6 Ways for Busy Moms to Simplify and Slow Down

Some of my days go perfectly according to plan.  There are days when everyone gets along and naps and plays and eats at the precise times I hoped for.  Other days my son gets 5 stitches and my daughter takes my leftover Chick-Fil-A salad container out of the garbage and douses herself in avocado ranch dressing.  It’s called BALANCE.

But truthfully, I don’t believe in “balance”.  I was recently venting to a friend about all I had going on and she told me, “your life is always crazy though.  It’s always a little chaotic.  But so is everyone else’s.”  And it’s true!  So I can’t and won’t feed you any tales of balancing it all.  Because I don’t.  I don’t even know what that would look like!  And you already know that you need to take time for yourself and say ‘NO’ when you feel overcommitted so I’m not telling you THAT either.

What I will tell you is that I’ve found ways to simplify.  I’ve found systems and methods that help me to slow down and be less of a hot mess mom.  Tricks of the trade, if you will, that make my life slightly less chaotic.

1 – Use a PLANNER.   Or at the bare minimum you need a notepad or journal by your bedside if you insist on using your phone for a planner.  This is a non-negotiable.  Part of simplifying involves de-cluttering your brain and the BEST way to do that is WITH a planner.  You don’t have to go crazy with stickers or highlighters or color coding (although I think that’s more fun!), but you need a physical place for a brain dump and for mapping out your month.  Whether you like it not, if you’re a mom then you’re also a manager.  You manage your family’s life. From birthday parties to date nights to appointments to work engagements, you need a place to plan and manage.  Which leads me to…

Try to WRITE things down in a planner. I promise that your mommy brain will thank YOU!

2 – Review the next day’s plans BEFORE you go to bed.  Every night as I’m barely awake watching Bravo, I go over our plan for the next day.  School, work, appointments, to-do’s, errands, workouts, play dates, practices, dinner – review the plan.  Then, unload anything that’s taking up space in your brain.  Need to clean out your closet?  Get an oil change?  Book your holiday card photos?  Pick up a treat for the class party?  Write it down AND assign it a tentative date when you will revisit it if it’s not urgent.  Unload and de-clutter!

3 – Make mealtime easier with pre-prepped food and ready-to-go dinners (and I’m not talking about the delivery kind) –  Long story short, I hate cooking.  Despite this fact, my family still apparently needs to eat 3 times a day and I’m the lucky one who is responsible for making that happen.  I found some easy ways to make it through the week without comprising quality, wholesome foods.

*Breakfast – Steel oats mixed with frozen berries and a little honey.  Make a big     batch and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

*Dinner – Buy pre-cut veggies and potatoes.  Publix, Fresh Market, and Trader     Joe’s offer great options.  My favorites are beet and zucchini noodles, butternut squash crinkles (like french fries!), and anything thats already diced.

*Dinner – If you live by a Fresh Market you have to check out the Little Big Deals!   Every week they feature a different meal and everything you need is prepped,     ready, and EASY to throw together.  *Think* already breaded chicken cutlets.       YES please!  The best part is each meal is $20-$25!

4 – Set a timer.  I set a timer for almost everything and anyone.  When the timer goes off, we’re getting ready for school.  When the timer goes off, we’re getting in the car.  When the timer goes off, mommy has to start cooking.  I only clean, fold laundry, blog, scroll social media, etc until the timer goes off.  Yes, it sounds utterly regimented.  The reason I do it though is because then the day doesn’t get away from me.  You can’t have more time but you CAN control the time you have!

5 – Spread your chores out.  I don’t know about you but doing 6ish loads of laundry on one single day sounds like the absolute pits.  I’ve found 2 systems that keep me sane.  One option, do all of the kids laundry on one week day and all of the adult laundry on a weekend day.  Option two, every morning put one load of laundry in the washer and then fold before bed.  Similarly, we unload the dishwasher every morning and reload every night.  Straighten up for 15 minutes every night before bed.  Set a timer!  No more than 15.  Sloooow down.

6 – Clothing {tips} optional.  I love my son’s school, but unfortunately for me they don’t have uniforms, which means choosing outfits on the daily.  Nope, I needed a system.  On Sunday night I put 5 outfits together, and put those outfits in a separate drawer.  Each night he takes one outfit out to prepare for the next school day.  Our mornings are so much smoother now!

What systems help YOU simplify and slow down?

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