I’m sure you’ve seen a post like this before. A to-do list for mom’s to add to their already too long to-do list…. moisturize every evening after your bubble bath and face mask, have an hour of meditation/prayer/self-care every day, meal plan for every single day and make sure you get every food group for every person, wash your sheets every day, and spend at least two hours with each child individually every day….
You know what I’m talking about. As moms, we are told we are supposed to do it all, do it all perfectly, and somehow still relax. And while I’m all about making the most of every moment of the day and scheduling to make those moments happen, it can be SUPER overwhelming to try to add those things into your schedule.
The truth is, none of us are capable of doing it all. We just can’t. We aren’t physically, emotionally or mentally capable. But we CAN make sure we are doing a few things every day, and to make the most of our days.
Absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, THIS is the most important thing. We must have him in our day to succeed spiritually and relationally and emotionally. Without Jesus, we end up relying on our own energy and will and that’s never enough for when life gets tough.
I”m all about starting my day with Jesus, but let’s be honest…. that can’t always happen as busy mom’s. My best advice is to make sure Jesus is a part of your day. Whether that’s a tiny devotional on your Bible app, a prayer over your day while you’re washing the dishes, or reading a psalm while you chug your morning coffee before the baby wakes up.
Our top priority must be to include our Savior in our day to day mess or else we will never feel like we have a handle on any of it.
Some of us are more active than others. Personally for me, when I see someone suggest that I need to do a full body workout every morning before my kids wake up, it makes me feel nauseous and exhausted before I even try it! It’s just not going to happen for me.
I decided years ago to not put that pressure on myself. I have a few things I enjoy doing that get my body moving. I love doing stretching routines, taking strolls to the park with my kid, making up dances to my favorite songs. There are different options for exercise than doing difficult workouts.
But I don’t put pressure on myself to even do those things. I make sure that I MOVE sometime during the day. Running to town for groceries and to run errands counts. Cleaning up the house and folding laundry counts. Basically, my aim is to move my body, do some sort of lifting (even if that’s just grocery bags and my toddler!), and to walk. If my daily projects of the day are accomplishing that, I don’t worry about adding any extra exercise to my day.
Yes, here’s the classic “self-care” speech. But we seriously need it. Don’t feel guilty because you don’t take time for yourself, instead just DO it. I like to take a bath every week or so… but if it doesn’t happen I don’t sweat it. Self-care isn’t about doing elaborate things for yourself to feel like a queen. Self-care is just that…. caring for yourself.
I aim to have a snippet of each day that is just for me. Usually, on a good and normal day, I have two of those snippets: an hour or so in the morning with my coffee and Bible (which doubles as Jesus time!) and an hour or so in the afternoon where my child sleeps and I can do whatever feels good that day.
Whatever my body is calling me to do…. take a nap, watch a tv show, read my favorite book, or maybe even do a project I’ve been procrastinating! Whatever it is that will calm my mind and put things back in order for the rest of the day to go smoothly, that’s what I get done during that time.
As moms, we have to have this “resetting” time by ourselves to remember who we are, what we are doing and why we are doing it. It’s essential for our sanity.
Get out that hydroflask and chug, chug, chug! There is no other tip I’ve found that is better than this: buy a cute, insulated water bottle and take it with you EVERYWHERE you go. Everywhere. All the time. All day, all night. Fill it with ice, cold water and flavoring if you need it.
I don’t feel like I need to emphasize this one much more. Everyone knows how much we need water, but so few people actually follow through with staying hydrated. Water is essential to every single part of our body’s functioning. If you aren’t drinking water, you aren’t going to do well in all the other areas.
Take time every day to connect with another human being. Especially if you are a stay-at-home mom or have a job that doesn’t require much human contact. One of the things our culture has lost through all of our high-tech advancement is the simple blessing of human connection! When others emphasize with our struggles and emotions, it brings us immense strength and comfort and endurance to keep going.
Call your mother. Grab coffee with a friend. Just text someone and ask how they are doing. Play a game with your kids. Or put the kids to bed early and turn off all your devices so you can have a heart to heart with your hubby over ice cream. Do something every day to look at another human you love, face to face, and take away the distractions. Connect. Talk. Love. Empathize. Share. It’s so vital to our emotional well-being to share our lives with others.
Life has become so busy. For so many people breakfast and lunch are blurs of food, eaten quickly and without much thought. For all of history, food has been part of what brought people together. We have lost that and drive-thru’s and fast food have become a cornerstone of our culture.
I don’t find anything wrong with this. But having a healthy, balanced, hot meal at a table with people we love and no technology is such a healthy habit to have in your life. Maybe for your family that would have to be breakfast! Maybe you’re so busy that the only time you can manage that is having lunch with a co-worker for half an hour.
Whatever it is you can do, do your best to rearrange your schedule, meal plan and make rules for the table. Get in all those food groups, eat together and don’t let technology at the table. Taking the time to be thankful for everything and everyone you have been given is so helpful in wrapping up (or starting) the day and feeling satisfied and grateful as we go about our daily duties.
Every day, it’s important to take a few minutes to reflect. For me this is usually in the shower after my baby is in bed and dinner is completed. There are no distractions in there except for cleaning myself. I can process everything that happened that day, what I need to do tomorrow, and how I am feeling. After the shower I sit down with my phone and calendar and write down any thoughts I had while in the shower and wrap up my busy brain.
Taking this time to relax, ponder on my day, and make sure everything is ready for the next day is vital for me to be able to calm my mind to fall asleep easily and to enjoy time with my hubby before we fall asleep. Maybe for you that time need to be in the morning thinking over yesterday and planning for today. Whatever that time is for you, take the time to purposefully analyze your life and think through things. I like to think of it as a New Years resolution type of thing, except doing it every day keeps you on top of things! Remember who you are, who you want to be and work on taking the steps every day to get there.
What is something that’s part of your daily routine that you couldn’t survive without?