Hey mama, it's that beat that makes you move mama, get on the floor and move yo' booty mama. Ha. Was stuck in my head. Now, to the beat of some Black Eyed Peas, read some more mama survival tips.
Plan, pamper, prioritize, patience.
Have a plan for your week. Maybe write it out on a calendar. Just a loose idea for things to do: meals, snacks, chores, projects, play, outings etc. It's not meant to be a burden but to gently guide your efforts in the right direction.
Pedicure (even if it's a DIY), facial, coffee with a friend, a new shirt, an ice cream sundae. Do something for you. It's refreshing and spirit lifting. A must.
When you have your daily to-do list, put the absolute most important thing at the top. Do that first. The rest is just whatever. Prioritize.
Even if you have to pretend, have patience. To be soft and flexible and calm and patient is to yourself a big favor in combating stress before it can get to you.
Having some time without noise is necessary. The quiet lets your brain and ears rest. This is not negotiable especially when you have a toddler talking constantly, all. day. long. Even if your quiet comes at 11pm, take it. No tv, no talking, no nothing. Just be quiet.
Learn how to do things quickly. Change a diaper in seconds, clean up the kitchen in 3 minutes and put on your make-up in 4 minutes. Being quick means you get things done but you also need to be okay with so-so. Get acquainted with so-so. Perfection isn't necessary or possible anymore.
Read, rest, routine.
This might just be me. I love to read. It's one of my all-time favorite things to do. Even if I read for 10 minutes, I feel good and refreshed. It lets me escape into a world where I use my imagination and my brain doesn't wander off to my to-do list.
Listen to your mother. Rest when the baby sleeps (and/or your toddler). It's no joke. Take a nap or just sit and put your feet up and let your eyes close for a bit. Set a timer if you don't want to rest too long.
I have lived with routines my entire life, I don't know how to function without them. Having a routine now, with my children, helps them know what to expect. When I have wandered from the routine, we get cranky and lose our balance. It helps with the flow of the day and helps keep everyone rested, fed and happy.
Sleep, shower, sensory bins.
Don't compromise your sleep. The right amount helps you make better choices, eat better, have better responses and be an energetic and positive mama. I know you want "me" time after the kiddos go to bed, but listen to your body, if you're tired, go to bed. You'll have "me" time tomorrow night.
Shower! Use your yummy smelling soaps and lotion up afterwards, too. Oh! Shave, too. You'll feel like a million bucks.
Read about, research and pin sensory bin ideas. I discovered these 6 months ago and they are awesome. They keep the little ones busy as they explore and play. Sensory bins help me entertain both my 11 month old and my 2 year old. It's a great way to connect, this is major.
Time out, triggers, TV.
Don't be afraid to take a mommy time out. When things are getting to be overwhelming, just put the kiddos in a safe place, in their crib/room and talk a 5 minute breather. You're allowed.
Know your triggers. The things that get under your skin and make you crazy. Mine might sound weird: noise (loud tv, loud radio), dirty glasses (with tiny finger prints all over) and to many people talking to me at once. Knowing your triggers can help you avoid them and, in turn, avoid a bad mood or short temper.
You are such a good mama. You don't want your kids zoning out on tv. You don't want their brains turning to mush. Yet, tv isn't the enemy. Don't be afraid of it. Everything in moderation. You might need it when you're sick or when they are sick. You might need it when it's too hot or too cold or rainy outside. It's okay, I promise. PBS is a great station and my toddler gets a lot out of it.
Can you think of anything else?
Next up: The ABC's of Mama Survival: U-Z