How DOES she do it????
You know who she is.....the one walking into school, with two dozen homemade cookies.....perfect hair, manicured nails, and flawless makeup. She is president of the PTA, the volleyball coach, and she volunteers at the human society on the weekends, all while working a full time job. You have yet to make a PTA meeting, didn't realize volleyball had started, and can barely keep track of the two dogs you have at home. You've been cursing yourself all day long because not only did you forget the bake sale, but you forgot to send in lunch money for your first grader. You realize your child will be traumatized because they will have to eat a brown bag lunch...for the 10th time this year. If you're anything like me, this is a weekly, if not daily, routine. You feel like a hamster in a wheel...always running, but getting nowhere while other moms are flourishing. Keep in mind you're not the only one who feels this way. I've made goals to "be a better mom" as each and every school year starts. However life, and work sometimes get in the way and it's easy to get lost in the clutter of everyday life.
The moms that generally get the "perfect" award are not really superwomen in disguise. They just take the necessary steps to organize their lives and prioritize what needs to be done. It seems simple, but once you've been in a routine for so long, it's hard to change. It's especially difficult if you have a full time job and barely have time to breath before helping the rug rats with homework and making dinner so they don't starve. Here are just a few simple rules to follow in order to decrease your level of stress, reprioritize your life, and feel more in control of your situation.
Make time for YOU. If you do nothing else, make sure you don't leave this off the "to do" list. Women, by nature, give of ourselves until we have nothing left. Our priorities are determined by what our families need from us, and we don't take into consideration what we need for ourselves. The "me time" rule generally consists of taking time out of your day to do something YOU want to do. It doesn't necessarily have to be a long period of time, but that specific time does need to be focused on you. Reading a book, taking a quick walk, watching a movie, or simply sitting in silence for a brief period will make a world of difference on your stress level. If you're a single mom, I commend you. I've been there and know how hard it is to get by. However, you can't the let the pressures of everyday life take away your "me" time, even if it is only for 5 to 10 minutes. This is one of the most simple, yet hardest rules to live by, but you will at least keep your sanity.
Declutter your space. Let's face it, we all have things we can get rid of that won't matter much once they are gone. Set a goal and go room by room to see what really NEEDS to be there. Turn this "separation" process into something positive. Donate the clothing (you haven't worn in six years) to charity. The old toys piled under your child's bed or in the closet could also be donated to a good cause.
Get on a budget. The control you will feel by budgeting your money and knowing where every dollar goes will alleviate so much stress. Budgeting is hard, but it's worth it. I have been in debt and I know how scary and out of control it makes our lives. Begin by sorting out your bills, and figuring out what you owe each month. Get on the same page as your spouse (if you have one) or get an accountability partner who will help you remain on a monthly budget.
Most importantly, quit comparing yourself to other moms. There is only one you, and you are superwoman to the ones that matter...your kids and your family. Take time out to share a smile everyday and be true to yourself :)