We have all been there. You wake up with good intentions of getting things done and then before you know it, it’s 8 p.m. and you want nothing more than to go to bed. Where did the day go? Was anything accomplished? Why am I so tired when it doesn’t look like I did anything?
Let me tell you why – because you are a parent in the middle of a pandemic simply trying to survive.
It is okay to freak out but please don’t stress out. Working full-time while managing a household consisting of a medical resident husband, five pets, and a toddler has taught me a few life hacks that deserve to be shared.
- Realize you are not superwoman. Mothers wear many hats and unfortunately, some are simply balancing on top of each other without real stability. You are one person often in charge of many little persons. Take care of yourself first, even if that is simply a cup of coffee by yourself 15 minutes before the kid(s) wakes up for the day. You will feel much better and the day hasn’t begun yet!
- While you’re waiting for that coffee to heat in the microwave because let’s face it, rarely do we drink our coffee hot right away, take that 10-30 seconds and complete a task. I have recently begun doing this whenever something is in the microwave and it’s been a game-changer for tedious tasks I purposely avoid. This morning while the microwave was on, I brought an item to the stairs that has needed to go upstairs for days now. Guess what? That item is now in its respective place, the spot on the counter is cleared, and it happened all because I didn’t stare mindlessly at the timer on the microwave.
- Jot down five tasks you want to accomplish that day. Nothing more, nothing less. If all five are completed and more are added, kudos to you! If you start with more and don’t complete them, it’s easy to feel defeated. A recent list of mine was simple and consisted of shower, order groceries, vacuum first floor, mail mortgage check, and brush dogs. While I’m not sure why, five seems to be the magic number of tasks that can get done without my getting overwhelmed.
- Pick one area of your house to target at a time. Notice I said area, not room. I went through my shoes a few weekends ago and then my hanging shirts last weekend. Yesterday I cleaned out and organized my t-shirts. When I know I have another chunk of time, I will try the long-sleeve shirt drawer and then the jeans/pants drawer. If I tried to organize my dresser all at once, yet again, I would be overwhelmed and likely stop.
- Lastly, do as much as you can at night so your mornings are a bit easier. Ana’s lunches are packed and items prepped for daycare at night so all we need to do is grab and run in the morning. It makes a big difference, especially when your spouse is entrusted to take over in the mornings and has no clue of the routine.
As busy as I am, these are only a few of the tips and tricks I have learned to help me stay a bit sane. Motherhood is a busy race and we are all cruising along at our own pace. Take care of yourself, mama. You cannot pour from an empty cup, but if it is currently empty, go refill it. The microwave is always ready for you.