I was privileged to be a stay-at-home starting when my oldest daughter was born. Before she was born, I taught school, and I loved it. However, I would get home late and still have work to do. I wanted to be able to stay home with my babies. For the next 13 years, I was home. I babysat part-time for 11 of those years, yet I was in my own house.
This year, I went back to work very suddenly. It has been a great experience in many ways. It has given me confidence in working with people; it has been wonderful to see how I teach differently after having my own children; and I have a huge appreciation for all those moms who work full-time plus wear the hats of mom and wife.
It has been also a very hard year. I have burned the midnight candle many nights, and my house is not very clean. Every mom who works out of the house or in the house puts her own needs last. She is a mom. So her children get a healthy lunch. Her children get to bed on time, and the mom makes sure her children’s emotional and physical needs are met.
Yet, if a mom does not take care of herself, she will fall apart, which is one of the worst things that can happen to the family unit! Who will take care of the kids and make sure their needs are met if we are sick and unable to take care of them? We have to make sure that we take care of ourselves as moms! How do we do this? Well, I probably have no new news for you; but here is what I have learned this year:
GET ENOUGH REST
Okay, so I haven’t done great in this area. BUT, we all know we must get sleep or we will get sick. And we’ll get cranky. At least I do. Then I take it out on my kids and on my husband. No matter what we want to believe, we are not Superwoman. We need to get our rest! So try to keep to a schedule and get to bed!!
Laughing and keeping a positive outlook on life makes every day better. My mom always said to us, “It’s better to laugh than to cry.” I know that after laughing, I have more energy and definitely feel better about the day’s circumstances. I have a co-worker that I can go to and get my laugh fix on those hard days. It is our therapy! The verse, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine . . . “, has been proven to be true!
I don’t know if other working moms do better with eating healthy than I do, but I have struggled with packing myself a good lunch. I make sure my kids have a lunch, but sometimes I am going out with a yogurt or an apple for lunch. We need the right fuel to keep us going!! Many times, however, it seems like there’s not enough time to pack a lunch I like. I don’t love sandwiches every day, and I get bored of what I often take in my lunch. Sometimes I just give myself a treat by buying myself a Healthy Choice Café Steamers frozen meal. Since I eat with my class, the meals are easy for me to put in the microwave and eat quickly. I know they are healthy, they will fill me up, and they won’t break the bank. I also don’t get bored eating them as they have nearly a dozen different varieties!
They are made with real ingredients and no preservatives, so I don’t feel guilty eating them. Healthy Choice is the only major brand in the frozen meals section that can call 100% of its products “healthy” as approved by the FDA. They also taste great! I have to admit, I was skeptical when I ate my first Café Steamers meal, as I usually don’t like frozen meals; but their unique tray-in-tray steam cooking method keeps the vegetables separate from the sauce while it is cooking. The vegetables are crisp and fresh tasting after cooking it in the microwave. I also thought the rice in my meal tasted great — and I am picky about my rice! You can visit Healthy Choice to learn more!
MOVE/EXERCISE WHEN YOU CAN
I have not been able to exercise like I would like to do. Now that it is nicer outside, I am trying to walk around the playground while my kids are playing at recess. There is a sidewalk that goes around the the swings but inside the two slide areas. I am able to walk the little loop and watch my kids at the same time. Even that little bit of exercise and movement is better than doing nothing!
GET SOME QUIET TIME
I need quiet after teaching Kindergarten all day and then coming home to homework and the needs of 5 children! I need to be refreshed with God’s Word daily. My relaxation in life has always been to read a good book. Sometimes, I need to just pick up a book and escape for a few minutes. It may be something entirely different for you; but take time to do whatever takes you to your happy place.
There are organization gurus out there; and I do not claim to be one of them. Yet, even doing simple organizational tasks such as making lunches the night before, laying out clothes the night before, having a to-do list or calendar that works for you works wonders! Making a weekly menu, having a shopping list, or maintaining a weekly cleaning schedule may make the difference between chaos and calm in your house.
Here are some great resources that may be what helps you to stay organized:
—Free Menu Planners and Shopping List Printables from Money Saving Mom
—Cleaning Schedule Printables from Living Well Spending Less
–Here are some of my favorite freezer meal recipes!
–I love this chore planning system from Motivated Moms. (affiliate link) It’s available as a printable ebook or an app. I’m looking forward to utilizing it more this summer.
GET SOME HELP
We can’t do it all on our own. Get your kids to help. Get your husband to help. Good friends and parents even want to help when you are swamped. We are moving cross country in June, and I don’t know how everything is going to get done. My daughter wanted to earn some money, so I paid her to do some extra chores this Saturday. My wonderful dad who is retired is coming to pack some books up this week. I have had friends who have hired a cleaning company to do some deep cleaning. It’s okay to get some help!
GIVE YOURSELF GRACE
Don’t beat yourself up when it doesn’t get all done. Because it won’t. Sometimes everything may go like clockwork, and you may feel like you are Superwoman. And then the next week everything falls apart. IT’S OKAY! It happens to all of us, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. Keep the right perspective: people are most important. If we get all bent out of shape over a messy house or a bad day and damage those little souls around us over circumstances, we may cause damage that cannot be undone. Make the best of those difficult days, LAUGH, and LOVE! If we are happy and love our family, that is what they remember.
Are you with me?
I’m in the midst of it — just like you. Let’s encourage and support each other. We need each other here in cyber space and in the community where we live. A hug to other moms having a hard day does wonders. Share a smile or a kind word. We all have bad days; we all need encouragement to be the best moms we can be. Whether we stay at home or we work out of the house, we have the best job EVER as moms to those precious children entrusted to our care.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.