A wise mentor once said to me "the thing about motherhood is that your brain is constantly thinking about what you need to do. It's like popcorn is constantly popping in your head."
It is so true. Ideas pop in your head all day and sometimes all night long.
Did I buy that notebook for math?
What are we eating for dinner? Do I have all the ingredients?
When do I need to pay for basketball registration?
I really should of worked out today.
I shouldn't of eaten that for lunch.
Did I pay that tuition bill?
Is the baby is wearing clean underwear today?
On and On it goes. All day. Every day. It can be a physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting job.
I've recently discovered the joy in this calling comes from simplicity. Simple tools and routines that quiet all that popcorn in my brain. Whitespace is good for us. We crave it. We need it. I recognize I won't be able to quiet all the voices. It is not realistic. My goal is put as many non-essential areas on autopilot. I can go about my day in confidence that things are okay. I can use up my mental, physical and emotionally energy on the things that really matter - my family.
Here are some simple tools I use:
1. A meal plan
I've written about my hatred of meal planning before. I have a strong aversion to it. I recognize it. I own it. For about 7 years now I have been an emeals member. Once a week a full dinner menu, recipes, and shopping list is added to my eMeals app. All meal planning services are different so find one that works for you. Some plans are free and others you pay for. Try a few on before you commit. Here are some of my favorites:
Budget Meal Plan from Life as Mom
2. A cleaning schedule
Cleaning the house can be a HUGE task for families. One of the ways I put this area on autopilot is to use a home management schedule. Currently, I am using this plan. It breaks down all the household tasks by day and week. I have a few things to do each day to keep up on our home. I can delegate some tasks to my family. On really busy days I can push tasks to another day or skip it all together. For me it is not the tasks itself that overwhelm me but the management of them. I don't want to think about WHEN was the last time I washed the kids sheets. I want something to just TELL me to do it. These plans give me a set rhythm to do household chores. I have the freedom to skip some days knowing full well I can make those chores up next week or not it all!
Homemaking schedules I love:
3. Self-care Routines
Do you have a plan to take care of you? What are the things that make you feel like the best version of you? Sometimes we can make the most basic things so complicated. Taking good care of ourselves doesn't have to be that way. Start slow.Create routines around basic areas of your life. Don't know where to start? Here are some ideas:
Do you have trouble finding time for yourself? Pick 3 things you can do for yourself each day. Create a morning routine and evening routine to fit those things in your life.
Want to read more? Join a virtual or real-life book club.
Does your closet need an overhaul? Create a capsule waredrobe to simplify getting ready each morning.
Do you wish you had more time for a creative hobby? Create a small space in your house to lay out all your supplies. Take a few minutes everyday to work on your art.
Do you need to workout more? Track your steps each day. Challenge yourself to move more and sit less.
Give yourself a lot of grace. It takes time to get into a new routine. Change things up if its not working. Plan your time into your week. Schedule it and follow through with it. It is important. You matter.
My favorite self-care inspiration:
What are your favorite tools?