What does having a “balanced life” look like to you? (Hint hint: it looks a little different for all of us).
I can guarantee you, though, that most of us tend to feel more prepared, calm, and content when our family, work, and social lives are in harmony.
As a working mom to an active toddler, I’ve found that when I prioritize the following things, my day-to-day feels a little more smooth and set up for success.
Sure, it takes time on a Sunday to meal prep a batch of roasted veggies, daycare lunches, and some easy dinners, but it is always worth it once the start of the week hits.
Having meals ready for you and your family once the errands and to-do list start growing is a savior. (No one likes being hangry.)
For my toddler, I make healthy spinach muffins (good for picky eaters, too) for the week so that breakfast time is made easy — and so that I can grab one on the go if my day gets turned upside down.
This last thing anyone wants to do is organize for the next day once the baby’s asleep and the dishes are done, but I can assure you that it’ll make for a much easier morning if you do it.
Some things that I do to help are: lay out my work clothes, put daycare items in a bag, prep my son’s lunch, and get the coffee maker set up (key).
Go On A Walk
Are there weeks when by Wednesday you’re feeling like you need an extra jolt (in every sense of the word)?
Shake out the static energy and get some fresh blood flowing by going on a solo walk around your neighborhood. It’s amazing what some sunlight, fresh air, and a funny podcast can do for your mental health when you’re feeling the pressures of motherhood and work coming down on you.
Nine times out of ten, you’ll feel like a new person when you return from a rejuvenating stroll. You’ll think and react more clearly — and be able to tackle the rest of the day with more grace and patience (for yourself and others).
Plus, studies show walking reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
Ask For Help
This one is huge. And, not a lot of us are too good at it. But, when the laundry pile is sky high, when the toddler’s having a teething episode, and when the work emails keep rolling in — ask for a hand. No one can “do it all” all the time. There’s nothing wrong with needing help so that you can focus and prioritize your day.
If you live with a partner, a little “divide and conquer” can go a long way when it comes to household chores and family errands. It will allow you space to breathe and relax knowing someone else has got their side of things covered.
It all just starts with an ask and a conversation.
Know Your Boundaries
Your day’s already full and a friend wants to hang out at night when you and your bed had plans with Netflix. Guess what…? You can say no.
Your boss asks if you’re available to volunteer at an event over the weekend but you already have family plans. Guess what…? You can say no.
See a trend?
Prioritizing downtime is just as important as setting aside fun time.
There are many times where I’ve felt bad for turning down plans or passing on something fun, but in the end, having time to reset before another busy week arrives was even more valuable.
Keep Finding Yourself, Again And Again
Here’s a reminder to do the things you love. Being a mom and a wife doesn’t mean you’re no longer you. Haven’t taken a yoga class in awhile? Block out the time and go. Meaning to try the new coffee shop downtown? Text a friend and meet up Saturday morning.
When you put aside time for just yourself, it helps you stay present for those in your innermost circle.
I know it can feel impossible sometimes to ask or set aside “me time” but it’s important and you should totally do it.
In case you forgot, you deserve it.