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Ah, Motherhood. For most of us, parenthood is the best thing ever and it’s a life filled with love and admiration. But not all days are sunshine and butterflies and it’s easy to get lost in the quagmire of diapers, spills and play dates. Instead of letting guilt, exhaustion and even resentment take over our lives, here are some steps all moms can take to keep “awesome” at the forefront of their Season of Parenthood efforts.
1) Simplify Your life – Ever heard of the K.I.S.S theory (Keep It Simple Silly)? That is more than just a cutesy acronym. Fine tune process and stick with the things you know work well for you. Write a list of “Things To Do Today” and keep it handy. As a bonus, you get the enjoyment of the empowered feeling as you check things off your list. Meal plan a week in advance whenever possible to encourage healthy eating and discourage, “ok, let’s just have a pizza again tonight.” Keep a paper calendar handy at all times and in key places. This relieves you of the mental drain of trying to remember everything that you need or want to do each day.
2) Commit to the Role of Mother: As a Mom, you need to be “all in.” When your kids are around they need to be your priority. Let’s face it; kids interrupt and need, but they do so because they need you. If you have projects, work, or tasks that can’t wait, arrange to have a babysitter or older child come over to direct some quiet play-time while you work. Another option would arrange your work-time so it can mesh with your family’s schedule. Early mornings, late nights, during naptime or playdates are all options to conduct business or do work without constant interruptions.
3) Give Love When Your Kids are Asking for It : Sometimes when your kids are acting their worst is when they need you the most. A little attention and reassurance may go along the way with a restless, needy child. Once comforted, they will find the confidence to play on their own, solve their own problems, and be more self-sufficient. Just remember, your kids should be the center of your Universe, not “living on the outskirts” of it.
4)Practice Household Efficiency: Feeling pulled in one direction by housework and in another with needing family time? Do “double-duty” and have your kids help you. Think of ways to make your tasks fun and kid-friendly and the bonus will be the satisfaction of spending time with them and having a tidier house. Grocery shopping and preparing food with your kids are two more ways to accomplish tasks that need to get done, and it also engages them at the same time. Having them help with meal planning and prep also teaches them life skills and rewards them with a sense of accomplishment. It can be as simple as picking out fruit at the grocery store or setting the table at home. When they experience what goes into food preparation, they will appreciate the meals more as well.
5) Be Flexible: Learning To “Switch On The Fly”: Changing gears at a moment’s notice is not something everyone can pull off successfully but it is a necessity of life (and parenthood!). You may have some baking planned, but if the kids are playing happily and quietly, switch gears and use that time to do more focused worked like bill paying, or indulge in some “me time.” The time may be fleeting, but think of it as your 15-minute break and make the most of it. It could be answering emails, filing coupons, or reading a few pages of your favorite book. Don’t be so rigid in your daily planning you can’t switch gear and take advantage of opportunities when they arise.
6)Stay Organized: Nothing wastes time more than chaos. When you are organized you can easily take advantage of your time and even when the opportunity of free time arises. Staying on task, and not wasting precious time hunting for lost documents, items, or notes will gain you hours of precious time every week. Create and follow a “Things-To-Do” list and use it as a roadmap to your week. Plot our trips to town so you can cover the most ground in the least amount of time. Just remember to be realistic about your goals. Don’t overwhelm yourself with overly outrageous expectations.
7) Take Care of YOU. A signature phrase between two friends in the movie Pretty Woman is the perfect mantra for real life. Take care of YOU. Exercise, get enough sleep, socialize, and be active. Seek out athletic clubs that have child care within the facility and consider this time investment in your well-being. If this isn’t an option in your area, seek out other moms or even a neighbor you can barter time with. Set a goal for yourself to grocery shop smarter and healthier, even if it costs a little more. And remember to listen to your body. If you are tired, sleep.
8)Practice The “Secret Sauce”: Practice this formula for parenthood and the rewards, and peace-of-mind, will be priceless.
- Have lots of patience.
- Allow lots of time
- And give lots of love.
Being a parent is the hardest job you will ever do, but it is more rewarding.
One Last Thing……
Summer fun is such an important part of life…BUT, I know you need to make a living as well. I firmly believe that earning all money in the world is not worth sacrificing the most precious moments in your life for. Not only is it OK to take a break, but it is imperative that you do so. Luckily there is a way to earn an honest income AND be able to have the flexibility to take time to smell the roses in life.
Soooo….want to know more? Have you been secretly (or not-so-secretly) dreaming of working from home, making an honest living and flexing that work around the needs of your family? NO, this is not one of those assemble-rubber-duckies-for-ten-cents-a-bird gigs. Those type of gigs suck…right along with the “Make money taking surveys!” silliness. I am talking about taking the skills you already have and finding people/clients who are willing to pay you for your knowledge/help/guidance.
My commitment to this subject is a sincere desire to help others. My goal in becoming an “expert” on the topic of working from home successfully (re: emotional and financial success) isn’t to come across as a giant smartypants. My goal is to help readers, and women just like me, discover that there IS “life beyond the cubicle.”
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