Self care begins at home and one of the fastest way that I’ve been able to make an impact on my quality of life as a busy mom of three is to simplify, care less, and outsource.
Self care is simplifying your life at home.
It seems to be my new “ mama mantra.” My routines, the clutter, weekly meals, our schedules. Simplify. Declutter your house, declutter your calendar, buy less stuff, donate more, say “no” to more activities, whatever it takes to simplify things for yourself.
Self care is caring less about things that don’t matter.
Some of my mom friends ask me if it was difficult to go from two to three kids. “Not really,” I answer. The main reason? I think that the more kids you have, the less you care about things you used to care about and, in hindsight, those things were never that important to begin with. (Having just said this out loud, I’ve most definitely jinxed myself, right?)
But think about it. Not dressed for school? Pajamas it is. Don’t want to wear a coat outside? Enjoy that brisk breeze, baby. Dinner is “gross?” Don’t eat it.
“Zero. Fox. Given.” It’s a mantra that’s been a sort of life preserver for me.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a complete free-for-all at my house, I am a type-A personality after all and could never relinquish that much control. But now, I choose to fight fewer battles and let the natural consequences of my kids’ actions play out. It’s a miracle how quickly they are begging for jackets or slurping down meals when I let them make their own decisions, as if they were in control. Bwaa ha haa. It’s me who wins!
Self care is outsourcing your mom life.
One of my favorite secret weapons to self care as a mom? Outsourcing. Or, simply asking for more help.
Daddy’s out of town this week? I’m calling grandma to help with bedtime or getting myself a babysitter for a night so I can take a breath. I might ask my neighbor with older kids to pick up something for me when I know she’s already heading to Target or Costco so I don’t have to drag 3 kiddos myself. Do you have a cleaning lady? Maybe she could throw in a load or laundry for you or put away the basket of clean clothes you’ve managed to fold but can’t seem to get put away.
This can be accomplished without spending money too, you just have to be creative. Can you talk to your friends about swapping some babysitting hours? Figure out a way to get the things you need done without you handling them yourself. Your children could be a huge source of labor for you too! Why are YOU putting the laundry away or unloading the dishwasher? Maybe your four-year-old could try it? Or how about your husband?
How do you think successful CEOs are running their businesses? They hire others to help them with tasks that unnecessarily tie up their time or stress them out. Or they manage it out. Why are we as moms working harder? We need to work smarter.
Life with three kiddos has become exponentially louder and stickier but it’s not that much harder because I’m throwing myself a life preserver more often these days. I’m stressing a little less about the little things and utilizing my time and limited energy better. I still have days when I feel like I’m drowning but, it feels a bit more manageable. Anyway, it’s nothing a case of wine can’t handle.
What can you do to simplify your life? As a parent? Or at work?
Throw yourself a life preserver, mama and see just how much better you feel.