I stumbled on a list of habits on how to be a successful mom. I laughed so hard I almost cried. It was unpractical, and written by someone who has a TON of time on their hands. Like enough time to write the perfect blog. This is WORKING MOM X, and we don’t have that kind of time.
So, for those of you who are REAL working moms, here’s a more practical list.
Take Time For you
Between work, playing Uber to our little ones, and staying on top of all the Honey-Do lists our husbands or partners throw at us- I think this is literally impossible.
But it’s actually really important. Even if it’s a quick bath, a quick run, or lock the bedroom door and sneak in a nap. You have to do this or you will kill your spouse and your offspring. (also see Making Time for Yourself)
Yes, this is a good one. You have to laugh. And you have to do it often. Allow me to paint this picture for you.
My husband (sometimes forgets) he is responsible for my son’s morning routine. I’ve got a long commute in the morning, so I always have to be out the door before them. This leaves my husband to take care of getting our son ready and off to school. They stick to a schedule, and are usually not too far behind me when I’m walking out the door.
Yesterday, as I’m leaving, my husband calls for our son- our pride and joy- to come out and clear his breakfast dishes so they can get ready to go, as normal. But this time, our son runs out- still in his pajamas. Yep. His PJs. Without any inkling of his brain telling him he should be dressed, teeth brushed, backpack ready, and lunch packed.
And this whole time, where was my husband? He apparently got distracted by his phone, and completely missed that our son was not doing the things he needed to do to get ready.
I stared in horror as I was leaving. It was now going to take a higher power for my husband to make it into the office on time. But, this mess was my husband’s doing, and for him to clean up. I got in my car and left.
And as I was sitting in traffic, I pictured him scrambling to get our son ready and out the door, and I started to laugh. You have to be able to laugh at these types of things. This one still puts a smile on my face.
Routine and Schedule
Speaking of schedules, one thing my Mom said while I was younger stuck in my head. Kids need a routine. They crave structure. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but she was right! Life is so much easier if you can stick to some type of normalcy. They sleep better, they eat better, and they actually listen to you more.
When do I notice that this is necessary? When I get him back from a week at the grandparents, and he has no recollection of his daily responsibilities. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa! Or when we are on vacation during the summer, or when he has friends over. Things can get way out of whack, and then nothing goes smoothly.
The trick is to go back to the routine as quick as possible. The sooner you lean back towards your schedule, the better everything is. It really helps a ton.
We love our family. The humans we see the most outside of work and play. The ones we take meal orders from. The ones whose laundry we clean, and the ones we are constantly picking up after. We love them, right? Yes, we do.
Unfortunately, these are also the same people that can try our patience. You need me to hand you what?! You need me to fix or go buy what? You couldn’t have reminded me earlier? And the requests go on and on.
But at the end of the day- (yes, I just inserted probably the most annoying cliché ever!) these are the people that love you the most. They will hug you, and listen to you. They will always remember your birthday. They will always be there. And if you have a good family unit, you shouldn’t trade it for anything else.
Girls Night Out
Absolutely necessary. It doesn’t have to be a rendition of Bad Moms or Bad Moms 2. It doesn’t have to be like that. But a few hours away, or a quick weekend trip, is a must do.
This is a sister, a best friend, or a group of women who totally get it. The bonding, the venting, and the laughs. They can relate. In every way. You don’t have to bash your husbands or kids- and you don’t have to get completely wasted. But you should be able to bond, reflect, and laugh like crazy. The moments I have had- brunch, a run, or a movie- these are good for your soul.
Make time for it. The husband and children will survive without you. And probably have their own fun too.
Ask for Help
OK- don’t be mad at me, but here comes another cliché. It Takes a Village. It does. If you are part of two working parents, and have multiple children, that’s at least four people’s schedules that need to be coordinated.
Work, activities, and all the extra stuff that goes with it. Meetings. Games. Parent-teacher conferences. Play dates. And blah blah blah blah. It’s OK to text your neighbor or friend to see if they can pick up your child. It’s OK to text the room mom if your child lost their homework paper, and you need to make a copy. Let others help you.
I always tell my son- try to be self-reliant, but definitely ask for help when you need it. The same goes for the parents. How else are we going to get it all done?
Just Say No
Not to drugs. OK, you should definitely say no to drugs. But what I mean is, you can’t say yes to everything. You don’t have to say yes to every play date, birthday party invite, or be on a committee that the school principal is trying to get you on.
You don’t have to drop everything you’re doing (like folding a mountain of laundry) to make your kid a snack right that second. People can wait. People can ask other people. Or people can figure things out on their own.
Trying to people please, or say yes all the time, will do nothing but burn you out. It will cause you stress, lost sleep, and your sanity. Lately, I have been getting a quick happy feeling when I say no. I think that’s my brain’s way of telling me- thank goodness.
What have I forgotten? Plenty I’m sure. Let me know in the comments. Like and Share. Remember, it takes a village and we are all in this together.