I am a busy mom. I work full time, I single parent two young children on a week on/off basis. I manage our household, I have important relationships that I care about and need to show up for – all while striving to maintain my health as a top priority in my life. I hold my health at the top of my to-do list every week, because I know that if I am not at my best, then it trickles down throughout my life in a negative way. My parenting suffers, my work suffers, and my mental health suffers – and we all know that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Full disclosure though: some weeks I am a hot mess. I am by no means perfect, but I have definitely learned the hard way how important my health is and how different I feel on the weeks where I have all of my ducks in a row. I have spent a lot of time fine-tuning what works for me and have had a lot of questions on how I manage it all. I have developed a great routine for myself and have found such a good groove for myself. Changes don’t happen overnight, and in an effort to not overwhelm you, here are my top 3 tips for thriving as a busy mom!
1. Meal Prep – 100%, without a doubt, absolutely non-negotiable. If you are going to do ANYTHING, start in the kitchen. I’ve been meal prepping for years now, so I have it down to an art. But it doesn’t have to be complicated for you. The top 3 things to have in your fridge prepped are protein, fruit and veggies. I usually hard-boil eggs, cook chicken in the crockpot and shred it, and pick a few veggies and fruit to have cut up and in containers for the week. Everything else is gravy. If you have this all ready to go, you’re less likely to hit the drive-thru or go rummaging through the pantry trying to find something for yourself to eat. If you feel that you don’t have time to exercise, at the very least having healthy options to grab when you’re busy will be a game changer for you and give your body the fuel that it needs.
2. Sleep – Sleep is one of those things that we put on the back burner, but it is one of the most important aspects of thriving as a mother. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re not running as well as you could be. Sleep affects your mood, your energy levels, your stress management, your work ethic… and the list goes on. If you’re not getting enough sleep you are not 100% you, and the rest of the world is missing out. Although I am not one to always follow the rules I set for myself, I try to make it a habit to be in bed by 9pm, and up for my alarm at 5am. That gives me plenty of downtime and sleep and I know that when I follow this routine, I always feel incredible the following day. Below are some tips that will help set you up for a great night of sleep:
– Put your phone on airplane mode at 8pm.
– Enjoy a warm tea/lemon water and a book to settle your mind.
– Keep a notebook beside your bed to write down any thoughts that might keep you up at night.
– Pack lunches/bags the night before so that you’re prepared for the next morning.
3. Grace – The thing is, I know we’d all really love to do it all. We’d love to be the perfect friend, perfect housewife, perfect partner and perfect mother. In an ideal world, everything would be meal prepped and your diet would be on point, you’d get all of your exercise and sleep in, everything would be organized and handled, and everyone would be happy and you’d just be killing it at motherhood. But life is busy and messy, and some weeks we just can’t do it all. Some weeks, everything runs smoothly and some weeks one or two or ten balls drop. That’s just how life goes and we can’t be perfect 100% of the time. It’s important to go easy on yourself and remember that life happens. Give yourself some grace and forgive yourself if all you do is just survive some days.
All the love, mamas!
Amy is a single mother to two girls, living in a small town located on the lakeshores of Lake Huron in Ontario. She loves writing, traveling and maintaining a healthy, all- natural lifestyle. You can read more about her here!