A few days ago I did a fun blog game post, I Play Well With Others... See? One of the questions I answered really got me thinking. M's question #6 was "How do you do it all?" My answer was simple; sleep deprivation and lots of coffee. But, is it really that simple?
Heck no, it's not.
I'm definitely no Super Mom. I strive to be (I've posted several times about my deep desire to be Super Mom and how unrealistic those goals many of us moms set on ourselves), and while I won't say that I fall short, I will say that I do the best I can, and so far I think I'm doing well. My kids aren't in juvenile detention centers or hooked on crack, so I count that as a win.
I will say though, that I've found I do a lot more than many moms do.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Before you busy moms go off on me, let me clarify. I am in no way saying that other moms aren't busy, or they don't do it all and that I do. I currently live in a posh area. I live in the apartments of a posh area, but still in a richy section, nonetheless. Most of the moms of kids at my kids' school don't have to work, and they spend their days getting manicures, pedicures, doing some grocery shopping and maybe straighten the house before the house keeper shows up. So, based on what is currently around me, I'm a damn busy mom, and do a heck of a lot more than these ladies do.
Now that we've cleared that all up, let's continue.
I am currently a working mom, though in 2 more weeks I will be a stay at home mom again. I can't wait. Even when I'm a stay at home mom, I'm still busy as all get out, because it's not in my nature to be lazy. The house is clean, the kids and I do crafts, we bake, I make nutritious dinners, laundry is kept up with, etc. Keep in mind I have a 10 year old and a 7 year old; if they were younger, it would be more difficult to keep on top of everything.
Being a working mom with a Hubby 2000 miles away and living with a sister who works, too, is rough. There are many days I have to do it all, and it just happens to be those days that there's a butt load of stuff to do (never works out any other way, does it?) So, it's these days that I wonder. I wonder how in the heck I did everything, and if there are any tips I can share with readers to help them, too.
I may just have a do-it-all trick or two, or 10, up my sleeve.
- Multitask As Much As Possible. Don't go the extent of sending emails while driving, but if you can put two things together, then do it. Take my yesterday morning, for example. The cat had to be dropped off at 8 to be spayed, the kids had to be at school at 9, and my sister had a meeting to go to at 9. I got the kids up early, made sure they were dressed, and we dropped the cat off. I needed a few things from the grocery store, so we stopped at the grocery store next to the spay place, that has a cafe in it, and the kids got a nutritious breakfast while I picked up our few groceries. Headed home, got the kids to school (yes, they were a little late), got ready and headed to work myself. Not a perfect morning, but it beat heading to a fast food place for breakfast and trying to fit the grocery shopping into somewhere else in my busy day.
- Spirulina and a Multi-Vitamin. I was told about spirulina years ago when I was in college and a newlywed, by a naturopathologist who was giving me ways to get my nutrients and boost my energy. It's an algae compound full of nutrients, vitamins, amino acids and more. I took it all the time, and I was never tired. I discontinued it when I got pregnant and breastfed my daughter, just in case, but picked it back up when we were past breastfeeding. It did wonders for my energy levels as a new mom. I recently began taking it again, in light of getting everything done for the move, and being a working mom that only gets about 6-7 hours of broken sleep a night, and it's been amazing again. It gives me energy, and because it's a complete protein, I'm hungry a heck of a lot less. Yeah, so it helps with shedding a few pounds. I'm not a doctor, though, so please consult with yours, or a naturopathologist, before starting to take spirulina. It can be found in health food stores. A multivitamin is recommended, and I do take mine every morning, just in case I don't get all of the nutrients through food that I need (and most of us don't).
- Lists. I'm a list whore. If I have a lot to do in one day, I'll list it all out so I can cross it off as I go along. It makes me feel accomplished. If I have a larger timeframe to get something done (like for this move) I'll break the list up into even increments and then set goals for each week/day.
- A Notebook. Not the Ryan Gosling kind (though that one is amazing), but I carry around a spiral notebook in my purse. I write everything down in that notebook. My lists, ideas I have for blog posts, interactions with the insurance company, budgets, funny things the kids say, everything. I always keep a pen in the spiral part for easy access. It makes it easy to always know where information is that I need.
|Reese Witherspoon is one of my favorite celeb moms, and
as you can see, she knows about a baby snatcher purse.
Photo courtesy of The Bag Forum
- A Baby Snatcher Purse. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you all have heard that phrase before. If not, I'm happy to educate. A 'Baby Snatcher' purse is a huge-ass purse, big enough to carry the kitchen sink in... or a baby (hence the name). No matter how many times I try and downsize my purse, it never works out; I upgrade to a bigger one. Why a huge purse? To carry everything in it: snacks for the kids, my notebook, a book to read, pens, pencils, a brush, deodorant, female products, perfume/body spray, gum, candy, ibuprophen, pepto bismal pills, nail clippers, wet wipes, tissues, bandaids, neosporin spray, chapstick, extra makeup, bobby pins, scrunchies... and the list goes on. I try and carry anything I could possibly need on a given day, just to be prepared. You never know. The big purse sucks on your back, I'll admit that, but the feeling of needing something and being able to pull it out of your purse is amazing.
- Coffee. A given, honestly. I start out with a cup of coffee every morning, and usually end the day with a cup of decaf for comfort. I love coffee.
- Delegate. My kids are 10 and 7. In my book, that's old enough to keep their room clean, unload and load the dishwasher and help out around the house, including folding their own clothes. So, when it comes to keeping up with things, I delegate, and they can't do what they want to do until what I've asked them to do is done. There's no reason for me to be working 40 hours a week and have to do 100% of the work at the house.
- Make My Smart Phone Work For Me. I'm one of those people that has my facebook, twitter, blog, and numerous emails all set up to my phone. I can check them as they come in, answer accordingly, delete accordingly, send funny links or pictures straight to my social networking sites and so much more, all from my phone. If I lost my phone, or if all of a sudden phones didn't do what they do anymore, I'd be devastated.
- Meditation. Don't hate me for saying this, but I meditate. Yes, seriously. I have a radio station app on my phone, and I put on Sky Nature FM, my headphones, sit cross legged on my couch, close my eyes, and meditate. It's taken me a while to get to a point where I can hit a meditative state pretty quickly, but I usually only meditate for about 15 minutes at a time. It's just 15 minutes, nature music blaring in my ears to cut out all outside noises, relaxation breathing, eyes closed to just clear my head. It seriously rejuvenates you. Even if you don't meditate, put your headphones in, turn on your favorite songs, and tune the world out for any time you can spare. It works wonders.
- DVR Lifesaver. Rarely do I have time to watch a TV show or a movie when it actually comes on. So, my DVR box is a lifesaver. I can just set everything to record, and it does, even if I forget all about it, and then on my day off, or after the kids go to bed, I can fold laundry and watch my week's shows (see 'Multitask As Much As Possible' above). Plus, I can fast forward through commercials, so an hour show is really only like 40 minutes. Every minute counts when you are trying to cram 3 of your favorite one hour shows into the 2 hours you have before you pass out... the math works... sometimes.
Those are just 10 of the do-it-all tricks that I keep up my sleeve. I have a few more shoved up there, but I need to clean the dirty tissues, ace of spades (in case I'm ever in a random poker match) and fake flower bouquet (in case I need to entertain the kids with a magic trick) out before I can share those with y'all.
As always, I'd love to hear some of your do-it-all tips and tricks! Leave a comment below, and share this article with other moms you think may like some do-it-all tricks (there's facebook, twitter, google and more share links below)!
The Inklings of Life