I don’t know about you, but before I became a mother, the rhythm of my life seemed to flow smoothly from one thing to the next. (Of course, I had more energy to make it happen then, hah.)
There were breaths of space between work, appointments, hobbies, outings, and downtime—and an indescribable bounce that kept me moving from sunrise to well after sunset.
I was sleeping a lot, too. Remember those days?
Now? Well, let’s just say the pace of life as a mom looks and feels a little different. Certainly, my priorities have shifted (hello meals – and bedtimes – and packed lunches and laundry piles), but my desire to create meaningful dips in the day just for me remained there. It’s one thing I really am hanging onto.
Whether my life or routine resembles yours, I’m confident these little tips and tricks will help you find the cadence you’re seeking; to do more of what you love (for me, that’s writing and yoga) and to enjoy it — without feeling bad about it (that’s where it gets tough!).
Here’s what I’ve found helpful:
1. Make a list.
Lists give order and are a physical reminder of what needs to get done. I keep one by my side or in my pocket throughout the day. As items are accomplished, they’re checked off. It helps me feel calm, on track, and productive. Some days, items carry over to the next day, but more often than not, my handy pen and paper work to keep my life flowing in an organized way.
2. Color code your calendar.
One of my most favorite scheduling tips ever received was to color-code my Gmail calendar events. Hear me out. I assign different categories of life their own colors (work=blue, appointments=red, me time=yellow, etc.), so that when I view my day or week at a glance, I can immediately gauge whether it’s heavy on the work-side or a lighter, more flowy day that has some self-care sprinkled in. It also is a great visual reminder that maybe you NEED more you-time and are taking on too much at work.
3. Ask for a break.
On the weekends, when my husband and I are both hanging out with our son at home, I will often let him know I need some alone time – even if it’s 30 minutes to take a bath, read a chapter of a book, or plan my yoga class for the week ahead. I’m slowly letting that mom guilt slip to the side so that I can refocus and replenish when I need to. I call these breaks “mini moments of joy.” I need them. They’re important to me. And you know what, my husband never minds them one bit (and your partner probably won’t either.)
4. Wake up before your kid(s).
If you feel like there is just no time in the day to get sh*t done, make the time. Call me crazy but when I wake up super early, I feel unbelievably set up for the day. It can be a challenge to get used to waking up to an alarm (other than your kid), but if you make it a habit and stick with it for a couple of months, you’ll not only find you have more energy but you’ll get to carve out the “me time” that’s often easily lost throughout the day.
When I’m able to wake up before my son, I enjoy some hot coffee (what’s that?), journaling, meditation, and even a little IG scrolling.
Guys, you have as many hours a day as Beyonce. Use ’em.
5. Set reminders on your phone.
I’ll never miss a work meeting but I will forget to take a lunch break. That’s why I set reminders on my phone throughout the day. 12pm breath break. Check! These moments are just as important as the “urgent” email you have to reply to.
One reminder called “mindful minute” encourages me to step away from my computer, walk around, look out a window and repeat something powerful to myself like “I am strong. I am present. I am doing enough.” I encourage you to set some reminders in your phone like this throughout the day, and then, you know… do it!
6. Get quiet and clear.
You don’t need to meditate or pray or practice breath work to get into a good daily rhythm — but it helps. At the core of all these rituals are silence and breath. If you can sit with yourself, even for just a few minutes each day, you will feel a sense of peace, focus, and clarity for what’s ahead. This mental shower, as I like to call it, is sometimes all that you need to make way for amazing stuff to happen. Make sure you silence your phone first. It’s such a buzzkill when you’re riding that calm mind wave.
7. Stop apologizing.
One of my new favorite things is not apologizing. Really. Here’s how this whole concept fits into you finding your daily rhythm as a mom.
Instead of saying “I’m so sorry I’m late,” “I’m sorry I’m running late on that deadline,” or “I’m sorry but I just don’t have the time,” try saying: “Thanks for understanding,” “Thank you for waiting an extra day for that,” or “Thank you, but I can’t this week.”
When you stop apologizing for things, you make room for more good vibes and positive emotions between you and other people. Your day will feel smoothed out. You’ll feel less down. You’ll feel more lifted. I encourage you to try it. The first few times may feel a little off, but as you get into the flow of this, you may find that your life flow will soon follow.
Give it a try. Start with one or two of the above tips and see how you feel. Little changes can create big feelings.