Avoid Chaos and Create Calm
5 easy ways to Manage Your Time, Your Kids and Your Household
By:Lisa Millar, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, BA, ECE
Think it can’t be done? Think it is impossible? Are you feeling stressed just thinking how to manage everything life throws your way every 24 hours? I know how you feel because I feel it too, a lot!
Life is crazy with a capital “C” sometimes, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to cope, techniques to use in times of overwhelm. Some of these ideas below are tried and true, and some I have learned from experience. Either way, if you feel like you have tried everything you know about how to manage life with kids and need fresh ideas, here you go. Find a quiet place, grab a warm drink, and read over my list. I hope you find it helpful.
1. Get a plan together. Write it down. Find a calendar with lots of space to create lists and write everything on it- colour coded of course. Being organized, even on paper, is a great way to relieve stress. Post the calendar on the fridge or somewhere where everyone who reads can see it. Everyone in the family should be assigned their own colour for their own activities. Make a list also for household chores and meals. Take the guess work out of “what do I need to get done today”. If it’s on the calendar, you’ll see it. Here’s a great example of one you can find for free online www.mommytracked.com/downloads
2. Know when to call for help. Moms these days can have it all, but need help from time to time. It’s not realistic to be “everything to everyone” all of the time. In fact, it’s impossible. Giving yourself that break will decrease your stress levels faster than you can say “time out”. So, don’t be shy or stubborn- do it. People offer help in different ways all of the time. Friends, family, community programs, local services are there for you. Mom and baby exercise classes, play groups and coffee shops are filled with moms just needing to get out and chat. It’s good for the little ones too- they are socially interacting right along with you.
3. And on that note- “if you do it, they will learn”. Modelling your behavior with others is the number one way to manage your child’s behavior in my opinion. Make no mistake- your children watch you. You may not think they are, but THEY ARE. They repeat our behavior all of the time. So, be careful when you are interacting with others, treat them as you would like to be treated and your kids will pick up on that and mimic it. Social interaction is learned behavior. The better behaved you are, the easier your job as parent will be. NOT that parenting is easy, but you know what I mean
4. Make it a priority to find time for doing things YOU enjoy. Put YOU on the calendar too! The mommy to-do list grows and grows. This list will still be there as life happens. But while life happens, take an hour or so out of your day to exercise, read, go out for a meal with friends, or plan a date night with your spouse. If one hour at a time is too daunting, break it up into smaller chunks of time. The point is- YOU get to take a break too!!! It’s important for you to recharge your batteries to increase your energy and feel refreshed. If it helps, think of this time as mini (very mini) vacations. After you unwind, you are better able to cope with challenging situations (or people ;).
5. This last tip applies to all of you stay at home moms out there. You are valuable! You have a VERY important job to do-raise your children. It saddens me when I hear (or used to tell myself) moms say, “I’m not doing enough; I should be doing more with my time.” Augh!!! There is nothing more important than raising your children. They are the future. And You should be congratulated
“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world” Bill Wilson
Lisa Millar, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, BA, ECE