If you’ve been around Delightfully Frazzled for a while, it’s probably not a shock to you that I’m a bona fide fan of the Harry Potter series. (I love it for lots and lots of reasons, but this is a post about time management, so I won’t waste your time with an in-depth analysis.) J. K. Rowling never ceased to amaze me with the creativity of magic in her world. One of the magical tools Harry is introduced to is called a Time Turner. It’s a device that allows its wearer to go back in time and literally be in two places at once. In the series, Hermione Granger (being Hermione Granger) uses is to take more classes at school. This Momma would use it to get things DONE- and then take a NAP.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a Time Turner to give you. I know, I’d love one too. However, as a work-at-home mom I’ve learned some tips to help me manage my time and energy more efficiently. Besides actually inventing a Time Turner (for which I would pay you LITERALLY ANYTHING if you did), here are some helpful tips to keep you focused and productive as a work-at-home mom!
Do you ever feel like there’s a million things vying for your attention as a modern-day mom? Whether you’re a full-time Stay-at-Home mom, the increasingly-popular Work-at-Home mom, or a hard-working Momma outside of the home, there are a LOT of demands on moms of our generation. Between maintaining a home, posting enough photos on social media to keep the in-laws happy, giving your family healthy, organic, paleo/vegan/gluten-free/Whole-30/whatever meals, maintaining the right screen time/activity balance, and of course the daunting responsibilities of raising decent, responsible, well-adjusted humans– all while your mom frenemy Shirley is on Facebook sharing how proud she is of her 5-year-old finishing his thesis and her 2-year-old’s fluency in Portuguese—it’s a recipe for a guilt-ridden 3-ring circus without the ringmaster.
From conversations with pretty much every mom I know, I’m pretty certain I’m not the only one that feels like life is pulling her in 20 different directions simultaneously. That’s why I’m starting this new series on Delightfully Frazzled: Kicking Overwhelm to the Curb. Because whichever stage of motherhood you’re in, whatever your specific life responsibilities may be, I’m betting overwhelm is a regular (if not daily) emotion for you. It sure is for me.
You know what’s super exciting and fun and the best days of your life? Being a new mom. You know what’s terrifying and exhausting and potentially the most challenging days of your life? Yep. Also being a new mom. Today I’m excited to share some words of wisdom from Enozia over at Distracted Momma as she shares 5 tips to help new moms make the transition to parenting a little easier!
Pregnancy is as challenging as is it a blissful period, but when its all over and you finally have your little one in your arms, things start to get a tad bit tricky. Being a mom isn’t easy. If you’re a first time mom, you might even find it overwhelming at times to handle everything from your little one’s sleeping schedule to having your body adjust to breastfeeding.
If that sounds like you, keep reading! We’ve got 5 super actionable tips and tricks to make the entire job of being a mom a lot easier and hassle-free, leaving you with more ‘me’ time.
Keep it Simple
The key to making things work for you as a new mom is to keep it simple. If you run out of something, look for a swap; if you’re bad at something don’t do it. Confused about choosing the right stuff for your baby? Seek the advice of other moms and see what worked out for them. Choose products that are tried and tested and those that can be relied on as opposed to multipurpose solutions and products.
One of the best ways to make being a new mom a hassle free experience for you is to look for alternatives, and those that are as natural as possible. Stick to using simple and natural solutions for your baby’s little problems. For instance, you can use coconut oil for baby acne or olive oil for your baby’s massage. In fact, these natural oils and products work even better than commercially available products. You can even use coconut oil for diaper rash! This doesn’t just turn out to be healthy for your baby, but pocket friendly too.
Finding a little time to unwind is the way to stay strong throughout the tough post partum phase. If you don’t give yourself time to rest, you’ll most likely get burned out. Don’t hesitate to use all the help you can get. Look after yourself with as much commitment as you would your baby, and watch things get a lot smoother for you.
Be it your spouse, friends or family members- the arrival of your little one will definitely have you surrounded by people asking if you need any help. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to use it. Your newborn will probably also have certain strange habits or actions that you can’t seem to make sense of; if you feel something is prodding your mind a bit too much, visit your healthcare provider or a pediatrician to clear any doubts that you may have.
Share your experiences and troubles to a listening ear- it helps a lot too!
Strengthen the Bond
Breastfeeding, among many other approaches, can help strengthen the bond you have with your baby. Postpartum depression is very real. Taking active steps to strengthen your bond with your baby can help you tackle it a lot better. Never underestimate the power of human touch; make sure your baby is in contact with you and your skin as much as possible, especially if you aren’t breastfeeding. Massage your baby, bathe him and spend some exclusive time with him to develop an intimate and strong bond. Co-sleeping is also found to work wonders. These small steps will in time, help you make things easier as your baby will start responding to you and your voice as he starts growing up.
Following these 5 actionable tips can work wonders in helping make parenting an easier job for you. So go ahead and get started on it Mommas! Time to make being a new mom rock!
Enozia Vakil is a freelance social media marketer, blogger and an animal lover at heart.
Distracted Momma is an online resource aimed at helping busy moms do better and make the best of both worlds. Multitasking can get the best of you, and that’s where Distracted Momma comes in to help with the best easy recipes that are kid friendly and healthy, helpful advice to bring up strong and motivated children, strengthen the parent-child bond, tackle common health issues and complaints in kids, activities and games for children, product reviews for the best kids essentials, and a lot more!
Hello lovelies! You know what’s really, really hard as a busy mom? Time management. The phrase “there aren’t enough hours in a day” is so cliche, but it’s cliche because it’s SO TRUE. Balancing the duties of motherhood with trying to run a home, keep our own identities, and not go crazy is not an easy task– especially in today’s world there it’s so easy to be busy all the time. That’s why I’m super excited to share today’s post with you! Becca Day is a time management specialist from Homemakers in Action who helps “undomesticated” homemakers balance the various responsibilities of life. She’s sharing her best time management tips for busy moms with us! If you feel like you’re constantly running out of time in your day, check out these time management tips below.
I get asked all the time “How do you manage it all?” My standard response to this questions is “I don’t know!”– but the truth is there are specific strategies that I have implemented in my life to combat the ‘too much to do and not enough time to do it in’ dilemma. I’ve had no choice but to learn these techniques. I run a blog, a YouTube channel AND a podcast, all while working a part-time job and balancing a baby on my hip! Some days I’ve felt like I want to just give up and stop trying to do so much, but the truth is if you really want something, and you’re really passionate about it, then you WILL find ways to get it done, no matter how busy you are.
So here is the real answer to that much-asked question. Here are the techniques I use to manage it all:
(By the way, if you want to start making the most of your time today, I have a Time Management Toolkit that you can nab for FREE here!)
A Planning System That Works For Me
I spent a stupidly long time messing about with different planning systems. I am quite a creative person, so it made sense to me that I should do a bullet journal or one of those pretty planners with all the washi tape and stickers and whatnot. But every single time I tried to start one of those types of planners, I’d find that I was spending so much time making it look pretty that it wasn’t actually improving my productivity at all– in fact, it was doing the opposite! Also, because it all took so much time, I’d find that I’d stick with it for a couple of weeks, miss a couple of days, and then I’d give up altogether.
I had to come to the realization that maybe those pretty planners just aren’t for me. I started experimenting with more basic systems, both digital and paper, and I have finally come up with a system that actually HELPS me to get stuff done. It’s not attractive – it is literally just a combination of my Google Calendar and a notepad for my daily to-do lists – but it works for me. Everyone has different styles and different ways of absorbing information, so try a few different methods and figure out which one is actually going to work for you.
A Morning Routine
Yes, I know. You hear people banging on about morning routines all the time. But you know why everyone keeps banging on about them? Because they help SO much! What you do in the morning can be the difference between a productive day and a putting-out-fires-survival-mode type of day. When you spend the first hour or so of your day intentionally, you are setting yourself up for success.
Now, I don’t want you to go and do a Google search for ‘productive morning routine’ and try to copy it. As I said with the planners, everyone is different. For one person, getting a good workout first thing in the morning is the main thing that gets them in the right mindset. But for another person (i.e. me!) the thought of getting up and doing a workout actually makes me not want to get out of bed. For me, the lure of a steaming cup of coffee and getting some work done before my daughter gets up is my jam. Which leads me onto…
You have to have an incentive to be productive. Whatever you have on your to-do list, you have to really want it. For things that you’re really passionate about, like a business or a hobby, that can come quite naturally, but for things like chores, it can be a different story. So how can we make ourselves want to wash the dishes and do laundry?
Well, firstly we need to remember why we’re doing these chores. Why do you want a clean house? My guess is so that you can raise your family in a beautiful, healthy environment. So remember that next time you feel like you don’t want to do the housework. The second way we can make ourselves want to do these pesky tasks is to give ourselves an incentive. How many times have you said to your kids “If you’re good while we walk around the store you can have a snack?” Apply this bribery technique to yourself. Tell yourself that if you’re good and you get everything done on your to-do list, you can have a treat, like maybe a good binge on Netflix!
A Short To-Do List
I always recommend to my readers to keep their to-do lists short, ideally under 5 tasks. If you set yourself 20 tasks to do in one day, it is highly likely you are not going to be able to achieve all of them, which will result in you feeling defeated at the end of the day. However, if you set yourself just a few tasks you are way more likely to succeed, which will result in you feeling like you’re Super Woman when you go to bed. Be kind to yourself and don’t set unrealistic expectations.
An Empty Calendar
Okay, maybe not completely empty, but I try to keep my calendar as clear as I possibly can. Think of your calendar as sacred space. You should only be adding things that are either absolutely essential (like doctors’ appointments and parents’ evenings) or that you are truly passionate about. If someone asks you to do something and you feel sort of ‘meh’ about it, then just politely say no. Remember, every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else!
The Fourth of July: family, grilling, picnics, swimming– and, of course, fireworks. Watching fireworks to finish off your Independence Day is great– unless your a child with sensory processing challenges. Our toddler TJ was recently diagnosed with ASD, and he gets overwhelmed with loud sounds and bright, flashing lights. You can bet fireworks won’t be part of our celebration this year!
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy other fun sensory activities! If you’ve got a child who’s in a similar place, here are some easy and fun ideas to celebrate Independence Day, without the fireworks.
See this little guy? This is our beautiful toddler TJ. He’s just a little over two and a half, has wiry red hair and a personality to match. He loves trains and anything with wheels, and he would spend his entire life outside if we let him. He’s always moving, incredibly clever, and fiercely affectionate. He loves his baby brother and brings so much joy to our lives.
He also has autism.
A few months ago, I took TJ in for a checkup with our family doctor. Because he wasn’t talking as much as other children his age, she put us in touch with an early childhood organization that helps toddlers and preschoolers develop. After a few weeks of meetings, tests, and lots of paperwork, we got the diagnosis I had been dreading: TJ was on the autism spectrum.
The time since the diagnosis has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. We’ve had good days, bad days, and days straight from Hell. If you’re in a similar place, have friends who are, or think your child may have some sort of sensory or developmental challenges, know you’re not alone. Your feelings are valid.
Hi friends! I love writing for you here on Delightfully Frazzled, but I also love getting to share the words of others who can offer you different wisdom. Today I’m super excited to introduce Pachi, a pediatric sleep consultant who is passionate about helping kids (and parents!) get better rest. She’s sharing her opinions on the swaddle: why she recommends it, when to stop using it, and how to effectively transition out of it. She has some great tips for helping newborns sleep better! If you’re a new or soon-to-be parent, check out her great advice. You can also find more helpful articles and resources at her website!
As a baby sleep expert and a newborn care specialist I get asked often lots of questions about the swaddle. “Is a swaddle a prop? Is it useful? Where do you stand on a swaddle? When do I start the transition from the swaddle to a sleep sack?”
Father’s Day is quickly approaching, which may mean a sense of panic if you’re trying to find that perfect gift for your dad or husband. I’m totally a fan of DIY gifts, especially those that involve the kiddos. However, I’m also a MEGA fan of sporting merchandise from your favorite fandoms! Before you reach for another basic tie, consider a gift you know he’ll appreciate from a series, movie, or book that he loves! If you’ve got s father in your life who enjoys super heroes, Star Wars, or other fandoms, check out some of these cool ideas to let the dad in your life shine in all of his nerdy glory.