I don't know about you guys but some of my biggest stresses in my week as a working mom comes from those unorganized or unexpected moments in my life. Nothing causes me to lose my sanity quicker than some impromptu issue popping up. While I know I can't plan everything in life there are great ways to give yourself at least a little room to maneuver when issues arise and I'd like to share some with you.
Here's are some of my weekly strategies to combat the insanity of pop-up issues:
Get Those Priorities in Check
I start off my week (usually on Sunday) by figuring out everything I have to do or think about for the week ahead. Of course as a Mom I feel my biggest responsibility is parenting so I finish each night by checking my kids' backpacks for any flyers or permission slips. I gather them all up on Sunday, along with our family planner, my cellphone and a fresh copy of my "Peek At The Week" (a handy tool I found for FREE on iHeart Organizing) and the process begins. I fill in our family planner with the dates of trips, school events, doctor's appts., work meetings and my Husbands meetings (that I know about in advance). I then do the same in my cellphone calendar, because this is the one I carry all the time and the family planner stays in the kitchen. By combining all these items I am able to spot any schedule conflicts and make adjustments or prepare to weather a storm. I then proceed to fill in the "Peek At the Week" which also includes a section for "To Do's", "Grocery List" and a meal planner. After I fill in the items that are most important and number them from highest to least important, I fill in my (as Stephen Covey calls them) my "Sharpen the Saw" items. The things for the week that I want to focus on physically, emotional/socially, spiritually and mentally just for me, as a person. This may seem like a lot but it helps me to keep balance and focus and allows me to squeeze in "me-time".
Draw Near to God
We all know what they say about cleanliness and it's really true. I find I have more time to focus on my relationship with God if I have less to do around my house. Managing a home of 6 people can be quite challenging, especially when 4 of those people are under the age of 12! But I do try to implement some basic rules that I learned over time.
A. Involve the kids- while it would be great to be supermom and not have to feel like I'm depending on others for help the reality is, we all have a responsibility to keep our home clean! I was able to find great age-appropriate chore charts for my little ones, even down to the 3 year old. Throughout the week they have basic chores that keep our home "maintained" until the weekend, when we can really get down to the nitty-gritty of things like the laundry and bathrooms (which thank goodness can wait a little since we don't have aiming issues).
B. Don't sleep on dishes - I try not to go to sleep with dishes in the sink or trash in the house. I know, it can be sucky having to wash dishes after dinner and being at work all day but it is much better than having them pile up!
C. Monthly Cleaning Calendar- I found a great gem on The Peaceful Mom that breaks down a schedule for cleaning household items such as appliances and upholstery into certain days. It is a really great way to get to everything in your house evenly without spending all day Saturday cleaning like Rosie the Robot.
D. Bless Others- It's always a good idea to hand-down or donate winter clothes you know your children won't be able to use or fit next year. This is usually when my family experiences the "sweater wars". Every girl has that one sweater they just can't part with and little girls are no different. While it's usually rough for them to let go in the end it benefits us all.
Love You, Mind, Body & Soul
Mind, Body and Soul- Another great thing about spring is that it's a time of blooming and rejuvenating. This spring I decided to start my mornings out with 15 minutes of yoga and I have to admit it has really given me a jump-start to my day. It's a great time to detox and clean out our systems and prepare for lighter eating with the hot weather soon approaching. I also make it a point to examine myself for any old built-up emotions and get 'em out or over, whether via journaling or meditation and prayer, It's great to detox yourself of old feelings and welcome optimism and freshness!
As always Be Fruitful!