October 2013 Parenting Tip: Don’t Struggle to Juggle

Don’t Struggle to Juggle

Now that my three children are getting older, I am definitely learning about the juggling act that goes into making everyone’s schedules work….and it is not easy!  They all have different activities and interests, different friends, and different schedules to accommodate.  There is still only one me to find a way to make it all work.

If you ever felt overwhelmed with a new schedule and unsure of how to balance it all, you are not alone.  It takes a lot of energy and planning to put all the pieces of our daily puzzles together.  Between school, after school activities, homework, food shopping, errands, work, dinner, bedtime routines, playdates and oh yah, “mommy time”, it can all be completely overwhelming.  I have discovered that with each birthday comes new balancing acts and challenges to conquer.  How can we adjust to these changes while staying sane?

juggling perfect  Here are some tips to help make sure whatever your  tossing in the air doesn’t all come crashing down.

  • Talk to an experienced mommy friend:
    • When I was pregnant with my third, a friend once told me that it would get harder as they got older.  I was confused as to what she meant until now.
    • Taking advice from someone who has been through what you are going through makes you as a mother feel human.  You know you are not alone and that there is nothing wrong with feeling overwhelmed.
    • Instead of finding out the hard way, be prepared and learn what solutions your friends discovered to make their lives easier.
  • Realize it’s okay to fail:
    • A large part of mastering motherhood is realizing it’s okay to fail.  No mother is perfect and that includes you.
    • Work on what you can do better tomorrow as a parent, and give yourself credit for what you succeeded at today.
    • Change is hard but can also be a good thing.
  • Utilize your child’s school as a resource:
    • If homework is taking longer than it should and is creating more stress for you than your child, set up a meeting with your child’s teacher/s.  I know in our house, by the time we get home from school and activities, there just never seems to be enough time for homework.  I knew there had to be a better way and my son’s teacher helped me to streamline homework time.
    • Teachers can offer great tips that will help you and your child be more efficient with homework.  You are not the first parent struggling to fit it all in.
    • Remember your teacher could be a mom or dad too, and most likely understands what you are going through as a parent.
  • Don’t over-schedule your children:
    • There are going to be tons of after school activities your child is going to want to participate in, however there are only so many hours in a day.
    • If your child is too over scheduled, he/she won’t be able to really give 100% to anything.
    • You will soon see your child tired, cranky and unable to focus.
    • Make it easy on yourself and don’t try and be a hero.  Choose activities that work for everyone, that are close to home, and are at a time that makes sense for your family’s schedule.
  • Take a deep breath:
    • There are so many things in the world to REALLY stress over, so take a deep breath and know you will figure it all out.
    • Every change has an adjustment period and whether yours takes a few days, a few weeks or a few months, you will adjust.
    • Use your time with your children wisely.  Instead of becoming their chauffeur, use that car time to discuss the day, talk about impotent topics, come up with fun car games, or even have a car dance party.  (Believe it or not, I actually love driving my kids to school.  We have a 20 minute drive, which gives us time to bond, laugh and create great memories together.  Not only does our car ride put my kids in the perfect mood for school but it starts my day out with a smile and a full heart-wow, that was cheesy…but true!)
  • Get help:
    • There are only so many places you can be at once so adding an extra hand can be extremely helpful and at times, necessary.
    • Whether it’s a permanent sitter to watch the baby at home while you attend baseball practice with your older ones, or the high school neighbor who can help your 1st grader with homework while you prepare dinner, letting go and allowing someone to assist you will make your life easier and help keep you sane.
    • Find out if any of your child’s friends are also enrolled in the same activity so you can participate in a carpool.  Any extra time you can free up will be like gold!
    • Check if your child’s school offers after school activities so you don’t have to spend the time picking them up twice from somewhere.  My five year old takes piano and my seven year old takes karate after school on Tuesdays, which both end at 4:30.  This helps me avoid multiple trips to different locations at different times.  It’s all about making it simple.

I know all these tips will be helpful for you and your family because I have personally tried every single one, all within the last few weeks.  Trying to be the perfect mother all the time and attempting to be everything to everyone and be everywhere, will not make you a Mommy Master, but in the end will only make you a Mommy Disaster.

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 If you have tips for making it all work, please share with us!  Remember, Together We Can Master Motherhood!™

 

 

“Image courtesy of [ stock images] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net“.

(frustrated woman)