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Is it really possible to do it all? Yes and no. It really comes down to prioritizing. What is important enough for you to make it a priority? Is it possible to work full time, volunteer weekly in 3 kids classes, have a clean house that is Instagram worthy, make fresh and healthy dinners 7 days a week, get 8 hours of sleep every night and be an awesome wife? Probably not.
Unless you know something I don’t, then there are only 24 hours in a day. You can only do so much before life becomes too overwhelming. Take control and be proactive with your time. I work full-time, drop 3 kids off at daycare every morning, pick them up every evening, handle every meal, do all laundry, volunteer at school at least 2-3 times each school year, plan birthday parties, help with soccer practice and so much more. Here are some tips on how to do it all – Mom Style.
Start with a list
Let’s start by making a list. List everything you need to do or want to do with your time in the next 6 months. You can use subcategories to make it easier also.
The next step is to put next to each item whether it is necessary or preferred. Are there any items on the necessary list that you could get help from someone else with? Sometimes we fill our schedule too full because we don’t want to ask for help. This is often only hurting ourselves because we end up burning out and not giving things as much attention as they deserve.
How does your list look? Is it manageable or still too much? What items could you outsource to someone else if you can afford it? For me, it is well worth the money to have someone help clean my house because it would take more than twice the time and energy to try to do it myself. In order to cut down on the cost though, we try to have someone come about every other week instead of every week.
Because my husband and I both work full-time outside the home, it is almost impossible to cook dinner at home every night and still get the kids into bed by 7:30 pm or so. We tend to do take-out or pick up ready to go meals at places like Costco on most weeknights. We try to limit fast food and do more restaurants, especially if it means leftovers for the next night. Some places have great family pack meals so we aren’t buying individual meals for everyone. Plenty of moms will want to do mostly cooking at home so meal prepping is crucial to make that happen. For us, this is what works for now. For some tips on how to eat out with a toddler see my post here.
Since a lot of the places we get food from don’t come with fruits and vegetables, I will often buy a bunch of produce on the weekend and add to our dinners. If we pick up BBQ chicken then I might also add berries and cucumbers on the side.
One way I have tried to manage my time is tackling one or two chores on weeknights after the kids go to bed. One night I will do a load of laundry or two. Another night I will wash all the bottles and Sippy cups. Another day I will make pumpkin bread so the kids have yummy breakfast that is ready to go for the next few days.
Letting it go
I used to get so stressed out when not everything was done before I went to bed but I realized it would never all be done. Instead, I try to have as much ready for the next day before I go to bed, so mornings are not as stressful. I have the coffee ready to go, lunches made, bottles labeled and clothes laid out.
What are some chores you can ask your kids to help with? I started using a small whiteboard with my oldest so he would remember which things needed to be done in the morning before school. I got tired of reminding him of each item and this seemed to help. My oldest son helps with feeding the dog, restocking drinks in the fridge or paper towels in the kitchen and taking the trash cans in and out.
By creating your list you can really take a look at all you expect yourself to do and see why you get stressed out so easily. Being more proactive with your time and prioritizing things, you will learn to let some things go and appreciate others more.
I used to sit and watch TV in the evenings for about 2 hours a night and now with this approach I maybe watch 30 minutes-1 hour. I do this for a few reasons. It’s time to decompress and relax before bed, and it’s time with my husband to watch a show that we both like. I do miss a lot of shows that I used to watch but I realized there were many other things that were more important to me.