Moms Need TLC, Too
Whether you are working at the office managing stacks of paperwork or working at home managing the household, you are a hardworking mom. Supervising the many to-do’s each day is a challenge in its own right, but throw in soccer practice, traffic, homework, dinner and some family time, and things can really start to get stressful. With all the attention you place on the importance of your child’s education, you may be neglecting someone very important—yourself. When your needs are met, and things are in all the right places you will be able to take care of others with more focus and care.
Here are some ideas for maintaining your sanity and staying prepared for the hustle and bustle of the weekdays.
Simplify with Tools Now that the school year has started, and your child is back on the school routine, take this time to take care of what you need. When your needs are met, and things are in all the right places you will be able to take care of others with more focus and care. Take some time this month to reflect on technology or tools that you could use to make life easier. For example, a key holder by the front door might seem like a nonessential, but it comes in very handy to help you never lose your keys again. But don’t just stop there. Seek out devices that help keep you organized, like new applications on your smart phone, which in turn will make it easier for you to keep track of the important things, such as packing lunches for your child and remembering your sneakers for your gym class.
Preparation is Everything The home should be a sanctuary, a safe and comfortable retreat from the outside stressors and day-to-day grind. However, life does have a way of nosing in and stealing some of the “zen” out of home from time to time. Every day there are lunches to be made, dinners to prepare, bags to be packed, laundry to be folded, homework to be done and myriad other little tasks to finish. To take some of the pressure off meal preparation, by creating a dinner menu for the week, or better yet, let someone (or something) else help you plan well-balanced meal options for the family. Kraft and Whole Foods Market both offer mobile applications that will take all the thinking out of cooking. Think of them as your digital sous-chef. Both applications provide recipes directly to your phone along with built-in shopping lists. Whole Foods even provides a map to their closest store. This is a smart and practical way to add creativity to meal planning and help ease your mind come dinnertime.
School lunches should also be nutritious and enjoyable. Nothing disappoints more than opening up a bag of randomly selected last-minute lunch throw-ins. Preparing lunches on Sunday can save valuable time each morning. Surprisingly there are lots of things that you can pack ahead of time to grab and go each morning. Creating sandwich kits that your child can assemble at lunchtime is easy. On Sunday, put out five plastic bags and let your child put together vegetable and fruits mixes so each night your child can select which mix they want to pack up in their lunch. Sprinkle lemon juice on apple slices or pear slices to prevent browning. Ensure you have a sufficient amount of sandwich supplies. Whatever your child most enjoys help them prepare their sandwich the night before. By the time your child is in first grade, this is a task they can do independently. Click here to learn more about educating your child on nutrition visit, and pick up a few tips you can use at home.
Expect the Unexpected Every once in a while, something unforeseen will occur. Picture this: the power goes out during the night, so everyone wakes up late. Not off to a good start, no one is ready, the coffee timer didn’t work so there’s no hot cup of Joe waiting. As you frantically make coffee, and breakfast, you hear from upstairs, “Mom! I don’t have any clean socks, and I can’t find my underwear!” It’s the perfect storm. Tired, late, and no undies—what do you do? Easy. Try keeping a stash of socks and underwear hidden, so if you do hear that cry for help while running around the house, you can be reassuring and act quickly. You would be surprised how much a little morning chaos can upset your child’s outlook on their way to school. Being prepared for the unexpected will ensure that your child’s day at school goes smoothly no matter what.
Nurture You, and Your Child will be Nurtured, Too The lunches are packed, the children are doing their homework and you are pondering what else needs doing. These are the perfect moments to steal a little time just for you. It may be just 15 minutes in a quiet room reading your favorite book or fashion magazine. It might not sound like very much time, but if you can take small breaks for you throughout the day, you will see how positive it can be. It doesn’t have to be all at once; more than likely life won’t grant you with several hours of mom time, but if you make sure to take time when you can you will notice a difference. Start a daily habit where everyone reads silently for 15-20 minutes, and you’ll automatically get a few moments for yourself. Remember children model your behavior, and daily reading is an excellent “habit” for your child to copy. With this in mind, the next time your child is working on an independent study assignment at home and you’re spent, try going out on the back porch with a cup of tea. Look up at the stars, and breathe. These moments can provide terrific little escapes and revitalize your mind and body. You can even schedule mom time as a family; sit down and figure out when mom can take that warm bath and just soak in the tub for an hour, or take a bike ride. Remember, taking care of yourself is taking care of your family, too. You will feel more refreshed, more relaxed and less rushed. Most important, you will have more energy to help your child work through any problems or challenges he or she is having, personally or academically.
It’s easy to get bogged down by what life brings you: school, sports, bills, temper tantrums. We understand it isn’t simple to make sure your own needs are being met at the same time as your child. If you feel as if you’re hanging on by a thread, doing everything you can to plow through it may take some practice. Some days will be better than others, but taking care of you and your routine, and incorporating a few simple tools to make your day-to-day easy, is just as important as caring for your children. Your organization and well-being directly relate to your child’s academic success. When you are relaxed, focused and prepared, your children will take note of this, and work to be more successful in school as a result.