Do you ever feel like life is getting the best of you? There is ALWAYS so much to do and not enough time to get it finished in. Maybe you teach all day or work the usual 9 to 5 and rush to pick up the kids, get supper cooked, wash the dishes, do a load of laundry, give the kids a bath, and the never ending list of things to do. Oh yeah, and actually spend some quality time with your kids and husband. Life as we know it is CrAzY busy. Let’s face it. In today’s world, we tend to go, go, go, and go some more. Time doesn’t ever seem to slow down. As a busy mama, life itself can be very stressful. Here are 10 tips to being a better mommy and to not let life get the best of YOU:
Tip #1: Faith
First, put your faith in God to help you each and every moment of the day. The only way I can face each day head on despite all of my challenges is through my faith in God. When my two oldest are yelling at one another and hitting each other, I just want to scream back at them, “STOP, THIS IS RIDICULOUS!” Instead….well, most of the time, I say aloud, “Lord, help me.” Through him, he helps me to stay calm and react in the best way. This also helps the girls to see my faith and teach them more about God. Sometimes, we will pray together and ask God to help us all through this trial we are facing. Phillipians 4:19 says “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” I would be in a very dark place in my life without God by my side to help me with being a mama, wife, and teacher.
Tip #2: Consistent Routine
Next, a consistent routine is key to a structured home for your children. Since I homeschool, I MUST have a routine and stick to it the best that I can. Every morning we follow the same routine. Sometimes I have to switch a few things around depending on when the baby wakes up. Getting ready yourself with a baby awake is DIFFICULT. Some of you may know. Showering at night and having your clothes picked out the night before is the most effective if your little one tends to wake up early in the morning. In the evening time, we stick to the same routine as well. The little one sometimes messes up my routine a bit, but that’s life. We just change a few things and keep as much as we can the same. I believe consistency in the home is key in raising healthy, happy, and well-behaved children. That goes with discipline as well.
Tip #3: Consistent Discipline
Whew! I’m sure discipline is possibly your biggest obstacle with your children. It is with ours. We have two toddler girls that both seem to enjoy playing barbies, riding their bikes, drawing, and …. whining, whining, whining, talking back, and whining some more. It gets on my nerves so much, but my husband CANNOT stand it. What about you? Are you dealing with these problems too? I know we aren’t the only ones, because I used to deal with it in my classroom when I taught public school. I’ve got two little drama queens that like to whine about everything. One thing my husband and I have learned from parenting these past 5 years is to be consistent. We discuss strategies together we will both try and do our best to follow through. I try to remind my husband to follow through and he tries to remind me… Following through with what you told them would happen is tough, especially following through every single time they do it. If you say you will do it, you must do it every time to make a believer out of them. Then they will start to mind and do better with whatever they are having issues with whether it be whining, hitting, talking back, not listening to you, etc. Try doing pretend scenarios with your kids. Children love pretend play, so you can have your child to pretend he/she is fighting or whining or whatever the skill is, and practice how to respond in a better way. My oldest is having a little bit of trouble with hitting her middle sister lately. Each time she does it, we sit her down and ask her how she could have solved her problem in a different way. Then later, we will have a pretend play session and practice that behavior out. This is really helping her to learn her own strategies in solving her little problems now, but bigger problems later on in life. As parents we have to teach our children the strategies they need in life to not let life’s challenges get the best of them.
Tip #4: Breathe
When life begins to get a little overwhelming, take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes and just breathe. Focus on your goals. Keep the end in mind. A little spill in the kitchen or a potty accident is not the end of the world. I have to remind myself of this frequently.
Tip #5: Simplify your Home
What really gets under my skin is a messy house and not enough time to keep it clean and orderly. Are you facing this same problem? For the next 30 days, get rid of two things a day. That will be 60 things by the end of the month that will no longer clutter up your life. If you can sell it, that’s even better. If you can’t, then donate it to your local Goodwill or post it as free on your local FaceBook yardsale group. Your life will feel less overwhelmed and not so chaotic if you just get rid of a few things that you honestly didn’t need in the first place.
Tip #6: Family Night
One night a week, cook something easy with little cleanup or go out to eat as a family. After dinner, everyone get together for a game night at the table. Some laughter and fun with your family can be just the type of a de-stress you need. Your kids need some quality time with you. What better way to spend time together?!
Tip #7: Exercise
I’m going to be honest… This is where I fail. My husband does a much better job of doing this with the kids than I do. I’m not saying you have to exercise for an hour on the treadmill or going to the gym for an hour. That’s great too though! Exercising with your children is what I am talking about. My husband will come home from work and say, “Let’s go for a walk with the girls.” He’s always reminding me to spend time teaching the girls to exercise and also get a little bit of fresh air. Fresh air and walking always brightens my mood. If it is a pretty day, maybe you could all go bike riding or hiking up the mountains with your family on a Saturday afternoon. We even try to do a little exercise indoors with the girls. Who doesn’t love a game of the Three Little Pigs or indoor tag? They love when Mommy and Daddy play with them.
Tip #8: Get off Social Media
Yep! I said it… I am guilty of this one too. Especially with this blogging business, I am caught on the computer or Facebook or Pinterest a lot while at home. My girls know I have to work on the computer, but they also need to see Mommy doing other things, like playing Barbies with them, helping them paint. or doing a fun craft together. This special time together makes all the stress worth it. The joy of motherhood comes through the smiles of your children not through social media.
Tip #9: Read with Your Children
Take some time each night and read with your children. Reading always relieves stress for my kids and me. They love a good story rather it be a Bible story or a fictional story like Llama Llama Home with Mama by Anna Dewdney. They love that book!
Tip #10: Let Them Stay with Grandma
Finally, you have permission to have a night away from the kids. Yes, you heard me. You are not a bad mother if you let them stay with Grandma or Grandpa occasionally. They need to get out of the house and experience life without Mommy and Daddy. Grandma and Grandpa have to spoil someone. Why not let them spoil your kids? Maybe you and your husband could go out on a date night once a month, or just simply have some time to go get groceries together or talk about the budget together. You two work hard and you need to spend some time together as a couple too.
So next time life as you know starts to get the best of you, don’t let it. If you are a Christian, put your faith in God. He can help you through any problem small or big. Remember to stay consistent with a routine and discipline, and your life won’t get the best of you. Teach those little ones everything you can about life! Read to them, play with them, exercise with them, and even let them go stay at Grandma’s every now and then. When life get’s stressful, just breathe and be happy with the life God has blessed you with. 🙂