How could I balance being a new mom and everything else ?Well, that was 13 years ago and I have learned a few things along the way. Motherhood is messy and it is a journey. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. It has been trial and error. I have found success and claimed victory in motherhood and also hit rock bottom. However, here are some things that have made finding the sweet spot of balance in the middle somewhat easier.
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#1. Find Your Top Three Priorities.Prioritize the top three tasks that need to get completed in you day. Start with those FIRST. When accomplish your top three tasks, not only will you feel productive, but anything else that gets completed be the icing on the cake.
#2. Have a Morning Routine.I try to get up before my kids, not let my kids get me up. This gives me time to gather my thoughts and form a plan for the day. Also I try to start my day out with prayer and meditation to center myself and get my mind in the place I want it to be.
#3. Allow Extra Time.If I know I have an activity I have to attend the next day or errand to run I think about TIME. I determine what time I need to leave the house by, how long I think it will take to get myself and the kids ready and then ADD 30 MINUTES to that. I almost always use it. It makes me much less stressed trying to get out the door or preparing for whatever I need to in my day.
#4. Catch Sleep Wherever You Can.Having a newborn is exhausting. When I became a new mom I remember every time the baby fell asleep I tried to complete whatever task that had been neglected. I ended up exhausting myself. Not only am I tired and cranky but generally less pleasant to everyone around me. That led to me feeling less like myself because I couldn’t think straight! I promise you will feel better and get more done with a little rest!
#5. Put On Your Oxygen Mask First.When I was a brand new mom it felt so selfish to take anytime for myself. Guilt swamped me if I asked for help with the baby so I could have some “me” time. Often times it was just so I could take a hot bath, read a book, take a walk outside, talk to a friend and spew that craziness I felt stirring within me from being at home with my baby all day. Then a dear friend told me when you fly on an airplane there is a reason the pilot says in case of emergency to put on your oxygen mask first before your children , because if you can’t breath you can’t help them.
#6. Keep a “Tidy” house.As you go throughout the day pick up the house as you go along instead of at the end of the day. It will make it feel much more manageable. Take on a bigger task one at the time. On a daily basis I sweep, vacuum, do the dishes and tidy up. Things like mopping, dusting, cleaning the bathrooms, laundry get done on different days one at the time.
#7. Have Something to Call Your Own Outside of Motherhood.I often felt resentful as a new mom that my identity was gone. All my time was spent mothering my child and at the end of the day there was nothing left for me. I learned continuing to pursue at least ONE THING that brings me joy and excitement outside of motherhood has helped me to feel more balanced. For me this has looked different in different seasons of life.
- Starting a blog.
- Investing in a photography course.
- Joining a gym ( free childcare and and hour to sweat out frustration is PRICELESS TO ME. )
- Joining a MOPS group. (Mothers of Preschoolers- however this group is inclusive of moms birth – 5yrs)