hesitate to involve dad and make him responsible for certain tasks at home and with the children. He has a place to take in the home as well as in parenting. Learn how to solicit your entourage, relatives, friends or sympathetic neighbors… Grandparents will love to babysit, your friends can also provide babysitting from time to time.
5. Learn to procrastinate
Forget everything you’ve been told about procrastination at this stage, you should even force yourself to do it from time to time. Don’t be embarrassed to put off certain tasks until tomorrow. Learn to sort out the urgent, the priority and the unnecessary. Learn to let go! A lively house cannot be in perfect order all the time, and it’s not the end of the world if you fall asleep without tidying it up, it can be done tomorrow! Swap out the guilt-free pressing “don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” with an understanding “what isn’t done today, could be done tomorrow!”
6. Accept your selfish side
Every mother has at one time or another thought it out loud, and felt guilty right after: “I can’t take it anymore, fed up with the shopping, the house”, “I’m going to drop everything and leave”, “Fed up with all of you, I can’t stand you anymore”. Well, it’s human to break down and these feelings are natural, temporary but important, it’s an emotional valve! Stop compressing and censoring yourself. Ambivalence is natural, and allows you to regain an inner balance that is sometimes threatened by the turbulence of maternal life.
7. Don’t let yourself be totally absorbed
Being a mother does not mean dissolving yourself in order to be at the service of your children and your family, and loving your children does not mean accepting everything, nor answering or anticipating their every whim. In order to be present for others, you must first be present for yourself, listening to your own needs, your fatigue, your desires. If you spend your time serving others, even your children, you will quickly become irritable and you will be less fulfilled. You need to find the right balance between your role as a mother and your life as a woman.
8. Stop running
Not in the literal sense, we will never advise you to stop a sporting activity, on the contrary, but stop leading a life of marathon running from morning to night. Ask yourself how many jobs you do per day? Cab driver, caterer, delivery man, doctor, school teacher, cleaning lady, occasional clown, not to mention your profession… No athlete can keep up with that pace. Stop, breathe, spend some time “doing nothing and doing nothing”, and remember that hyperactivity is not a sign of good health!
9. Fewer to-do lists, more lists of things to live
Keep the planning reflex, but slip in some breathing time. Calendars, schedules and various “to do” lists help you manage your days as a mother. But learn to plan breaks and don’t make these lists too long. Don’t fill your days to the brim, leave time for relaxation, for seeing friends, for taking a bath… On the other hand, endless lists are impossible to execute and can make you feel like a failure and give you an extra dose of stress instead of making it easier to organize your day. A good day is one where the balance between action and rest is respected.
In daily practice, here are some concrete tips to simplify your life:
- Simplify your life by establishing in advance a menu for the week, so that when you come home in the evening, you will no longer have the pressure of inventing the dinner menu
- Consider shopping online from time to time and have it delivered, it won’t cost you much more, and you’ll gain the time to relax and take care of yourself.
- From the age of 4, your children can dress themselves. Let them do it and encourage them to be independent. But keep an eye on their choices, which may not always be practical.
- Teach your children (and your husband) to put their dirty clothes in the hamper, not on the floor. Little by little as they grow up, they should also learn to sort laundry, (white/color, light/dark…) like you do, to take some of the load off your shoulders.
- Divide the household chores with your husband equally, his role is not limited to taking down the trash can, or buying bread. In domestic tasks, as in the education of children, equality is the norm and not the exception.
- Teach your children to tidy up early on, starting by tidying up their rooms together, either as a game or by singing and having fun. This way, your children will willingly participate in this “chore”.
Being a mom is an exhausting job: running around all day, almost no breaks, being woken up several times in the night, and of course it’s unpaid! To survive this pace, these tips can help lighten the daily grind. Know how to ease up, save your energy, laugh at almost everything and take care of yourself.