It really is a balancing act!
Do you find yourself feeling a little off balance? Like some area of your life is not ‘up to par’ with the rest. Balancing motherhood is really a juggling act but you’re not in this circus alone!
Here are a few simple things you can try today to help bring some balance to your motherhood journey.
Create a Master Calendar
Whether it is an ‘old fashioned’ paper calendar or a virtual one, create a master calendar. There are enough things to think about without adding the dentist appointment in three months to the list!
Having a master calendar with everyone’s schedules is also a good way to see where everyone needs to be when. By having this information somewhere other than your brain it can perhaps help you realize some efficiencies.
I simply use a paper calendar and my family member’s initials to keep track. You could also consider using a white board or a virtual master calendar like a Google calendar as well. Instead of initials you could use a color coding system too!
There are numerous ways to bring a master calendar to life for your family but ultimately by creating one there is a place for those things that are taking up brain space that can be used for other things.
When balancing motherhood it can be hard to focus on a particular topic until completion (or near completion) so once you have a master calendar you can more easily ‘double click’ into a week or even a day.
You can more clearly see when the best times for you to focus on things may be and apply time blocks to those tasks. This can be a helpful focusing tool to accomplish all types of work.
Balanced Nutrition for All (or almost all)
Let’s face it, kids aren’t always the healthiest and easiest eaters to please. Given a choice they will generally always choose pizza, chicken nuggets or something similar.
This is where a meal plan (as part of your master calendar) can help everyone out. Think of the good old school lunch menu here. There’s a main dish with sides and an alternate option not an entire menu like your local restaurant.
Set up your meal plan similar to a school lunch menu to help prevent the trap of making multiple different dinners. The alternate option could even be as simple as a PB&J or ham sandwich.
Have a hungry kid when it’s not meal time? Make snacks accessible so that you don’t always have to stop what you’re doing to provide a snack but also set some boundaries around the snack.
Is there a certain number or a certain time that’s allowed for snacks? It can help to have less frustration if everyone knows the plan and expectation up front.
Sleep is something that often gets neglected in the interest of other things when balancing motherhood but not getting enough sleep could be throwing your ‘balance’ off.
Sleep is essential for proper functioning of a number of body processes including immune function, hormone production, and even metabolism. Not to mention feeling rested and refreshed helps the next day go a little more smoothly!
Seven to nine hours of sleep per night is recommended. Try keeping a sleep journal by simply writing down when you go to bed and when you wake up to see how much sleep you are getting.
Keep in mind time in bed on screens doesn’t count! If you are using your phone, tablet or other device right before bed you might consider making a change there as well for better overall sleep.
Seek out Self Care
It can be hard to put ourselves first as mothers but sometimes it is very needed to keep the balance. There are varying degrees of self care you should consider adding into your routine.
There could be daily self care routines that you implement. These could include things like meditation (there are some great guided meditation apps to check out!), exercise, journaling, and reflection.
Other self care activities could be completed weekly and/or monthly including getting a manicure, pedicure, or massage for example. You might also take yourself out to dinner or go see a movie with friends or your partner.
These are just some ideas, maybe you have others. If so, go ahead and make a list so you can look back on it. The important part of self care is that you do what feels good for YOU!
Also, now that you have a master calendar with potential time blocks you can more easily work these into your schedule and feel better about keeping them because it is dedicated time for you!
Get Others Involved
Balancing motherhood is not an individual task, it takes a village! Let that village help you out. Whether it’s the kids helping to meal plan, make the master calendar or a chore chart or asking a fellow mom to carpool.
Motherhood can at times feel lonely but remember you’re not in this alone. The task of balancing motherhood with all of those other responsibilities and priorities plus the things you enjoy can feel daunting. Leverage your village any time you can.
Accept You are Where You Are
At the end of the day sometimes you just have to admit defeat AND be ok with it. Generally, when balancing motherhood, admitting defeat isn’t the hard part, acceptance is usually more of an issue.
Think about what you remember from your childhood. Do you remember the dirty dishes in the sink or laundry to be folded? I’d guess those aren’t primary memories for you.
Just like you, I bet they won’t be for your family either. If you need confirmation, go ask them what their favorite memories are right now, you might be surprised!
You got this mama!
It’s no secret that balancing motherhood with other priorities and responsibilities seems daunting at times. Just do what you can and don’t sweat the rest (unless it’s sweating from exercise! haha). You got this mama!