Before becoming a step mom and a wife; I was a single mom of two pretty awesome kids. I had to learn to juggle life (and their crazy schedules) alone. I HAD IT DOWN. Lucky for me I gained two AMAZING [bonus] kids and a wonderful husband. But the juggling of life did not end there! Now I had three more people to worry about their schedules and needs. Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it can be overwhelming at times. My husband and I both work full time, our kids are active in sports (and socializing), plus co-parenting and we have our everyday life responsibilities (housework, homework, cooking, laundry).
Working full time and being a parent can sometimes be exhausting (mentally and physically). How do you keep it together? Are you feeling overwhelmed? I know there are days I am! Don’t worry though; no matter what you’re still SUPERWOMAN!
Here are some tips that I have come to rely on day in and day out.
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
First and most importantly you’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it be from your spouse or your kids. Do not try to accomplish everything on your own. Type A, OCD personalities I feel you (my biggest downfall or accomplishment I cannot decide), but stop trying to overdo it!
SET A ROUTINE
Not everyone’s routines will be the same but having one helps start the day out smoothly. Less forgotten lunches and running things to school.
BE ORGANIZED and PRIORITIZE!
Keep a family calendar – My husband will tell you, he calls me and has me check my calendar before committing to anything LOL. I keep a handwritten planner (I am partial to Erin Condren but any planner will do) and my google calendar. Both of which I rely on heavily. We also have Cozi (can be downloaded on App Store or Google Play), which is how we communicate my [step] kids’ schedules with each other. Everything we have going on gets put in the calendars. When the kids are with their other parents, baseball games, sports practices, camps, babysitting, baseball meetings you name it, it’s in there. My boys play baseball which from March to October consumes our lives. My daughter is on the high school dance team, so our Friday’s are usually taken over by high school football games. Then we have custody arrangements, alternated holidays to throw in. A calendar is my life line.
Chore List – with four kids, it’s a must. It helps ease the stress of house hold chores and everyone is doing their part. Granted with crazy schedules, the chore list does not always get completed but for the most part it works.
Menus for the week – Oh boy does this help! Every Saturday we create a menu for the following week. Not only does it assist with the grocery list, but it takes the stress out of trying to figure out what to do for dinner. Coming home from work, there’s homework, conversations with the kids about their day, lunches to be made, and before you know it its bed time routines. Who has time to figure out what to eat? The kids have input so we don’t have the notorious “I don’t like that” comments. Whew! Bullet dodged there since my son and stepdaughter are about the PICKIEST of eaters.
Prioritize – YOU CANT DO EVERYTHING! Keep that in mind. I often to put entirely too much on my plate and get frustrated when I cannot get things done.
MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER AS A FAMILY
Life gets by you. The days seem to fly by. Before you know it you have not spent time with each other in months doing something fun. We are guilty of this far too often. The kids still need some down time and time with you. So we decided at least once a month, we do something the kids want to do to break up the monotony of the days. Go to a movie, go to the mall, or the cider mill. We let the kids pick and we make sure we find time to do it. We have regular family dinner (no phones, just conversation).
SPENDING TIME WITH YOUR SPOUSE
Okay so this seems to be harder than most with our busy schedules; but we are always trying to find “us” time. Whether it be just staying up later and talking, going to the grocery store together and that rare “date” night we get once in a while. Remember to cherish your relationship with your partner, who will often be the number one person by your side.
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
If you are stressed out, overwhelmed and just outright exhausted all the time what good will that do? Take some time for yourself! Take a bath, read a chapter in a book, do something that helps you relax!!BREATHE! You’ve got this!
Hopefully these tips help those working mamas or just mamas in general. Life can be busy, parenting can be tough, but it does not always have to be unorganized chaos! Look at your children, are they happy and smiling? Then you are doing a great job! Keep it up!