Full disclosure: I am not the most organized mother; I’m not naturally a super planner and I don’t have an extreme amount of energy! I don’t do it all perfectly and my children certainly don’t either, BUT I have compiled some very random tips that help me get through each day with young children. They may seem like no brainers and I agree, they’re not profound, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little reminder of the simple ways you can improve everyday life. Whether you have one child or 10, are a stay at home mother or a mom working outside of the home, I hope you will benefit from these little tidbits.
1. Obey. Right away. Without delay. This is something we say to our children regularly to let them know that we expect them to do what we ask them to do when we ask them to do it. I have a lot of little people who need me to do a lot of things for them constantly, so I don’t have time to wait around for one of them to decide when they feel like obeying. Let your children know very directly what you expect from them and then follow through with enforcing your expectations.
2. Make the beds! I have found that making my bed every day makes me feel organized and ready to start my day. It instantly gives your bedroom a facelift! Have your children make a habit of making their beds, too. This gives them a small responsibility that won’t overwhelm them.
3. Have device free meals. Put your phone in another room when you come to the supper table so you aren’t tempted to pay attention to that instead of your spouse and kids. Don’t get into a habit of taking an iPad into restaurants for your children. Habits like that will die hard and one day you will want your teenage son or daughter to converse with you without a screen in hand.
4. Use the grocery services in your community!! Shipt shoppers shop at Publix and Whole Foods and deliver your groceries to your door, and some Wal-Marts have drive through grocery pick ups! This is a GAME-CHANGER for mothers!! Simply order your groceries online while sitting at home! I love being able to have an open tab on my computer for Pinterest recipes and another tab open for Shipt and adding the ingredients I need to my cart!
5. Do enjoy your baby and don’t stress over sleep schedules. Sleep for everyone is very important, take it from someone who LOVES to sleep, but don’t let your child’s sleep schedule get in the way of living life. The more children I have and the more infants I raise I have to come to realize that a little nap in the car can go a long way and if your baby misses his nap in his crib, chances are it will all be okay.
6. Divide and conquer. Evenings can feel like crazy town with five small children. I typically make supper for our family and my husband does the dishes and cleans the kitchen while I do bath time. After that he reads to the older girls while I read to and put down the younger girls. I suggest dividing up the tasks between you and your spouse according to what you do best.
7. Let your children play freely. Kids don’t need you to plan out every minute of every day for them and you will wear yourself slap out if you try to do that. Be present and available but take a step back and watch how creative your little one’s imagination is!
8. Do a 10 minute tidy up! I have found that the comings and goings from our house seem to be what creates the messes. I try to make sure my girls tidy up before we leave the house so that when we get home we aren’t entering back into a mess. Set a timer and have your children do their best to help clean up and then show how much you appreciate their help by passing out some chocolate chips or any other sweet treat you have available.
9. USE AMAZON PRIME!! I really don’t know what we mothers did before Amazon Prime. Errands aren’t easy for mothers of small children, but if you think ahead you can get almost anything you need shipped to you in two days for free.
10. No matter how hard of day you’ve had make sure you take the time to look your child in the eyes and tell them you love them. Hug them, kiss them, and tell them how very important they are. Days are busy but make sure your child doesn’t feel like an afterthought. You can never tell your child you love them too many times.