So, the other day I had a crazy realization in a social media thread (of all places?) Several moms had been asking for tips on how to balance it all, or at least a portion of it. I noticed that the moms of older children were immediately telling them what we wish someone had told us. “You can’t do it all!” “Give yourself grace in this season!” “You’re doing a great job.” “You’ll never regret more snuggle time on the couch with your baby.” The young mama thanked us for our encouragement, I was beaming. She felt better, she was encouraged, God is so good. A couple hours later, I came back to the thread and noticed there was another long comment. It essentially said, “Thanks for these nuggets of encouragement, but like really.. um.. does anyone have any tangible advice for this whole motherhood/homemaking thing?”
That is the paraphrased question, but I knew exactly what she meant. It is a question I think we’ve all pondered at some point. Right? As moms with older kids, I think we often shy away from offering mentoring advice because we feel like we don’t have it all together. How could we possibly mentor another mom? In that moment though, I remembered Titus 2, which was the the name of my great grandmother’s bible study for years. Titus 2: and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self controlled, pure, working at home, & kind.”
Even if you’re not religious, I feel like its nice to have someone you look up to. My husband has several mentors at work, and a couple of young men who reach out to him for advice. I need that kind of encouragement in my life, anyone else?
So, I wrote her back. I told her I’ve spent five years working on my system of balance. Balance being the key word, of course.
- Start a load of laundry every time your washing is full, early in the morning. Switch it after breakfast and fold it throughout the day, put it away later that day. Then, it won’t feel like you’re doing so many things at once.
- Start the dishwasher when it is full. Are you noticing the way I delegate chores to robotic devices? We owe it to Ma Ingalls to use these things!
- Make a meal plan every Sunday night or Monday morning. I don’t care how simple your meal plan is, just make one. Stick to it, eat better and save money.
- Have things delivered to your home. There are too many opportunities for free shipping and/or free delivery to pass up the opportunity to just have things appear at your door. I ordered my groceries last night while we watched Game of Thrones, and they were delivered today during naptime. It didn’t cost me a penny extra with free shipping and coupons, and it is so incredibly efficient.
- Say no to things. Errr, this is one I am only just recently getting good at. Learning to say no, learning to choose my best yes.
- Make a routine, not a schedule. Create a general outline for your day/week/life and keep it loose with marginal time in there for any chaos that will inevitably occur with little kids in tow. This is good for kids and mom.
- Have some friends in various seasons of life, and be sure to have some with kids the same age as yours. It’s nice to know others are crazy too.
- Maybe consider avoiding social media for the first like.. three years of your baby life. If you want to feel perpetually certain you’re ruining your baby, social media is the fastest way to achieve that. Avoid it like the plague.