My top 5 mama tips to get stuff done

I snuck upstairs. I am in Juliana’s nursery with my Mac book on my lap writing this post. I can hear Juliana fussing a little trying to get back to sleep. My mother-in-law is walking her around. Madilyn is begging her for “something in a cup.” This is her way of asking for a snack. This kid can eat.
Finding that balance between stay-at-home mama and small business owner (who works from home) is a daily challenge.  My home office has been converted into Madilyn’s playroom. It makes the most sense. So, I work wherever in my home I am most inspired. Some days I sit in the dining room. Some days I sneak upstairs. Lately, if Madilyn can see me, she doesn’t let me work so I head upstairs.
I have learned over the years that having a schedule helps me focus on the moment. I am an anxious person. I want to get it all done and I want it all done now. I want to do home improvement projects, bake home cooked meals, watch The Bachelor, have a clean house… I set myself up for disappointment. It is impossible to get it all done all at once.
I asked for help. My mother-in-law and my mom help me ALOT and I am so grateful. My dad and father-in-law also do so much for us. I agree that it takes a village to raise kids. So, in order to utilize the help I was offered, I put together a calendar for the week. It doesn’t always work perfectly but I am telling you what, I am getting so much more stuff done. I focus on the day, the hour, the moment… I know what I am working on. I am focused.
Here is a glimpse into my weekly routine…
Monday – Brian home in the mornings and works late so my in-laws come over. Focus: gym time, clean something, wash clothes, write weekly blog. Usually make a pot of soup or a quick meal. Sometimes we order pizza and salad!
Tuesday – Brian off sometimes. If so, he gets time to exercise. I hang out with the girls. Use my crock-pot many nights.
Wednesday – My mom takes Madilyn over to her house for a few hours. I have time alone with Juliana. I do a few loads of clothes and maybe even watch a show on the DVR. When she naps, I work on my blog or upcoming program.
Thursday – Home with girls. Try to do a play date with some of my friends and their kiddos. Some weeks, my in-laws stop for a couple hours and I can get a few chores around the house done.
Friday – Home with girls. Try to get together with my sister and my cutie pie nephew. Sometimes my mom cooks for us. Some weeks, we visit my nephew while my mom watches him.
Saturday – Brian works. In-laws come over. Focus: gym, clean something, date night with the hubs. We usually eat out.
Sunday – Family Day. No chores. We go to church and/or go skiing or to the Science Center or other family fun activity. We try to turn off our cell phones. Focus on the four of us.
Here are my tips:
 1. Use a calendar. Yes, schedule everything. In our house, it things are not on the calendar, they don’t get done. Brian and I both use our iPhones and send each other meeting requests from anything from a chiropractor appointment to time to take Madilyn skiing.
2. Schedule date nights and time for mama self-care. I have learned to make exercise a priority even with two little kids. I need it. It is my sanity. It is on the calendar. Accept help when family and friends offer. Go on that date with your hubby. You deserve it. Order dessert. Have a glass of wine.

3. Plan out your meals. I plan out about 3 or 4 meals a week. The rest is leftovers, hummus and veggies, scrambled eggs and sometimes even dry cereal “in a cup.” If I am really on a roll, I will write the meals for the week on the chalkboard so the hubs knows what’s on the menu and I don’t have to hear, “What are we having?”.

4. Be in the moment. On the days that I don’t have help, I try to breathe and not worry about things that are most likely not going to get done. I try to play with Madilyn and not be thinking about the thank you cards that need written. I try to hold Juliana for most of the day. Focusing on the moment is the biggest challenge for me. Work in progress.

5. Take one day at a time. I remember the days of cleaning my entire house in one day. Those days are long gone. I pick my battles. Today, I cleaned my bathroom. That’s it. There is dust all over my downstairs. Who cares. It will get done someday. Instead of dusting, make this apple crisp.
Snowy Day Apple Crisp
3 apples, cored and chopped (I leave skins on for added nutrition)
1/4 cup of dried fruit (I used raisins this time)
juice of one lemon
3 tablespoons of butter, softened
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup sucanat sweetener
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamin
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Turn on oven to 350 degrees F. In a baking dish, add the apples and dried fruit. Pour lemon juice on top and stir. In a separate bowl, add the flour, almond meal, oats, spices and sugar. Add the butter and mix together with your hands until you have a crumb consistency. Add to the top of the fruit in the baking dish. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

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  1. Thank you, Betsy! These are great tips! My kiddos are 3 and 1 and I’m still trying to figure this all out! This article has been very helpful! It’s great that you have help! It’s even better that you embrace it! You are blessed!

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