Friends, having children has turned my type A personality into a big ball of stressful to-do lists in my mind, on my phone and on paper. Yuck! I’m always trying to stay ahead for our household and sometimes I fail. When I’m constantly strategizing or thinking of what’s next, I simply don’t enjoy life as much. I don’t get as much good time with my babies and my to-do lists steal my joy.
I’ve recently made a few simple changes to help me to stay in the moment with my children to enjoy life more and stress less. They deserve it. I deserve it.
The situation: Mornings are tough. Juggling Ezra and B, making lunch for preschool, packing a nap bag, getting extra clothes and now all the winter gear, I’m often bouncing around like a mad woman and we usually forget at least one thing.
The changes: We wake up a bit earlier and stick to a morning routine that works for everyone. Ezra plays by himself for the first 10 minutes so I can chat with Bodhi and give him some time. Then after Bodhi eats breakfast, I dress him fully right away. We found that the getting dressed part of the morning was the biggest struggle, but when we do it right away, everything is more smooth. We also found that the moment my husband or I expressed frustration or commented on time-how we need to hurry, how we only have a few minutes etc… Bodhi immediately melted down. We’ve stopped doing that even when we know we are running late. He cooperates much better because he’s not feeling pressure. I enjoy a cup of coffee or two with my boys and always have the fireplace on to make it feel warm. Now the morning rut/rush has turned into a busy but fun time for all of us.
The situation: I’m a planner and when I make up my mind about how something should go, I tend to get stressed, frazzled or irritated when it doesn’t happen. Two kids have changed this for me after a few big “getting out of the house” fails. I will sometimes be late with two kids and even though some of that is predictable/avoidable, most of it is not.
The changes: I’ve accepted that we will be late sometimes. I’ve kept my cool and learned to go with the flow. I’ve changed my mindset from “we have to get out of here by insert any specific time” to “let’s enjoy this getting ready time together.” My husband was a huge force in helping me to observe my rising frustration during these situations and helping me to remember that the getting ready time is still family time even though I tend to make it stressful. It doesn’t have to be stressful. There are tickles and silly stories and jokes and laughter that happen and it’s great!
The situation: I’m always packing up to get us out of the house. I’m restocking the diaper bag, grabbing snacks and extra clothes, running around to find the baby carrier and more.
The changes: I leave one of my two diaper bags in the car with extra clothes for both boys, plenty of diapers and wipes, snacks and a bottle of water for B and I so we are never in a bind and I’m not always dealing with the diaper bag. I simply remove the diaper bag when supplies are running low and restock.
Letting things go (also known as being kind to myself)
The situation: Sometimes I completely forget things, forget to text people back, forget to email people back, forget work deadlines even though they are on my editorial calendar, don’t make it to yoga or a meeting at B’s school or have to cancel play dates. It happens often enough and I sometimes make myself feel terrible about it.
The changes: Let it go. Simply letting it go is everything. I have surrounded myself with friends who are incredibly understanding and forgiving. I have many long-time friends who are still close friends, plus several new female friends in my life thanks to our children being friends and they are all the most incredible supportive women. I am SO grateful for people who can understand and let it go too. If I have to cancel with one of them, they understand completely and are just ready to schedule again soon. Let’s all give ourselves a big huge dose of kindness. Ok?! Promise?
Awe… I already feel better sharing these changes because they are reminders of how far I’ve come since Ezra was born. Have a lovely day, friends!
p.s. Be sure to enter to win some adorable leggings over on our Instagram before noon CST today!