So, how do you keep on keeping on when it feels like nothing is going right? I started writing this post last Friday evening. Since then, the flu has hit our household. Internet access has been intermittent. Two of the kids have had birthdays in the last 3 days. Yep, it has been chaotic. Here are 6 things I do to hold it all together, resulting in a satisfied, peaceful family in the midst of chaos.
- I make lists. Lots of lists. This year, I actually started keeping my lists in one specific notebook vs. any old piece of paper that I could find. I carry that 5-subject spiral notebook and my favorite pens with me everywhere I go. It hitches rides in the diaper bag, in my laptop bag, and sometimes, I just carry it by itself. It is almost always within 5 steps of where I am, ready for me to jot down my thoughts.
- Keep snacks handy for yourself. This may seem like a strange thing to do to foster household peace, but, after all, a hungry mommy is a grumpy mommy. Make sure you choose nutritious, healthy snacks such as baby carrots, celery, peanuts, peanut butter, dried fruit (those are apricots in the picture), jerky, string cheese, fruit and nut bars, or any other fairly nutritious snack. Your snacks should include a sufficient amount of protein to slow down digestion and head off a sharp blood sugar dip later, especially if you are eating fruit or dried fruit.
- Don’t forget to spend time with the Lord. During some seasons in my life, that consisted of listening to a sermon on YouTube while doing dishes. Another season in life Iwas worked on a bible study in my bedroom while the baby and toddlers napped. In yet another season, I listened to recorded lectures in the van while out running errands. Currently, I am reading through the bible from start to finish. I was inspired by my recent discovery of bullet journaling to keep track of where I am in the bible by jotting down a few notes about each chapter. I have discovered that I love pages that track my progress on everything from bible reading to water consumption to how we are doing on our monthly budget.
- Don’t forget to claim some down time for yourself, even if it’s only a few minutes in the bathroom.
- Don’t be afraid to use the Netflix Nanny and Hulu Helper. You can stop cringing now. Sometimes, it’s just what the doctor ordered. If Mommy is stressed, then little ones are going to be stressed. Pull out those goldfish crackers and juice pouches, sit little ones in front of the giant screen of wonders, and put on an educational video, a favorite toddler TV show, or even an episode of Nova for the bigger kids.
- Last, ask for help. Your friends are just waiting for you to ask for help. If you need someone to grab a few items at the grocery store for you, ask. If you need to drop off a kid or two while you run to the doctor, ask. If you need some girl time, ask a friend to meet you for coffee. I have met friends at the local coffee shop after the kids go to bed for years!
A word on lists: you are going to be tempted to do little bits of each of your lists throughout the day. Don’t. It’s super important that you tackle one project at a time (paying bills, for instance), and use all of those small snippets of time to accomplish that one task of paying bills. Do not spend a few minutes paying bills, a few minutes organizing your desk, a few minutes surfing Facebook, a few minutes creating the perfect Instagram post, and a few minutes catching up on a show on Hulu. Instead, focus on accomplishing one task at a time, then reward yourself with that show or Facebook vegging when you are finished. It’s a small paradigm shift, but it will bring about a huge change in how peaceful you feel. Also, don’t forget to check off those things that you’ve accomplished off your list. In spite of there always being one more thing to add, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment when you see all of those tasks checked off.
Most importantly, live with purpose. There is never a time when it is ok to coast and fly by the seat of your pants. There are going to be times that we land in fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants land, but we shouldn’t intentionally cause it. Planning, preparation, and prayer are essential to a peaceful, joy-filled life (you’ll hear this from me over and over again) . Miserable, flu-ish kids are calling my name again. More on how to accomplish a peaceful, joy-filled life next time.
Do you have questions or suggestions for a topic you’d like to see me cover, drop me a comment below! Much love,