This article is a throwback from another blog I hosted many moons ago and am in the process of revamping. After re-reading it, I realized that these tips were really beneficial to me as a working, single mom. And even though my “baby” is almost 4, I realized I still do most of these today (with a few modifications). So, for all my mom (or soon-to-be mom) readers, let me know if they work for you!
I’m at work when this man pulls up in this BMW. First, I’m thinking….nice car. Then, I notice that there’s some smooth jazz streaming from his speakers. And, then, I look again and all of a sudden it looks like he’s sipping a Pina Colada on the beach, wind blowing through his hair. Meanwhile, I’m behind bars serving time. And then, I think…when’s the last time I had an evening drive, Gerald Albright caressing my ears? (Sigh—here we go again.) I absolutely 100% love being a mommy. I just want to be a mommy AND enjoy myself! HOW CAN I MAKE THIS WORK? Well, this time instead of pitying myself, I decided to think of ways in which I stand in my own way. There comes a time when you have to stop talking and start walking.
- Wake up 1-2 hours earlier than your family. I don’t like waking up to Arden’s “I’m up mommy” whinning. I just want to drop kick her back into the bed and pull the covers over my head. I’m not a morning person so I need some time to whine by myself. If I had time to wake up, whine, stretch, whine, fix myself a nice breakfast, check my email, tweet a “Goodmorning”, and talk to God about the day ahead of me, I’d be in a much better space once the rest of the house begins to awaken.
- Time management. Are you always rushing? Do you wake your kids up abruptly? Sometimes Arden wants to hold my keys and unlock my car door (even though she can’t even reach the lock) and I don’t have time to spare for this pretend play. She’s mad, I’m mad because it’s 1000 degrees and whoever made these carseats so hard to fasten! Oh no! I forgot my lunch! Get the picture? How much easier would life be if I woke her up with a kiss and a gentle back rub? What if our lunches and water bottles were already in a big bag inside the fridge? What if she had her own set of keys and we went outside a few minutes earlier so she can “unlock” the car door for Mommy? YES! Who’s a genius?! I’M a genius!
- Clean up so that every night you only need to tidy up. If you put things back where you got them….what’s to clean up? Everytime I have to cut play time or me-time to clean up I get so angry at myself for just not putting things back in their rightful place. 15 mins. now eliminates 2 hours later!
- Return items from the car back to the house. I don’t even know if I have the strength to talk about the car! The mere idea makes my stomach hurt. Moms are always talking about how their backseats are covered in fruit puffs and sippy cups. I have this Eddie Bauer seat protector which came w/ a storage bag for toys, sippy cups, snacks, whatever! Get yourself a big bag for the kids to store their belongings and just like a toy box….toys come out for play and then, “Clean up! Clean up!”
- Prepare meals/outfits/bags the night before. Whenever I leave Arden w/ a relative, I like to have her PREPARED! I have extra of everything, things are labeled, pre-measured, etc. Do yourself the same service. Pack the diaper bag and lay it by the door. Lay out the outfits & hairbows (if you have a girl). I like to have a cup of milk and some pre-cut fruit, grapes or strawberries, in the fridge so that Arden can start munching while her Cream of Wheat is cooking. (And, if you want to sleep in, keep a jsippy cup of diluted juice/milk/water and a healthy snack in arms reach, flip on Sesame Street, and catch some zzzz’s while your little one enjoys his/herself!)
- Designate one me-time event/evening. Once you get the kid(s) to bed, you deserve some time to just breathe. On Mondays, I grill a NY Strip and watch Basketball Wives & Single Ladies. That’s as far as I’ve gotten. But, Tuesday can be a night for pampering yourself. Do your nails, condition your hair, shave your legs, and let Calgon take you away. Wednesday, cuddle up with a good book. **Every night, you may not have an extended amount of time to spare. So, turn on some music and enjoy a nice long shower and hot cup of tea. You have to bath and hydrate yourself, anyway! Just do something for YOU!*
- Give your child(ren) your undivided attention for at least 1-2 hours/day. Sometimes I feel bad having me-time when I know that I haven’t given Arden her time. She loves spending time with me—running, tickling, playing in the pots and pans or the Tupperware. Do you spend a lot of time saying, “Don’t play in the sink,” “Don’t jump on the bed?” Give them time to just be kids! Pull out all the books, splash in the sink, turn the music up and dance!
Do you have any tips and tricks you’ve learned while being a mom? If so, share them in the comments!