1. Block out your time. I really like to multitask because I feel like I’m getting a lot of things done at once, but I’ve come to realize this year that I’m really bad at multitasking. If I try to do multiple things at once, my brain isn’t fully there with either of them and it takes nearly twice as long. I’ve discovered that if I block out specific afternoon, then I’m not tempted to work in the morning when I’m with my kids. I’m certainly not perfect, and having my phone around always makes it harder, but I’m trying every day to be better about keeping my work time and my mom time separate so I can give 100% to both.2. Find your own sunshine. I wrote about this last year (you can read the post here if you’d like) and when I went back to read it, it was a great reminder and I still think it’s all so true. You’re the one who is responsible for your attitude and happiness. Don’t rely on other people. Find something to look forward to every day. Smile! Do things that make you happy. Make little things special. I fill my home with flowers, go get a random manicure, decorate our table to make dinnertime special, or whatever other random thing makes me feel happy.
3. Take care of yourself. Motherhood is not an easy task. So much physical, mental, and emotional exertion is put forth in taking care of these little people, so make sure you take time to take care of you. For me, it’s usually putting on makeup, doing my hair, and putting on a pretty dress for the day (seriously, I love this one and it’s so comfortable!) It makes a world of difference in how I feel. For others, it’s exercise, meditation, taking a nap, getting a manicure, going to a movie…anything. Just do what will make you feel happy and recharge those mom batteries.
4. Be kind to other people. My sweet friend Tara is the best at this, and I’ve learned so much from her over the past couple of years since I’ve known her. She compliments everyone, especially other people’s children. She finds specific features or traits and then mentions those. It’s an instant ice breaker because all barriers come down when you’re kind. Every mom is obsessed with their baby, so having someone notice your child is such a wonderful feeling as a mom. And if you’re making other moms feel good, you’re guaranteed to feel good too.
5. Connect with other women. This is huge for me, especially as a mom. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day to day, and feel like you don’t have time to attend parties or playgroups or church/community events. And you don’t have to attend every single one. But getting out of your house and out of your comfort zone to meet other women (especially other moms) is a life line. I will always make this a priority.
6. Learn to say no. I struggle with this one because I’m a pleaser. I want everyone to be happy, and I always think I can do it. The reality is that you just can’t do everything, and trying to do it all will cause stress, unhappiness, and resentment. Save yourself all the trouble and learn to say no to anything that’s not going to make your life better.
7. Laugh it off. Don’t take yourself so seriously. When something goes wrong, find the humor in it and don’t let it bother you. Don’t take offense. After almost ten years of marriage and six and half years of parenting, I’ve loosened up a lot. I used to get so bugged by little things and let it ruin my day…but I’ve realized that helps no one and never ends well. So I’ve learned to take a split second when something happens and have a little debate in my head about how to react. And I try to always just laugh it off, and that changes everything.