Hectic mornings herding children around rushing to get them ready for school and you ready for work.
Rushing to carline to pick them up from school on time.
Walking in the door and heading right into getting snacks, mitigating screaming matches, checking homework, making dinner, doing laundry, cleaning dishes, picking up socks EVERYWHERE, maybe even doing homework yourself…
Collapsing into bed utterly exhausted just to get up the next morning and start all over.
That’s how my life used to feel. Crazy, rushed, barely surviving. Definitely no time for myself and no exercise or anything like that. The whole family always felt a little on edge and my moods were all over the place.
One day, I had enough and decided to change some things. It didn’t happen overnight but I have implemented a few new practices around our house. Now, although not always perfect, most of my mornings are relaxed, my days are peaceful and more organized, and my family flow is much smoother.
Here are the top 5 things I learned along the way that made the most impact on our family flow and my sanity!
- Commit to a minimum of 30 minutes of daily “me-time” as a non-negotiable. I know you may be thinking “There’s NO WAY I can find time for that, you crazy lady” but you’re wrong. You CAN and you SHOULD. Its not just for your own peace of mind, it’s for the good of your family too. When you take time out to focus on yourself, it will help you approach the rest of the day with more calmness. You’ll be surprised at how much this can affect your mindset! Your day’s flow can go from stressed to relaxed just by giving yourself this one gift.
- Delegate. That’s right, if your kids are big enough to put away the dishes, give them that task. If your kids are capable of folding laundry, give them that task. If they can use a sponge, assign them a few of the house cleaning responsibilities. They may not doing it perfectly the way you would but as long as it gets done, just let yourself enjoy the break from having to do it yourself! If they’re not big enough to help, ask your spouse to help out with a couple more of the tasks than he’s currently doing. Often, our spouses are much more willing to help than we think but it comes down to communicating the need.
- Create Visual Charts for Children’s Behavior and Responsibilities. This has been a HUGE help in our house. Our children have a 3 tier chart system. The first is a daily behavior/responsibility chart. For my oldest, it includes everything from getting ready in the morning without me asking her to do things all the way to choosing a healthy after school snack without asking me for an unhealthy one. For my youngest, it’s simpler. It is broken down into morning, afternoon, and night. If she gets through each section of the day without throwing a fit, she gets a star. The second level is a daily responsibility list that includes the exact items they need to do in order to get ready in the morning – get dressed, eat breakfast, brush hair, get backpack ready, etc and the same for afternoon and bedtime. The third level is a calendar of the month that lists things happening for them during the upcoming month including big things like trips and little things like bath nights. They are able to look at these three charts and track what to do each day and what is coming up. They earn rewards based on how many stars they get for the level one chart such as 30 min of tv/computer time, park playdates, special time with me, etc. They mark their own stars down and they take it very seriously. It has worked wonders in lessening my youngest’s tantrums and even helped my oldest with anxiety issues.
- Commit to at least 30 minutes of daily exercise and fuel up with healthy nutrition (hint: this could be that 30 min of me time from #1). All too often, I stress eat and I know so many others who do that. However, we all know the BEST stress reliever is exercise. It releases endorphins, strengthens your body, and takes your mind off the rest of the world. Studies even show that people who exercise in the morning are more productive and report being happier and less stressed throughout their day. Yes, that means get your booty out of bed earlier, but if you’re like me, there’s no other time to make it happen. Sleep in your workout clothes if you have to! Do it for your own sanity, not as a punishment! If you combine that with healthy fuel for your body, you will feel so AMAZING that you won’t care what life throws at you! I know it sounds easier than it truly is, but that crazy, hectic life sure wasn’t so easy either. I much prefer this kind of hard ❤
- Wine. ‘Nuf said.