You are now home trying to make dinner and get ready for the next day but to add to the mix, you are also dealing with a sick child. You are standing in the kitchen waiting for your husband to come home and help take over the madness. You are dazed and confused staring into space while your second child has been wreaking havoc on your entire house for an hour.
No? Just me. Well, let me be real. This is my life most days.
Crazy schedules, kids’ school activities, work from 8-5 pm and trying to pursue my own dreams and passion as a writer and community leader. All these things! Not complaining, I chose this life. I earned a degree so that I could have a career that would help me provide for my family. It's part of my purpose. I am one of those momma's who LOVES to work outside the home; of course, that means that home life and extra-curricular's can get a little tricky.
But not impossible; and trust me I am a firm believer that a momma can have a fulfilling career as well as have plenty of time to make amazing life-lasting memories with her family. I am proof of that. I have no regrets of working 40 (plus) hours a week and only seeing my children and husband nights and weekends. We have so much fun, I am uber productive and my real purpose shines in every area of my life because I am happy and fulfilled.
How? Well here are my top 5 tips of things I do to keep mentally sane as a working Momma of Dos and other challenges because we all have them.
1) Create a schedule but know that SHIT happens.
I don't always have it written down but I have a mental schedule of things we must do weekly and sometimes daily. This includes work, school, doctor appointments, soccer for my son, dance for my daughter, me time for me and time for husband with his friends or co-workers. Do we follow the schedules to an exact science? Nope.
That's where the sanity part comes in. Some days we are WAY off schedule and things don't get done cause we sit on the couch and enjoy each other’s company (which is hard for a busy body like me) but when we do, I am happy.
The trick here is to not sweat the small stuff and be flexible with the idea that things will happen and you might not be on schedule every single day.
2) Eat well, stay healthy and workout.
One of the best things I can do for my family is to remain healthy and fit. I learned years ago that when I exercise alone or with a group of ladies, away from my house and family I am happy. I get some amazing quiet, thinking time and/or awesome company when I do my group workouts which include other local momma's. I get an hour of happy, healthy me time, I love it! Plus, remaining healthy, trying to eat well and staying active is good overall for me as a human being not just because I'm a mom. I feel more energized and don't get sick as often which helps me be productive for my home!
Now the sanity part. Do I work out every day and eat salads at every meal? NO. I try to workout 2-3 times a week and try to replace a big meal every other day with a good salad. I am a firm believer of balance: it does exist. Not saying I eat pizza and burgers every other day: at least I try not to. I limit those to 2-3 times a month, if not less. I do try to run home every other night and make a home-cooked healthy meal for my family. Does this happen every week? NO. Some weeks we are so busy after work that we eat out or pick up fast food because it's inevitable.
We try hard to eat well often and remain active.
3) Remain Active and Explore as a family.
Confession time. I'm a lazy Momma! Some days I can't or don't want to move because we are so active and always going. But my Husband is great at suggesting fun outdoor activities: parks, the zoo, museums, fishing, camping or the beach! He has to drag me out of the house while I grumble and complain but once we are out and about, it feels great!
The kids love it and we have fun even if it's a simple walk on a new trail in a local park or if it's a day out and we picnic on the beach or fishing pier.
Those are the moments when I am creating awesome memories with my kids! They remember those small moments and appreciate them so much, as do I!
Sanity moment, don't worry about "creating memories." Focus on having fun and relaxing with your family. It's those spontaneous moments where nothing is truly planned that my family and I have made the most precious memories...like bike riding on the Galveston Pier or exploring a new park in our area and following a trail for miles!
Nothing forced is ever fun.
2 years ago we did our first big family road trip. We drove from Houston, Texas (our hometown) to Destin, Florida (a gorgeous beach), and on our way back we stopped in New Orleans for a few days. It was "planned" but it was the best time we have had and my children remember every moment. It's the small things that matter.We didn't do anything too big and fancy, just us driving across the country and enjoying the time. We played the "telephone" game at dinner one night and the kids had a blast. Like I said, don't sweat the small stuff, and just relax.
Which again for someone like me, this is easier said than done.
4) ME TIME.
I mean some real me-time! Not the time you have while you go to the bathroom and lock the kids out or when you hide in your room while they are distracted watching TV and you enjoy those 10 minutes before they find you. I mean real me-time, away from it all!
Going out for dinner and drinks with friends. In my case, attending events and workshops for my blog, or just hanging out with a girlfriend for breakfast or lunch. Getting a mani/pedi or your hair done or going on a fake mini-shopping spree at Target! That dollar spot though! Ha! Or whatever it is you like to do for YOU. Just time to pamper yourself. It's simple. Make time, schedule it and then GO. At least twice a month, if not more.
Taking care of me and making time for myself has been a wonderful investment. I try to get out as often as I can escape. Yes, it's not easy but I do it. I love when I do because I get to see my friends and truly relax. Everything about this screams sanity!
5) Know your limits.
This is hard which is why I am writing about it. I am the type of person who does it all, takes it all on, and then falls so exhausted at the end of the day. It's insane! I have learned in my last almost 7 years of parenting two children, working full-time, following my passion and trying to be a normal momma, that I can't do it all. And, I probably won't.
Sanity moment, IT'S OK! You don't have to be Super Hero Mom 24/7.Your sleep, health and sanity are more important. My friends will read this and laugh because they know it's BS coming from me. I don't rest. I get super sick and I feel like a failure a lot. I never said I was perfect; I only said I was trying to remain sane.
Know your body, your limits and how much you can do. Learn to say NO and move forward happy with your decision to take on less. It's necessary for you and your family.