Whether you’re a working mum wearing multiple hats, or a stay at home mum with many different plates spinning, juggling it all can be tough. Hannah Hardy-Jones, founder of The Kite Program, a practical wellbeing resource for mothers, shares her top five tips.
1. Write your to-do list the night before
I believe that lists can help to organise your mind, and ensure you don’t forget tasks, especially when you’re sleep deprived. You might write your to-do list in the morning, sometimes while trying to get everyone ready for the day! But I discovered that writing mine just before bed clears my mind before settling down to sleep. I used to struggle to get to sleep or stay asleep due to the mental load of plans and things-to-do, but I’ve found doing this really helps.
2. Prioritise your to-do list
Prioritising is a great way to put a bit of strategy around your to-do list, just like you might do at work. A handy method is to simply put a star rating next to each item, with three stars being critical tasks that need doing that day, two stars being tasks that are important but can wait for a few days and one star being non-urgent tasks. It can help if you rewrite the list so that the tasks are grouped in urgency. The list seems a lot less overwhelming when it’s grouped this way.
3. Get up earlier
Getting up five or ten minutes earlier than your kids is a great way to get some control into your day. Even if all you do is make a coffee and take a few deep breaths. Or listen to your favourite song. (Mine is Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine.) Please note: this strategy may not work if you already have very early risers!
4. Say no
We often have extremely high expectations of ourselves, and motherhood only exacerbates this. Whatever your working situation is, try and take the pressure off yourself by saying no sometimes. You can’t be everything to everyone. Respond with something like, “I would really love to but I need to say no as I have a lot on my plate at the moment.” Think of saying no sometimes as being a simple way to practice self-care.
5. Nourish your body
Drinking water and eating nourishing foods are often the two things that suffer when you’re busy juggling life. Setting a reminder (via your phone or an app) to remind you to drink water is an effective way to ensure you’re hydrating well and to get into the habit of drinking more. Many workplaces are implementing water challenges to encourage people to drink more and take a break. I’ve definitely been guilty of making poor food choices when I’m really busy, like snacking on sugary foods. I’ve started trying to plan my snacks for the week so that I have lots of healthy options to hand.
I find taking small steps is easier than attempting to make drastic changes, so why not try one of these tips at a time? And remember that some days nothing will go to plan and you might feel like a disorganised mess, and that’s okay!